I loved this book so much! I don’t even know where to begin with how much I loved it.
Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow is promised to a group called Conatus after one of their healers saves her mother’s life. Once she arrives, Ember finds joy in wielding swords, learning magic, and fighting the encroaching darkness loose in the world. She also finds herself falling in love with her mentor, the dashing, brooding, and powerful Barrow Hess. When the knights realize Eira, one of their leaders, is dabbling in dark magic, Ember and Barrow must choose whether to follow Eira into the nether realm or to pledge their lives to destroying her and her kind.
With action, adventure, magic, and tantalizing sensuality, this book is as fast-paced and breathtaking as the Nightshade novels.
This is definitely my very favourite of Andrea Cremer’s books. With the Nightshade series, there were elements I liked and I liked the world it took place in but I wasn’t a fan of the love triangle or the way it was resolved. And the love triangle was such a central theme in the books it detracted a bit from my enjoyment of them.
Not so in this case. Rift still has the wonderful world building and the action and the strong female characters without the crazy back and forth between two boys. Plus it takes place in the Scotland highlands hundreds of years ago.
It’s like an action-romance version of Brave!
Ember’s parents just want her to get married and settle down and live the life of noble lady. Ember thinks that will basically destroy her soul. Thankfully a healer from Conatus saved Ember’s life (and her mother’s) when she was born and Conatus requires a boon from them. They require Ember to serve their cause.
No family members get turned into bears or anything, but there is magic and warlocks and demons and mystic-fire-visions about weapons!
And the romance is just…perfect. It’s slow and quiet but you can see it burning in the characters. Especially in Barrow. He fights it every step of the way until he just can’t anymore and…I just loved everything about him. I loved how he always treated Ember as an equal and never as a woman who needed his help. He was just as willing to talk to her about his problems as he was to help her with her problems.
This was a great foil to Alistair, Ember’s childhood friend, who on the surface treated her like an equal but, as she grew to be stronger than him, his true colours were revealed. And it was done very subtly. He didn’t just turn into a jerk all of sudden or anything. Alistair’s journey was also slow and you could see where he would start out with good intentions but then not quite get there. I’m interested to see where his story goes in the future.
The one thing I wasn’t that big a fan of, was the chapters focusing on the sisters. We already knew what was going to happen there and it still took so long to happen. Plus I didn’t like the evil sister at all and we were generally with her in those chapters and I ended up skimming most of that wanting to get back to Ember and Barrow.
Other than those chapters I loved every second of this book. I really, really hope the following book(s?) don’t introduce a love triangle. Every time I read a book two of a series I spend the entire time hoping for no love triangle.
I just want Ember and Barrow to be together and have adventures! Also, I love their horses. They have special bonds with their horses. It’s so cute.
And another Brave parallel! Also, it’ very important that when you read this book, you pronounce Barrow as if you had a Scottish accent. It’s so fun! Try it now!1
Can I have book two now? Please?