Picking up where Raybearer left off, Tarisai is the first-ever Raybearer to go into the Underworld. She strikes a deal with the spirits of the deal world, stating that she will go in if they agree to end the Redemptor treaty. This will keep the children from being sacrificed in the name of peace. She must elect her council of leaders before she can begin her journey. The problem is, to join the council, you have to love the Raybearer. Sounds easy, right? Not while being the first female Raybearer with assassination attempts on your life and undead spirits popping up at every turn. Will Tarisai save the empire, or is this too much for a young girl to bear?
FYI: This novel is a continuation of Raybearer by Jordan Ifeuko. You may not want to read this review if you plan on reading Raybearer, as it may give away some details of that book.
I know this is a very recent release so that I won’t give away any important details. I can say that I enjoyed this book, although not as much as Raybearer. I liked how the author didn’t do an extensive recap and picked up immediately where Raybearer left off—saying that, I did expect more action. If you’ve read Raybearer, you know that part of the agreement was for Tarisai to build her council members before going into the Underworld. I feel the majority of the book was spent convincing leaders to join her council, along with her processing feelings about the current state of the empire and what she wanted to change. She doesn’t even go into the Underworld until the last 50 pages of the book. I expected more action. With that being said, this was not a bad read. I was happy that I got to get more information on previous characters such as Ae Ri and Ai Ling, and there was also someone new that I enjoyed, the Crocodile.
I do feel that this book was well written. As with Raybear, I was drawn into the story. The descriptions were great, and I was able to get a clear picture of everything in my head. I didn’t find myself getting bored while reading, although there could have been more action. I would have liked it if Tarisai spent more time in the Underworld. I feel like there was such a build-up of how difficult it would be to make it out and how so many people suffer while there, but it was over so quickly.
I give this one a four out of five. I did enjoy it, but it was not as great as I expected, especially with Raybearer being one of my top reads of 2021. Have you read Redepmtor? What are your thoughts?