3 Stars – It’s Okay
I wanted to LOVE this second installment of The Legendborn Cycle and there was so much good in this novel but overall it simply did not capture my imagination and attention as the first installment.
Starting with what was great, Deonn’s writing style works for me. Her dialogue is realistic, even in the midst of the fantasy world she has created and her characters, though “tortured” in many ways, still seem grounded in reality and the emotional growth of young adults. I never put the book down because the writing was difficult to get through or unsophisticated.
This book simply did not hit as well as I had hoped because the plot was defined by the recurring cycle of the protagonists running (to or away, depending), being attacked and/or betrayed, escaping, learning a bit and then engaging the cycle all over again. To be fair this story arc makes sense in relation to the macro narrative, but I personally did not want to engage that cycle for 500+ pages. After about the third rotation, I was ready for something different and I still had a little over half the book to read.
I persevered and at the end, this cycle is broken. Bree (the main protagonist) learned and understood enough to choose a different path and that is exciting and I am intrigued enough that I will read the next book when it is published. I am not sad I read the book and perhaps at a different time I would have more patience for the growth process Bree and her companions had to go through in this novel. We’ll see what the next one brings.