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As the Shadow Rises

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Six of Crows meets Graceling with a dash of Winter is Coming in this second installment of the action-packed and swoon-worthy Age of Darkness series! The Last Prophet has been found, yet he sees destruction ahead. In this sequel to the critically-acclaimed There Will Come a Darkness, kingdoms have begun to fall to a doomsday cult, the magical Graced are being persecuted, and Six of Crows meets Graceling with a dash of Winter is Coming in this second installment of the action-packed and swoon-worthy Age of Darkness series! The Last Prophet has been found, yet he sees destruction ahead. In this sequel to the critically-acclaimed There Will Come a Darkness, kingdoms have begun to fall to a doomsday cult, the magical Graced are being persecuted, and an ancient power threatens to break free. But with the world hurtling toward its prophesized end, Anton’s haunting vision reveals the dangerous beginnings of a plan to stop the Age of Darkness. As Jude, Keeper of the Order of the Last Light, returns home in disgrace, his quest to aid the Prophet is complicated by his growing feelings for Anton. Meanwhile, the assassin known as the Pale Hand will stop at nothing to find her undead sister before she dies for good, even if it means letting the world burn. And in Nazirah, Hassan, the kingdom-less Prince, forms a risky pact to try to regain his throne. When the forces of light and darkness collide in the City of Mercy, old wounds are reopened, new alliances are tested, and the end of the world begins. The Age of Darkness trilogy, which the Amazon Book Review called "the next big fantasy series," is perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes.


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Six of Crows meets Graceling with a dash of Winter is Coming in this second installment of the action-packed and swoon-worthy Age of Darkness series! The Last Prophet has been found, yet he sees destruction ahead. In this sequel to the critically-acclaimed There Will Come a Darkness, kingdoms have begun to fall to a doomsday cult, the magical Graced are being persecuted, and Six of Crows meets Graceling with a dash of Winter is Coming in this second installment of the action-packed and swoon-worthy Age of Darkness series! The Last Prophet has been found, yet he sees destruction ahead. In this sequel to the critically-acclaimed There Will Come a Darkness, kingdoms have begun to fall to a doomsday cult, the magical Graced are being persecuted, and an ancient power threatens to break free. But with the world hurtling toward its prophesized end, Anton’s haunting vision reveals the dangerous beginnings of a plan to stop the Age of Darkness. As Jude, Keeper of the Order of the Last Light, returns home in disgrace, his quest to aid the Prophet is complicated by his growing feelings for Anton. Meanwhile, the assassin known as the Pale Hand will stop at nothing to find her undead sister before she dies for good, even if it means letting the world burn. And in Nazirah, Hassan, the kingdom-less Prince, forms a risky pact to try to regain his throne. When the forces of light and darkness collide in the City of Mercy, old wounds are reopened, new alliances are tested, and the end of the world begins. The Age of Darkness trilogy, which the Amazon Book Review called "the next big fantasy series," is perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Children of Blood and Bone, and An Ember in the Ashes.

30 review for As the Shadow Rises

  1. 4 out of 5

    jessica

    for those readers who love character driven novels, this series for you. yes, the plot has an important role, but its how the plot defines the characters and influences their choices that really makes this book wonderful. its always such a neat experience when you can see how several individuals continue to be connected in a much bigger way. and this sequel only enhances that particular kind of storytelling, especially because some of their paths have already previously crossed. and the only rea for those readers who love character driven novels, this series for you. yes, the plot has an important role, but its how the plot defines the characters and influences their choices that really makes this book wonderful. its always such a neat experience when you can see how several individuals continue to be connected in a much bigger way. and this sequel only enhances that particular kind of storytelling, especially because some of their paths have already previously crossed. and the only reason im not rounding up to 5 stars is because i found certain POVs to be more compelling than others. while all five are necessary to the story, its obvious that some are not a priority/dont have as much of an impact, so it just makes a slow-paced book feel even slower. i didnt find this to be the case in the first book, so its a little disappointing. but overall, a very consistent and strong sequel. super excited to see how the series continues from here! ↠ 4.5 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katy Pool

    As the Shadow Rises is releasing September 1, 2020! You can preorder the book here: Indiebound Amazon Barnes & Noble Indigo The cover is live! And you can read an exclusive excerpt featuring your favorite gambler and his swordsman right here: https://www.denofgeek.com/us/books/yo... As the Shadow Rises is releasing September 1, 2020! You can preorder the book here: Indiebound Amazon Barnes & Noble Indigo The cover is live! And you can read an exclusive excerpt featuring your favorite gambler and his swordsman right here: https://www.denofgeek.com/us/books/yo...

  3. 5 out of 5

    Renaissance Kate

    A 3rd person multi-POV fantasy story with complex, memorable characters, an apocalyptic setting, and Greco-Roman vibes, The Age of Darkness trilogy deserves more love with everything it delivers. Book two, As The Shadow Rises, expands the world and characters we grew to love in the first book, while also upping the stakes for the finale in book three. On top of that, it stands well on its own as a middle book with solid character development and plot twists. That being said, if it’s been awhile s A 3rd person multi-POV fantasy story with complex, memorable characters, an apocalyptic setting, and Greco-Roman vibes, The Age of Darkness trilogy deserves more love with everything it delivers. Book two, As The Shadow Rises, expands the world and characters we grew to love in the first book, while also upping the stakes for the finale in book three. On top of that, it stands well on its own as a middle book with solid character development and plot twists. That being said, if it’s been awhile since you read the first book, I would recommend re-reading or brushing up on it before reading the sequel. I was a little fuzzy on the connections between characters and the magic system/world, which made parts of this book a bit difficult to follow. If you have read the first book and, like me, your favorite element was Jude, Anton, and their budding relationship, this sequel definitely will not disappoint you. Watching their romance blossom as they come to terms with their individual fears and insecurities made my heart melt and seriously was the reason this book left me with a 24-hour book hangover. Pool also does some amazing character work with Ephyra, the morally gray killer desperate to protect her sister. While I unfortunately didn’t feel as much of a connection to her, or to Beru for that matter, I still appreciated the exploration of Ephyra’s anger and grief. Hassan’s storyline contained some good twists I didn’t see coming, but I found his character slightly unbearable and his chapters felt just as underwhelming as they did in the first book. If it weren’t for Jude and Anton, I most likely would’ve given this book fewer stars. Honestly, I think this is due to the fact that we don’t get POVs from anyone else in Ephyra, Beru, or Hassan’s storylines, romantic or platonic, to give us perspective on their actions and personalities. We know how Jude feels about Anton, and we know how Anton feels about Jude, and seeing them come together in a beautiful catharsis made it all the more emotional. If you were hoping our ensemble cast would team up to work towards a similar goal in this sequel, you sadly might be disappointed. It plays out similarly to book one in that the characters don’t all collide until the end of the book. The plot also included some unexpected twists involving side characters from book one. While I thought these twists were interesting additions, Pool introduced some of them so early in the book that they lost some of their shock value (view spoiler)[ (specifically, Hector and Illya) (hide spoiler)] . Given these characters’ memorable fates in book one, it was jarring to see them reversed right at the beginning of this book and made the ending of the first book feel a bit cheap. However, these characters did make book two more interesting given their nuanced relationships with our protagonists. I found some of the dialogue and other elements in this book, such as descriptions of clothing, to be anachronistic enough to pull me out of the story. Like book one, there is still the confusing idea that this world seems to be a fantasy twist on antiquity, yet trains are a common form of transportation. Based on Pool’s writing style, you can definitely tell she learned her craft from a screenwriter as she states in her bio, as this book is mostly dialogue and blocks of action. Descriptions are sparse, and while this didn’t necessarily detract from the book, readers looking for more flowery prose might not appreciate her to-the-point style. I don't even think I could tell you with 100% certainty exactly what our main characters look like. Lastly, the ending of this book had me on the edge of my seat turning the pages at rapid speed. I had initially planned to stop reading for the night, but once the climax began to unfold I stayed up til I’d finished the final page. I can’t wait to see where the story goes in book 3!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Helena of Eretz ✰

    I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate the arc, but considering that I dnf'ed the previous book, I don't think that it's fair to review this. I received this complimentary ARC from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. I appreciate the arc, but considering that I dnf'ed the previous book, I don't think that it's fair to review this.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    1) There Will Come A Darkness: ★★★★(3.5) 2) As the Shadow Rises:★★★★ (4.5) As The Shadow Rises is a fine example of a book NOT suffering from the dreaded ‘second-book syndrome’. Actually, it blew its predecessor out of the water. When I finished There Will Come A Darkness, I had hope, I felt like the sequel could improve and be an all-around quality book, I was invested on faith alone (okay, maybe a little investment in Jude and Anton), and that’s risky business especially when it comes to books. 1) There Will Come A Darkness: ★★★★(3.5) 2) As the Shadow Rises:★★★★ (4.5) As The Shadow Rises is a fine example of a book NOT suffering from the dreaded ‘second-book syndrome’. Actually, it blew its predecessor out of the water. When I finished There Will Come A Darkness, I had hope, I felt like the sequel could improve and be an all-around quality book, I was invested on faith alone (okay, maybe a little investment in Jude and Anton), and that’s risky business especially when it comes to books. But, I digress, I’m very good at having high expectations for a book before I read it and leaving myself disappointed. But in hindsight, my faith in Katy Rose Pool was accurate for ATSR was an amazing book and a greatly improved sequel. As The Shadow Rises picks up soon after the events of TWCaD and our characters, still continuing with their separate plotlines, are all struggling to find a way to stop the age of darkness that benefits them best. So who is a part of the obnoxiously large cast of characters? *minor spoilers from the first book included* Prince Hassan: After the brutal betrayal in There will Come a Darkness Princes Hassan is searching for some way to regain power in his kingdom, without being caught by the Hierophant, alongside his girlfriend, Khepri. And In all honesty, I don’t like Prince Hassan. We only got a handful of his chapters but I genuinely dreaded reading his POV until the last one or two of his chapters. He’s arrogant and has the mindset that his life sucks and nobody else can be unhappy because his life is the absolute worst. He did nothing to redeem himself from TWCaD and the few empathetic moments he did have were explicitly stated - not shown. And I have to acknowledge one of the worst YA relationships I have read - Khepri and Prince Hassan’s relationship is so forced I really don’t see the point in having it be a part of the story. Khepri and Hassan are better apart than together, I think Hassan would (maybe) grow as a character more without her. Ephyra: after Beru abandoned her with the hope the Ephyra would leave behind her killing ways, Ephyra has become even more driven to find a way to save Beru. And Ephyra knows that there is only one way to stop Beru’s life from fading: finding Elazar’s Chalice. But Ephyra knows she cannot do that alone and finds herself with a group of thieves all on the hunt for the Chalice - But there’s another unexpected member of the group that flips Ephra’s world upside down in more ways than one. Ephyra is …. slight psycho not gonna lie. But at least she doesn’t try to act like she’s not so that makes her a whole lot more enjoyable to read. Beru: disgusted with her sister's actions, Beru is dead set on atoning the darkness she has caused in the world. And the best way to do that is to give her life to the one person who didn’t deserve Ephyra’s wrath when given the opportunity. Beru is a character that I was indifferent to, shes wasn’t a bad character but unrememberable, to say the least. Hector: “Hey Siri, play Without Me by Eminem” JUDE: Jude + Anton >>>> literally everyone else in this book. After Jude broke his oath as Keep of the Word and lost the Pinnacle Blade, Jude’s future hangs in the balance, but Jude still has one purpose, and that’s to protect the Prophet, even if it means betraying his family and friends... again. Jude is one of the best characters in this book. He’s matured since TWCaD and is increasingly enjoyable to read. I could be completely satisfied if this book was just Jude and Anton because let's be honest, they are carrying this whole series on their back. ANTON: Still not thrilled about being the Prophet, Anton is forced to relive his vision every day at Kerameikos. After realizing he is a prisoner in another way, Anton decides to escape from the Order, but he doesn’t want to leave alone. After a series of events that forced Anton to escape (despite that being his original plan) Anton and Jude find themselves alone together, struggling to stop the impending age of darkness. Anton is the other best character in this book. He was my favorite in TWCaD and my love for him continues. His interactions with Jude and his chaotic-ness and troubled past combined together are just so perfect. I love it. My biggest issue for There Will Come a Darkness was that all the characters lacked maturity, especially at the beginning. But my issue was (mostly) resolved by the end of AtSR. The characters really seemed to grow and fit into, what I believe was the author’s desired identity them. I’m hoping that we can only do better from here. An of course I mentioned that I disliked or was indifferent to a few of the characters but with such a vast cast, I don’t see how you could like every single one of the cast. And the characters I did like (Anton and Jude) were so amazing that it made up for some of the characters that were lacking. I'm hoping that the other characters can begin and/or finish their character arc by the third book. In my review for, There Will Come A Darkness I mentioned that the writing was a little juvenile and was noticeably a debut so I would like to acknowledge that Katy Rose Pool’s writing ability has done nothing but improve. I found the writing to be much more flowing and articulate and overall a more enjoyable experience in AtSR. I am beyond excited to see has Katy Rose Pool improves in her third book. Overall, this was a stunning sequel. Though some of the characters were lacking and there is an insane amount of POV’s, The writings had improved greatly and I found Jude and Anton’s characters great enough to carry the whole series. I and beyond excited to see where Katy Rose Pool takes us in the conclusion of her debut trilogy! ** So uhhh.... I kinda need this book asap

  6. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    What a stunning sequel. This took every element that made the first book amazing and then cranked it up even more. The action, the character development, the world building, the ROMANCE... All of it was spectacular. I love all the characters here. They’re each so complex and distinct from one another. And their relationships with each other and with the world around them are fascinating. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have favourites, because I do. Jude and Anton gave me life throughout this book What a stunning sequel. This took every element that made the first book amazing and then cranked it up even more. The action, the character development, the world building, the ROMANCE... All of it was spectacular. I love all the characters here. They’re each so complex and distinct from one another. And their relationships with each other and with the world around them are fascinating. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have favourites, because I do. Jude and Anton gave me life throughout this book. I ADORE them with my entire heart and if anything happens to them in the finale I will have WORDS for Katy Rose Pool! (Please don’t hurt them!) It’s going to be a long wait for book 3 but I know it’ll be worth it. I can’t wait to see how this story wraps up. I’ll be sad when it does though because god I love this series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Kathryn Wright

    This is the epic continuation of There Will Come a Darkness, and it starts exactly where it left off. First off the writing and pacing of this book is flawless. And the world building was everything you could ask for, I could picture all of the locations so easily. The plot twists were so good, but some of them you can see coming but they do appear at surprising times and ways. I was held captivated throughout the entire story. I was continuously invested in the story with its imagination, excit This is the epic continuation of There Will Come a Darkness, and it starts exactly where it left off. First off the writing and pacing of this book is flawless. And the world building was everything you could ask for, I could picture all of the locations so easily. The plot twists were so good, but some of them you can see coming but they do appear at surprising times and ways. I was held captivated throughout the entire story. I was continuously invested in the story with its imagination, excitement, and anticipation that this book kept from beginning to end. The characters that we loved all came back again and there were two characters that I did not expect to see in this one that I was happy to see again. All of the characters were great, but for me there wasn’t enough character growth in Ephyra, she stayed pretty stagnant for me. It was great getting to see more of Beru’s perspective and the moments between Anton and Jude were beautiful. And their growth together and individually was beautifully done. This is an amazing sequel to follow up a stellar book one, for the world building and characters to become more intriguing. This book has me highly anticipating the sequel even more now. I highly recommend that you check out this series because both books leave you on the edge of your seat.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angelica

    Jude and Anton is a thing, right? cause I lowkey ship it

  9. 5 out of 5

    h o l l i s

    I'm not going to say this was a disappointing sequel, because it wasn't, but I'll admit that the excitement I felt in book one was mostly missing here. Whereas in THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS I think I was pretty interested in all of the POVs, this time I definitely had favourites and sorta slogged along in some of the paralell plotlines as they eventually converged into one. That said, this is definitely a twisty installment and of a few of the reveals, I think I only managed to predict one of th I'm not going to say this was a disappointing sequel, because it wasn't, but I'll admit that the excitement I felt in book one was mostly missing here. Whereas in THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS I think I was pretty interested in all of the POVs, this time I definitely had favourites and sorta slogged along in some of the paralell plotlines as they eventually converged into one. That said, this is definitely a twisty installment and of a few of the reveals, I think I only managed to predict one of them. I really liked that. I mentioned in my review for book one, this is definitely a darker, grittier, version of the Falling Kingdoms series. And I totally stand by that assesment; in fact, this book only solidified my opinion on that comparison. We didn't gain any new POVs, though we did gain quite a few new faces along the way, but what did change were many of the dynamics we had been given in book one. I enjoyed seeing these characters overlap, pass amongst each other, and then come together. I did like this installment, it pretty much absorbed me all afternoon, but I hope book three pushes this out of like-zone and back to really like (if not love!)-zone to round out the series. ** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. ** ---- This review can also be found at A Take From Two Cities.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stacie

    I love the entire cast, but Jude and Anton 100% carried this book. They are the sweetest little beans and should be protected at all costs! Besides how lovable the characters are, the rest of the book was a fun ride too. The story was wonderfully paced, and I was constantly engaged when reading. I never caught myself thinking that there were slow or unnecessary moments. Plus, the world building continues to be cool as hell. Would recommend the audiobook as well. The narrator does a variety of ac I love the entire cast, but Jude and Anton 100% carried this book. They are the sweetest little beans and should be protected at all costs! Besides how lovable the characters are, the rest of the book was a fun ride too. The story was wonderfully paced, and I was constantly engaged when reading. I never caught myself thinking that there were slow or unnecessary moments. Plus, the world building continues to be cool as hell. Would recommend the audiobook as well. The narrator does a variety of accents and they are pretty entertaining. Overall, I had a really nice reading experience. If you're looking for a solid YA fantasy, this series is rather well-rounded.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kalena W

    4.5/5 stars, I don’t wanna wait 9 months for more Jude & Anton This book was one of my most anticipated books of last year, I’m very lucky to have gotten it for Christmas and been able to read it now. I had super high expectations for this book, and it mostly lived up to it! One of my favorite things about this series is what the setting is inspired by, Ancient Greece and Southern Asia is how I would describe it. We never get TONS of worldbuilding, but there is a lovely map in the front. This bo 4.5/5 stars, I don’t wanna wait 9 months for more Jude & Anton This book was one of my most anticipated books of last year, I’m very lucky to have gotten it for Christmas and been able to read it now. I had super high expectations for this book, and it mostly lived up to it! One of my favorite things about this series is what the setting is inspired by, Ancient Greece and Southern Asia is how I would describe it. We never get TONS of worldbuilding, but there is a lovely map in the front. This book for sure took us to many more places then we went to in the last book and I really enjoyed the exploration of this. It’s slow, I just have to put it out there, no doubt about it. But that doesn’t always mean a bad book! The slow pace was deliberate, it allowed us to see more growth in (some) characters that was very important for the overarching story. There were no extremely shocking plot twists, but I enjoyed following our characters nonetheless. The romances were even slow burn too, which worked in favor to some and not in favor to others. And like always, it was a masterwork of multiple point of views, and how to work each around each other so they interact the right amount. Ephyra got some particular attention in this book that shifted her character arc in a direction that I feel, it needed to go. In this book she appeared more as an anti-hero, which is always fun to explore. This book pushed her to the edge, of her mind and her wits, and then threw her back again. I’m not in love with her, but it was interesting to see just how much trouble she would go to to protect Beru, even though we already knew some of it. With the ending, I think it would be great to see another arc for her in the last book, I’m hoping something of a redemption arc. She is a very interesting character by all means. Beru & Hector also got a fair amount of attention in this book, I felt much more than last book. I honestly prefer Beru over her sister, maybe it’s because of her values, but seeing them be tested was interesting. Especially when she worked beside him to travel and try to save what she could of her conscious. I’m not sure how I feel about that ending for Beru, but we’ll see how the next book goes. Prince Hassan was once again, not given tons of page time, you can tell what the stories priorities are. But I did feel he made some awkward decisions in this book, and had to learn how to deal with his actions even more. He claims to want to help his people, but we never really got to see the connection with them. But there was some times he showed courage and stood up for himself so I’m proud. Jude & Anton were once again, my favorites. Some people might get tired of the angst in this book, do I stay true to my duty or my feelings stuff but I just fell in love with them more. Both of them are great characters by themselves. Jude being someone really loyal who just wants to do the right thing, but knowing that doesn’t always mean following his code. Anton feeling ill equipped to handle his position, but still trying to strive for better ness anyways. And their romance? It was so slow burn that when we got anything I squealed, out loud. I just think they’re the shining stars of these books. “A boy with a heart in his chest and a sword in his hand” (445) Overall, a fun slow burn sequel to the first book, it might’ve fell into second book syndrome a bit but Jude and Anton are everything. The ending is a bit muddled, but it makes me crave the last book even more!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chance (temporary.escaper)

    Thank you Netgalley for the free eArc in exchange for an honest review. This was a really great continuation of There Will Come A Darkness! It was a little difficult to keep up with who is where, doing what, but if you read slow it’s easier to keep up. I absolutely adore Anton and Jude the most! I can't wait to see where the story goes from here! Thank you Netgalley for the free eArc in exchange for an honest review. This was a really great continuation of There Will Come A Darkness! It was a little difficult to keep up with who is where, doing what, but if you read slow it’s easier to keep up. I absolutely adore Anton and Jude the most! I can't wait to see where the story goes from here!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katrina♡••

    The day this book is in my hands may be the happiest day yet Update So i finished it and it was one heck of a ride. I just love the world and characters Katy Rose Pool has created. They feel so real and i recommend for everyone to pick it up if u haven't. Its fun, touching, very interesting with many twists and turns. So if you haven't yet picked up the first book, i wont spoil anything. Book 1 is told from 5 different perspectives; Hassan, Jude, Beru, Ephra and Anton. It follows their journey amd The day this book is in my hands may be the happiest day yet Update So i finished it and it was one heck of a ride. I just love the world and characters Katy Rose Pool has created. They feel so real and i recommend for everyone to pick it up if u haven't. Its fun, touching, very interesting with many twists and turns. So if you haven't yet picked up the first book, i wont spoil anything. Book 1 is told from 5 different perspectives; Hassan, Jude, Beru, Ephra and Anton. It follows their journey amd how their paths come to cross. A girl is trying to save her dying sister and she will do anything to help her while a prince is trying to save his city after being exiled. A boy is the leader of a group that has sworn to a sacred commitment while another is gambling with his life. Basically, they have an interesting power and are called the graced. They are frowned upon. There are 4 graces which is very interesting. The timing of both books are phenomenal in terms of how the characters get to meet one another. Its brilliant. The world building and lore is breathtaking and i love figuring it out. The romances are beautiful and heart wrenching and trust me, you want to read this. Just think of it like Six of Crows with the powers but they have their own separate storylines and it converges at some point which is truly beautiful to read about and analyze. The adventures each storyline holds is also a blessing of its own. I love both books so much i cant even fathom what i will do when the series ends next year. So go read book one now, you wont be disappointed (hopefully )

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    An epic continuation that I could not put down!!! I will be writing a full review and posting it later, but this was just SO GOOD. Full review starts here: **I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.** You know how there are those series that suffer from the “middle-book syndrome?” Yeah, this isn’t one of those. As the Shadow Rises continues off where There Will Come a Darkness left, and keeps the story going. It kept my attention, held me capt An epic continuation that I could not put down!!! I will be writing a full review and posting it later, but this was just SO GOOD. Full review starts here: **I received this as an egalley from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review.** You know how there are those series that suffer from the “middle-book syndrome?” Yeah, this isn’t one of those. As the Shadow Rises continues off where There Will Come a Darkness left, and keeps the story going. It kept my attention, held me captive, unable to put it down, and was chock full of adventure and intrigue. I loved absolutely every page of it. The characters we know and love from the first book continue to grow and change along the courses they were already set on – both physically and internally. I loved seeing their individual progresses with their selves and their journeys, and learning to cope with both new and old characters as well. While it was nice to see more from Beru’s perspective than there had been in the first book, I felt that Hassan took the loss in the sequel, with his chapters being far and few between. I’m still only so-so about Ephyra, since much of her character growth stayed stagnant for the majority of this book, but with some hopeful improvement towards the end. Anton and Jude, of course, had my full love and attention and I so enjoyed seeing where their storylines took them, both as individuals and together. The storyline continues to enchant, pulling the reader in quickly and keeping a firm grip on the imagination. It had me constantly feeling breathless with excitement and anticipation. And while some of the twists were easy to spot and glean onto, there were one or two that I definitely did not see coming. The pacing was excellent, with only a few moments here and there that felt a little rushed, and the balance of action and character development was just as superb as in the first book. Honestly, this sequel was everything I could have asked for and more. It took me to unexpected places and had turns I was not fully prepared for, but it also took these characters and continued to mold and change them as they followed their journeys. It was completely un-put-downable and has me waiting eagerly for the next book to see what happens to these characters with whom I have thoroughly fallen in love. 5 stars

  15. 4 out of 5

    Stella ☆Paper Wings☆

    Alright. Who gave this book the right to be so MIND-BLOWING. And how long will I have to wait now before the third book comes out?! My thoughts on this book are pretty much the same as the first book, and honestly, that's all you can ask of the sequel of a book you loved- that it allows you to sustain your love for the first book and never lets you down. I only read There Will Come a Darkness earlier this year, so I was able to return so easily to this vivid and thrilling world, and it really jus Alright. Who gave this book the right to be so MIND-BLOWING. And how long will I have to wait now before the third book comes out?! My thoughts on this book are pretty much the same as the first book, and honestly, that's all you can ask of the sequel of a book you loved- that it allows you to sustain your love for the first book and never lets you down. I only read There Will Come a Darkness earlier this year, so I was able to return so easily to this vivid and thrilling world, and it really just felt like an extension of the same fun. This series is unusual and pushes a lot of boundaries, so it may not be for everyone, but I said it before and I'll say it again: it might as well have been written specifically with me in mind. The concept is so epic, the character dynamics are so satisfying, and the plot is so complex yet so perfectly logical. I did think the first book was a bit slow, and while there are definitely slower parts, the tension is so suspended throughout the entire book that it quickly became impossible to put down. The only other complaint I had from the first book was that Ephyra was somewhat annoyingly and perhaps un-sympathetically selfish and didn't think about the consequences of anything she was doing... But I think her character development really came through here, and she became a really fascinating (though still frustrating) x-factor in this story. It was so interesting to see how all the different character arcs wound around each other and pushed the plot in different directions. So like the missing piece of a puzzle, there are now magically no flaws in this book? I mean I'm sure there must be something, but as I'm writing this, I can't seem to think of any. So yes. 10/10 would recommend this series. Maybe wait until the final book comes out, though, because these cliffhangers are awful. Content Warnings: familial abuse, internalized homophobia (kind of), refugees, terminal illness, genocide of and prejudice against fictional group (all challenged)

  16. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    Vid rev will be available September, 23, 2020 here https://youtu.be/M98ls6jFrXo Vid rev will be available September, 23, 2020 here https://youtu.be/M98ls6jFrXo

  17. 5 out of 5

    Becca Akins

    I am loving where this series is going! I love all of the characters and how none of them fit into a specific box. They all have layers and it elevates the story.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Isela

    Full review to come but this was an awesome sequel

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lexi

    The Age of Darkness series is such a tragically slept on series. It's a multi-POV action-adventure series with romance, mystery, heists, morally grey characters, Queer/POC characters, and tons of cool Mediterranean world-building that draws from north Africa, the middle east, and Greeko Roman cultures. It's also significantly more mature than most YA books- and would feel like an adult SFF if it wasn't for it's Six of Crow style "everyone needs a romance" vibe *(which we will get to later) Anyway The Age of Darkness series is such a tragically slept on series. It's a multi-POV action-adventure series with romance, mystery, heists, morally grey characters, Queer/POC characters, and tons of cool Mediterranean world-building that draws from north Africa, the middle east, and Greeko Roman cultures. It's also significantly more mature than most YA books- and would feel like an adult SFF if it wasn't for it's Six of Crow style "everyone needs a romance" vibe *(which we will get to later) Anyway, YEY for good sequels! This was originally marked as a duology, but it looks like this will now be a 3 book series now, which is actually a pretty good thing, since As The Shadow Rises opened a lot more doors into the story. Nearing the end I found myself wondering how it could possibly wrap everything up in what felt like which a middling book. As the Shadow Rises neatly wraps up There Will Come A Darkness's wild ending, while also being accessible enough that if say, it's been a year since you've read book one, you can still hop back in and be like "OH RIGHT, THAT HAPPENED. It does a great job reintroducing the characters and repurposing them to move to the next stage of their adventure. As the Shadow Rises is much more heist and Indiana Jones inspired than the political drama/intrigue focused first installation of this series, but the tone shift is earned and welcome- this book is super fast-paced and maintains that momentum to the end. The world is super well built up, with lots of culture and world history bleeding through the dialogue naturally, and since the world is inspired by many cultures instead of being strictly eastern, western, African, etc, the world feels very complete, even with our characters limited worldview. In terms of story progression for the characters, I am mixed here. Epherya's plot was way more interesting. Like wow. Every moment with her on-screen was an absolute joy. Her treasure hunting arc made this book. Beru gets way more love as well, and though her arc is smaller, it's meaningful and emotional. Hassan was the other show stopper. I was a little iffy that he was going to have one of those weirdly tropy "prince meets members of the lower class and realizes he's been wrong all along" storyline, but it turns out the rebels that he connects with aren't that great either. His storyline is so complex and political, I only wish it was given more attention. Anton and Jude though? No thanks. This is one of those "everyone needs to get paired up" books. The good news? It's all slow burn, and some of the couples have bumps in the road ensuring they won't actually get together until the third book if at all. TONS of surprise enemies to lovers- and while Katy Rose Pool actually sets all of these couples up to interact in the first book, I was actually still pleasantly surprised with some of the pairing choices she made because they were decently bold. Most of the POV characters are paired up with non-POV characters and have super interesting storylines with them. What this results in are VERY STRONG side characters. I have an issue with books that only focus on POV characters and can't create interesting worlds around them. I found myself just as interested in the side characters, especially the romantic ones, as I did the POVs. These "side character romances" are also..just..REALLY fun. You have - Enemies to lovers Reylo style force bond zombie romance - Enemies to lovers tomb raiding adventure where they don't trust each other but need to keep each other alive. The main romance is between two of the POV characters (Anton and Jude) and I personally found it insanely draining/boring/made both characters less interesting. Their chapters were actually the low point of the book for me, which is a little disappointing because it is a M/M queer romance, but I think this could have been fixed at least a bit by removing one of their POVs, we didn't need both especially when their adventure was the slowest and least interesting) Since a lot of their journey seemed to involve pining over each other or reflecting on their destinies, having both of them switching off only meant more time away from the action-packed stories of the other three characters. These chapters droned and won't have much value unless you are really, really invested in their relationship. It didn't help that these two had my least favorite POVs in the first book as well. So that's where my 4 stars instead of 5 come in. Anyway, read this series. It's fabulous and a much needed mature, well rounded, and graceful wildcard in the YA "genre".

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lili Marcus

    First of all, it is important to mention that I haven’t reviewed book 1 yet and that this review will have spoilers from book 1. Just like book 1, I buddyread As The Shadow Rises with Susan, Maddie and Becky. Please look out for my future post about activities I acquired during quarantine because buddyreading is certainly one of them. Anyway, I enjoyed book 1 but I can say, I enjoyed book 2 even more. As The Shadow Rises starts right after the events of book 1, There Will Come a Darkness, which p First of all, it is important to mention that I haven’t reviewed book 1 yet and that this review will have spoilers from book 1. Just like book 1, I buddyread As The Shadow Rises with Susan, Maddie and Becky. Please look out for my future post about activities I acquired during quarantine because buddyreading is certainly one of them. Anyway, I enjoyed book 1 but I can say, I enjoyed book 2 even more. As The Shadow Rises starts right after the events of book 1, There Will Come a Darkness, which pleased me immensely because book 1 really left me with so many feelings. I want to share the discussion I had with my reading buddies because it will show how invested I was in the characters. Ugh, the feelings I had for them, different for each because not all of them made me happy but that doesn’t mean they’re not well-written characters. The author, the amazing Katy Rose Pool definitely did a good job at letting her characters shine in their own way, that I enjoy reading even the chapters of my non-favorite characters. It was like I couldn’t let any single moment in the story pass me by because it feels like a big part of the story will be lost on me. That said, this book leans more as character-driven. But still, the plot is amazing. It’s very well-crafted and filled with intense actions. The twists made me wide-eyed too and that’s saying a lot because my reading buddies and I have managed to guess some of them, still they surprised me. By the way, I need to share that this book is a bit hard for buddyreading because, as I said, it’s filled with intense actions, that it’s so hard to stop reading. So many things are happening in every chapter that I want to keep going. Through each character, more is revealed about the world and the magic system. It’s amazing to realize that there is still SO MUCH about the world that I don’t know. As the Shadow Rises is told in multiple POVs so the readers gets to see what’s happening in each of the main characters and I love it that some of the characters who I thought didn’t get enough spotlight in book 1, I got more from them in this book. Like Beru, who after that events in the last part of the book is probably first in my list of characters I’m excited for in book 3. So many things have happened to Anton and Jude as well, individually and together. Since book 1, Anton isn’t too happy being the last prophet and Jude is too set to follow his supposed destiny as a protector of Anton. The two of them really underwent the biggest character development. And I definitely love their moments together. They’re the sweetest to each other and my heart almost couldn’t take it. Obviously, there’s something going on between them. As for Hassan, he was never a favorite character of mine but at least, here, I saw him taking more actions than whining. Then of course, there’s Ephyra. My feeling for Ephyra’s character is what surprised me the most. After what she did in the last part of book 1, all I could think of was it will be too hard for her redemption, but somehow, after reading book 2, my resentment towards her lessens. I also like her journey in this book, as my reading buddy Susan said, it gives an Indiana Jones vibe. It’s that intense. I guess it really does her good to be away from her sister physically. There are also lots of things that happened to the side characters that held my interest and evoked strong emotions from me. There’s Illya, who I like more in this book despite his actions in book 1. As for the other side characters, I won’t name them to avoid spoilers but there are two female side characters who really pissed me off. Another guy character who freakin’ surprised me, I even tweeted about it, which I don’t usually do when I’m reading. There are also new characters introduced and all of them are very important to the story. Speaking of the new characters, the events in the last quarter of the book are a lot, both in positive and negative way. Positive because wow!!! All those revelations, twists and happenings really made me glued to my Kindle. Negative because even though I think all those new characters are important and it makes sense that they are part of the story, still it’s a lot to take. And so many things happened that the ending felt rushed to me. Despite my issue on the last part of the book, I really enjoyed As the Shadow Rises. This is one of the best middle books of a series that I’ve ever read. usually, middle books are just fillers but this one isn’t. This is even better than book 1. I highly recommend this book to EVERYONE.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Isela

    Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) for sending me an Advanced Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. When Jude decided to go after Hector, he understood he broke the Paladin’s oath. Now he’s been questioned about whether he broke it or not, possibly losing his title of Keeper of the Word and his life. Meanwhile, Anton is trying to keep up with the expectations and responsibilities of being The Last Prophet. He needs to rememb Thank you to NetGalley and Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) for sending me an Advanced Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. When Jude decided to go after Hector, he understood he broke the Paladin’s oath. Now he’s been questioned about whether he broke it or not, possibly losing his title of Keeper of the Word and his life. Meanwhile, Anton is trying to keep up with the expectations and responsibilities of being The Last Prophet. He needs to remember the prophecy he dreamt years ago, but he’s still struggling with nightmares when he tries to use his Grace. Not to mention; Hassan has found a Rebel faction, Scarab’s Wing, who takes in the Graced before the Witnesses can capture them and hides them in their safehouse. At the same time, Beru is trying to atone. To make things right and undo the harm her sister has done trying to keep her alive. After Beru walks away from her, Ephyra will do everything to find Eleazar’s Chalice, the only thing capable of saving her sister. But who can save Ephyra from becoming a monster now that Beru is not with her to prevent it? THOUGHTS Usually, a lot of authors have this problem called “the second book syndrome”. We all know it, and we all have read a book that has it. Fortunately this isn’t the case with As the Shadow Rises. I need to be honest, I liked There Will Come a Darkness but it didn’t wow me. It felt like a long introduction of the story, world and characters. But As the Shadow Rises is a worthy sequel filled with adventure, plot twists, character development and romance. The final reveal was EPIC. Each chapter leaves you hanging because it ends after an emotional scene or a plot reveal. While reading There Will Come a Darkness, I didn’t like that I needed to wait four more chapters to know what happened with a certain character. I didn’t have the same issue while reading As the Shadow Rises. I loved how each character had their individual stories and how all of their lives are interconnected with each other. It was a good thing that Beru had more chapters and we got to know her better. Sadly Hassan was the one with less chapters, although it’s understandable because he had more chapters than the others in the first book. Overall, I’m excited to see what will happen in the final installment with our main characters after that ending. As the Shadow Rises feels darker but it was an excellent second installment where we learn what caused The Age of Darkness and it leaves you hanging, thinking what could happen to our beloved characters.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I read and really fell in love with There Will Come a Darkness last year, especially the characters. So I was super excited to join back up with the gang in this sequel! (To be wholly honest, I thought this was a duology. I have no idea why I thought that, but I did. It isn't, there is definitely a third book!) Anyway, I am going to get my only negative out of the way first: I did ha You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I read and really fell in love with There Will Come a Darkness last year, especially the characters. So I was super excited to join back up with the gang in this sequel! (To be wholly honest, I thought this was a duology. I have no idea why I thought that, but I did. It isn't, there is definitely a third book!) Anyway, I am going to get my only negative out of the way first: I did have a bit of trouble getting back into it, remembering who/what/where everyone was, etc. There are quite a few main characters, and they ended up all over the place, and I did struggle a little at the start. But it was totally worth it, because once I got into it, I really got into it! The characters, as in the first book, are just the best. They are all so incredibly well-developed, with such complex personalities and story arcs, yet still it doesn't feel overwhelming. Their relationships with each other are equally complex, and so well done. I loved wondering who was going to meet up with who, and whether they'd fight or join forces! As for the stakes, they're sky high. We learn in book one that there is a doomsday prophecy of sorts, and so you can imagine that everyone is on edge, and rightfully so. There are factions who want the prophecy to come to fruition, those who don't, and those who have their own agendas entirely. It's good stuff, especially when you grow to care about the characters so much that you can kind of see everyone's points of view. Makes for some awesome gray morality, which I love! And frankly, the whole thing was just plain entertaining! Bottom Line:  A very solid sequel that features all the characters we've grown to love, along with an exciting morally gray plot. Looking very forward to the next book!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Emma Greco

    Yeah okay wow... A lot of thoughts so this isn’t a formal review but basically go read this series it’s criminally underrated and needs more hype That ending literally just left me staring at the last page blankly for like 3 minutes because WOW The main pairing is SO GOOD and I literally live for them I don’t really know how I’m going to wait for the next book...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Viv

    4.25 1. the way everything came together was satisfying af 2. all the characters/their povs are important (love all of their dynamics too but romance wise only enjoy jude x anton) 3. the last 10% like,, pls relax 4. gimme the next bk thx

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Don’tGoBrekkerMyHeart

    An amazing sequel! It certainly did not suffer the slow second book syndrome because I was hooked from the get-go. I think one of my favorite parts to this sequel was witnessing the consequences of the characters previous decisions and how these actions affect life going forward. Hassan, especially, was a character who grew on me during this book because he's trying to come back from manipulating his people and others. He was the weakest POV for me in the first book, and while he still is not my f An amazing sequel! It certainly did not suffer the slow second book syndrome because I was hooked from the get-go. I think one of my favorite parts to this sequel was witnessing the consequences of the characters previous decisions and how these actions affect life going forward. Hassan, especially, was a character who grew on me during this book because he's trying to come back from manipulating his people and others. He was the weakest POV for me in the first book, and while he still is not my favorite to read, I liked that he gave the reader a city perspective since all the other characters were moving across the country. He kept us grounded with updates, and he learned a lot along the way about his ancestry. Now just like in TWCAD- Beru is the standout POV for me because she is such a rarity in literature now a days. People continuously want to create characters mimicking extreme strength and power like Ephyra, but Beru is the compassionate, wholesome soul that I love to read about. She is not given a lot of POV time in this book, but each moment was a treasure to me. I adore her so much, and I'll forever gush about the sisterly love shared between Ephyra and Beru. They both may be at odds, but their love still is a standout to their personalities, which I think is a great contrast to Ilya and Anton, who also had an interesting turn of events and plot line to this sequel. Ephyra and Ilya's journey was not something I was expecting. Moreover, Anton and Jude are the close second in my favorites list for this trilogy. They both grow and change throughout the course of this sequel, and they gave me some of the rare heartwarming moments in this otherwise dark world. I loved that Katy chose to focus on their relationship more in this sequel, and it really allowed them to become fleshed out beyond their fears from the previous book. Both are courageous and selfless. They deserve happiness! Lastly, Ephyra's Indiana Jones moment was so... enlightening? I know Ephyra has her own agenda always, and she is the more ruthless between the sisters, but when she started to thaw a bit in this book, my heart roared with feelings. She's honestly more dainty at times than Beru because of what happens. Overall, I enjoyed this sequel more than TWCAD, which is a wonderful sentiment! I cannot wait to see where our characters go next, and I'm still biting my nails from the last 5oish pages of this book. HOW IN THE WORLD DID SO MUCH HAPPEN?! How will the trilogy wrap up? So many questions and barely any of them answered! P.S. There's some GREAT twists in this sequel, so if you're looking to have the rug pulled out from under you then do yourself a favor and grab this book ASAP.

  26. 4 out of 5

    USOM

    (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) As the Shadow Rises is like watching the reckoning of all the consequences from There Will Come a Darkness pass. Not THE Reckoning, but we watch the ripples of their actions spread out throughout the entire book. The conflicts of faith, of our heart, and the ethics which are tested. This sequel retains all the elements I loved from There Will Come a Darkness - like the emotional char (Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.) As the Shadow Rises is like watching the reckoning of all the consequences from There Will Come a Darkness pass. Not THE Reckoning, but we watch the ripples of their actions spread out throughout the entire book. The conflicts of faith, of our heart, and the ethics which are tested. This sequel retains all the elements I loved from There Will Come a Darkness - like the emotional characters and multiple POV - and adds a whole new level as history begins to unravel. Are we sure that the world around us, the beliefs we hold dear to us, unfolded the way we were taught? Were our heroes not human too? In As the Shadow Rises all our old enemies return back from our nightmares. It's a sequel of fear, power struggles in the void, and uncertainty in the shadow of change to come. It is action packed as allegiances change with the slightest breeze, everyone looking out for themselves. Some of my favorite characters ended up taking twists and turns I was NOT expecting. I loved watching the characters we thought we knew, be put through even more than they imagined, coming out the other side something else. full review: https://utopia-state-of-mind.com/revi...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    4.75/5 Stars *I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)/Macmillan, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.* As the Shadow Rises is the second book in The Age of Darkness trilogy by Katy Rose Pool, which takes place right where the first book ended off. I read There Will Come a Darkness earlier this year and it was definitely one of my favorite reads of 2020 so I was desperately hoping that the 4.75/5 Stars *I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher, Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)/Macmillan, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are completely my own.* As the Shadow Rises is the second book in The Age of Darkness trilogy by Katy Rose Pool, which takes place right where the first book ended off. I read There Will Come a Darkness earlier this year and it was definitely one of my favorite reads of 2020 so I was desperately hoping that the sequel would live up to my expectations and did not suffer from the cursed “middle book syndrome.” Let me tell you that As the Shadow Rises took my expectations and surpassed them! This book is full of so much action, adventure, twists and turns, and diverse characters that I could not help but love it as much as its predecessor. I literally could not put this book down and I did not want it to end! The Writing & Worldbuilding I simply adore Katy Rose Pool’s writing style. Her descriptions of place, character, setting, etc. are so amazingly crafted and she truly knows how to hook a reader from the first page. I absolutely love the world of The Age of Darkness trilogy that Pool has created. Each location is so unique, different, and beautifully portrayed on the page that I truly feel like I am there with the characters. Also, her ability to create and generate emotions (from both the characters and the reader) from just a few words and descriptions is superb and I love how she crafts dynamic characters and relationships that come to life on the page. The Characters One of my favorite things about this trilogy are the amazing characters! This book sees the return of our five main protagonists, other familiar characters (both expected and unexpected), and some new faces as well. Jude: Jude has returned to Kerameikos with Anton, the Last Prophet, but with the knowledge that he has broken the Paladin’s oath by going after Hector and abandoning his duties. Not to mention that his sense of duty is complicated by his uncertainty about his role as the Keeper of the Order of the Last Light and his growing feelings for Anton. This book sees a lot of character growth for Jude, especially in terms of him learning to grapple with what he wants versus what is expected of him and questioning everything about his life, including himself. Jude really learns to accept himself by the novel’s end and comes into his own, finally admitting to himself all of the things that he has been suppressing over the years. I loved every moment between him and Anton and their chemistry is amazing! They both really bring out the best in each other. (view spoiler)[I was literally dying at the jealous Jude moments, laughing at Jude’s attempts to hide his (obvious) feelings, and squealing when they finally kissed. They are probably one of my favorite ships, I love them together so much and they literally own my heart! I cannot wait to see more of the two of them together in the final book! (hide spoiler)] Anton: Anton, now in Kerameikos with Jude and the rest of the Order, is dealing with the roles and responsibilities that come with being the Last Prophet as well as working to face his vision of the Age of Darkness and how to stop it. I absolutely LOVE Anton with all my heart. I adored him in the first book and this book only made me love him more. Like Jude, Anton goes through a lot of character growth in this book and learns to accept his role as the Last Prophet. He must make a lot of difficult decisions in this book, even if it means facing some of the darkest moments in his life or dealing with emotional pain. I love his humor and overall personality, which works as the perfect contrast to the more serious Jude. We learn a little bit more about his past in this book and why he is the way he is due to his upbringing and his life on the streets, which I really enjoyed. As previously mentioned, I adore his relationship with Jude and their whole dynamic together. They both need each other in more ways than one, which I found really sweet and important in both of their storylines. Hassan: Hassan has returned to Nazirah, but with no real way to get back his throne and is willing to do anything to keep his people safe and reclaim his city, even if it means making some questionable decisions and working with even questionable allies. To be honest, I was not a huge fan of Hassan in the first book and this feeling continued for me throughout this one. Hassan has less chapters in this book than in the previous one (where his storyline seemed to reign) which made sense, but that only made me want more from him in this one. I was literally screaming at some of the choices he was making (view spoiler)[(like trusting the Hierophant and lying to the Scarab’s Wing, but hey, he is the Deceiver after all) (hide spoiler)] , but I could understand why he was making them. I hope to see him play a big role in the final book and I fully expect him to right his wrongs with his friends and his people at his side. Ephyra: Ephyra, truly without Beru for the first time in her life, is desperate to find the only thing capable of saving her sister, Eleazar’s Chalice, no matter the cost. Like Hassan, I was kind of iffy about Ephyra in the first book, although I do find her a very unique character and unlike any that I have read about before. I did like seeing slightly different parts of Ephyra in this book – the one that had to work with others to accomplish a single goal and the one that was a bit more emotional than in the previous book. She has very questionable morals, which only grow worse without Beru there to guide her and I liked seeing what Ephyra would be like without Beru. We definitely see a darker part of Ephyra in this book, especially in the latter part, but we also see the same Ephyra as before, willing to do anything in her power to protect Beru even if Beru no longer wants her protection. (view spoiler)[I do not know how I feel about her relationship with Illya, although I can definitely see them as some almighty power couple ready to take on the world. I feel as though there are no true feelings between them and that Ephyra only used Illya to keep the darkness away and to forget about her grief. (hide spoiler)] Beru: Beru, living on the last dregs of her newly “stolen” life, is trying to atone and make things right in any way she can. I really liked Beru in the first book and was so glad when we got to see more of her in the sequel. I just love her kindness and her desire to help others, she is just so pure and innocent. She always has the best intentions at heart and just really wants to atone for her stolen life and leave some good in the world to make up for the bad that she and Ephyra have caused. I liked witnessing her journey (literally and mentally) throughout the book and when she did something unexpected (view spoiler)[(I loved the moment when she pretended to be the Pale Hand in order to stop the unjust fighting in the pits and to free and save Hector.) (hide spoiler)] Despite loving the old characters that we knew from the first book, I was slightly underwhelmed by the new characters that were introduced. They fell a bit flat for me and were not super developed. I hope that we return to a few of them in the final book, though, because I would like to see more of them. The Plot Twists I really loved the twists and turns of this novel and there certainly were a lot of them, both predictable and unexpected. Pool definitely knows how to write plot twists and create wholly unexpected moments. (view spoiler)[I was definitely surprised that Hector was alive and the whole ending about some of the Prophets and the Necromancer King still being alive and Beru’s “possession” by the God were totally unexpected and kept me on the edge of my seat. (hide spoiler)] And that ending! Pool has wonderfully set us up for the final installment of the trilogy! Overall, I absolutely loved this book and found it a perfect second book to the trilogy. This book and the first one are definitely some of my favorite reads of 2020 and this series has to be one of my favorites. This series is so underrated, and I whole-heartedly recommend it to literally everyone. I cannot wait for the final installment! 2021 cannot come soon enough!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    *CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS * As the Shadow Rises is a solid successor to There Will Come a Darkness, remaining steadfast to the original storyline and tone, and for the most part avoiding second book syndrome. After leaving Beru, Ephyra is determined to find the fabled Eleazar’s Chalice, an object of great power she believes will be able to heal her sister permanently. Beru, on the other hand, meets someone unexpected, altering her course of action. Jude and Anton are ba *CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS * As the Shadow Rises is a solid successor to There Will Come a Darkness, remaining steadfast to the original storyline and tone, and for the most part avoiding second book syndrome. After leaving Beru, Ephyra is determined to find the fabled Eleazar’s Chalice, an object of great power she believes will be able to heal her sister permanently. Beru, on the other hand, meets someone unexpected, altering her course of action. Jude and Anton are back at the Paladin stronghold, one graceless and conflicted, the other uneasy in his new role. Hassan has to deal with the aftermath of his aunt’s coup and decide what he will do next. The beginning was strong—a certain twist that happened early on had me giddy. The middle meandered a bit, with the ending picking up and becoming a revelation-packed blur. However, as As the Shadow Rises approached its conclusion, the plot evolved into something much more formulaic—which can be both a good thing and a bad thing. For one, it adds structure to the story, on the other hand, it makes things more linear and generic. Out of all the characters, I found Ephyra to be the most compelling. She is definitely more of an antiheroine and makes some questionable decisions, but her motivation—that of saving her sister’s life—is seemingly pure at its heart. What are the lengths she will go? Makes you think. Beru was a good character too, and more of her inner thoughts are explored in this novel. Some secondary characters get bigger roles, including Illya (Anton’s brother) and someone else I won’t say because of *spoilers*. Hassan unfortunately did not get a lot of page time, but one of the choices he made...dang! Jude and Anton’s dynamic got real annoying fast. I never particularly liked Jude, and in this book he is still torn between pining after Anton and his duty. Anton wasn’t my absolute favorite character, but I still liked him. In this book, however, I feel like there was less of him? Near the end I had to keep checking to see whether the chapter was Anton’s or Jude’s POV...oops. This may be due in part to the fact that I didn’t find their journey as interesting as say, Ephrya or Beru’s. Most people who have read this series seem to adore the paladin and the prophet, so if you do, this probably will not bother you. The world isn’t necessarily inspired by one culture or civilization, but rather a mixture of them. There are Greek influences (Hierophant, Pallas, etc.) as well as Egyptian ones, which is cool because I don’t see Egyptian-inspired worlds a whole bunch. One thing that wasn’t really addressed was the concept of artifices, (I believe that’s what they are called) which is basically the idea that those blessed with the Grace of Mind can create advanced technology. It was brought up it the first book, but only briefly mentioned in the sequel. I would say that if you rated There Will Come a Darkness three stars or higher, you will probably want to read As the Shadow Rises. Be warned, though, there is a cliffhanger and it’ll be another year before Into the Dying Light is released... There Will Come a Darkness: 4 stars As the Shadow Rises: 4 stars Into the Dying Light:

  29. 4 out of 5

    Novel Novice

    It had been a while since I read the first book in this series, but it all came back to me fairly well once I started reading, and I was once again sucked into this world. I loved being re-submerged into the multiple storylines and the magic of this world. I was hooked again, and eager to see how events would unfold. I loved the twists, the reveals, and seeing how the characters evolved and adapted as the story progressed. And it certainly progressed quickly. There were a few times where I felt It had been a while since I read the first book in this series, but it all came back to me fairly well once I started reading, and I was once again sucked into this world. I loved being re-submerged into the multiple storylines and the magic of this world. I was hooked again, and eager to see how events would unfold. I loved the twists, the reveals, and seeing how the characters evolved and adapted as the story progressed. And it certainly progressed quickly. There were a few times where I felt like the author "told" rather than "showed;" in some ways, it made those parts of the book feel rushed -- but at the same time, I appreciated the fast pace. For such a hefty-sized book, it was a fairly quick read. This was a solid addition to the series, and I am eager to see how it concludes in the third book.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mora

    I AM NOT OKAY?!?! oh my god i have so much i want to say about this but right now i'm still reeling I AM NOT OKAY?!?! oh my god i have so much i want to say about this but right now i'm still reeling

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