Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Andrew Shvarts
Tillandra Kent has made it to Lightspire as a ward of the king, just what she always wished for. The princess Lyriana is spinning out of control, and the life of luxury and ease is turning out to be anything but something that Tilla herself can enjoy. On top of all that, her university roommate is murdered seemingly without cause, her father is the enemy of Lightspire and a war with him rages on, and perhaps most importantly, things are not going well with her boyfriend, Zell. As Tilla and crew attempt to discover what happened to her roommate, they catapult into the machinations of an anti-government cult, the suspicious connivings of the King's chancellor, and into ultimate chaos when the city falls. Strangely, it is in chaos that Tilla finds sure footing and finds herself.
This is a very enjoyable and well-written thrill ride and, as a sequel, compares well with the first book. It is told in the first person from Tilla's point of view, and her sarcastic and self-deprecating but honest voice make her easy to relate to. Her perspective gives the story extra momentum as a central character to all parts of the story. She also has a personal sense of morality and commitment to purpose and rectitude that make her a positive influence for young girls. The story reveals itself at a good pace, and that keeps both the action and plot in constant motion. The characters behave in ways that are true to people of their age and position, which makes a remarkable story believable. This is a great read to settle with in front of a fire or in a chair at the beach. It's not life changing with deep themes and meaning, but it is very entertaining.
*Contains mild sexual content, moderate violence, and moderate language.