The Memory of Fire (The Waking Land #2)
By Callie Bates
Publisher: Del Rey
Genre: YA Fantasy
Jahan Korakides is the hero who saved the life of the crown prince in battle, helped win the revolution in Eren and earned the heart of Elanna, the legendary Wildegarde reborn.
But Jahan Korakides is also broken; haunted by memories of the woman who experimented on him and his brothers as children. So when the empire threatens war in retribution for Elanna’s illegal sorcery, Jahan leaves Eren to negotiate with the emperor on Queen Sophy’s behalf. But the world he left has changed – riots rock the city of Ida, his brother is missing and the crown prince refuses to speak to him.
Jahan’s only hope of success seems to lie with the rebels in Ida. Yet, if he joins them, he will merely spur on the war he’s desperate to avoid, and risk revealing himself as a sorcerer.
And then the witch hunters arrive at court, bringing Elanna in chains.
While I really enjoyed The Waking Land, it was not without issues for me. I was honestly a bit surprised to be contacted regarding The Memory of Fire. But I am so thankful I was! This is a stellar example of a sequel exceeding its predecessor in the best of ways. And I love nothing more than discovering an author who can take a series and successfully grow and improve it, which is exactly what happens in this beautiful addition to the story.
Following The Waking Land, we are offered a new perspective through the eyes of the nobleman, Jahan. Continuing to conceal his own sorcery he returns to capital in an effort to assist Elanna’s quest to obtain a peace treaty with a land where magic is punishable by death. During his efforts, he is also torn in a battle to save his younger brothers from Madiya, the very woman who raised and tormented them through a series of experiments intended to strengthen their powers. Now, facing his past and a potential war, Jahan must choose to embrace the one thing he has also concealed, his magic.
What I appreciated..
- Jahan’s story offers the reader a new and engaging take on Elanna’s journey, providing incredible insight into their relationship and the challenges they encounter.
- There is a new layer of complexity added to the magic system and politics that can only be understood through the revelation of Jahan’s backstory.
- The thorough exploration of the witch hunters and their methods add another welcomed level of depth to the growing plotline.
- A strong supportive cast of characters (such as Firmina, the empress) are of significant value to the story and equally interesting.
- World building is immersive, expanding what was created within The Waking Land and taking the reader on a new journey of political intrigue.
- Callie Bates seems to have found her voice within The Memory of Fire, and it flows with an incredibly inviting ease that transports the reader effortlessly.
Challenges some may encounter..
- I really cannot think of many aside from the fact that this is Jahan’s story. So if readers are hoping to explore Elanna more, they will not do so here. For myself, this was an appreciated change of pace.
The Memory of Fire is a beautiful expansion of a promising story that delivers something rich and captivating. The author’s decision to switch perspectives proves to be ultimately rewarding and satisfying. Putting it down is likely to be the biggest challenge readers will encounter.
*I would like to thank Del Rey for this advanced copy. This review is my own, unbiased and honest opinion.
Pairs beautifully with a nice spiced chai blend.
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