Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Morgan Keyes
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
After escaping Lutecia with both their darkbeasts and their lives, Keara, Goran, and Taggart are traversing the snowy forests in search of a rumor. The rumor is that a colony of darkbeast supporters—aka darkers—is located somewhere in those woods. The three Travelers find the colony, but Caw, Keara’s darkbeast, is uneasy about the darkers. Caw’s fears are solidified when the colonists turn in Keara, Goran, and Taggart to the Inquisitors. The three are taken back to Lutecia to undergo the torturous repentance of those unfaithful to their religious traditions. While incarcerated, Keara meets Dillon, heir to the throne of Duodecia. Dillon befriends Keara and uses his influence to lighten the load of their imprisonment. But when Dillon takes it too far, he is taken before his father and other Inquisitors to justify his interference. The case goes badly, but a diversion by darkers helps Keara, Goran, Taggart, and Dillon to escape. The rebels lead the group to a true darkers colony, but Dillon is not prepared to accept their ways. After weeks of connecting with his own darkbeast, Dillon is accepted into the colony, along with Keara, Goran, and Taggart.
Keyes sequel to Darkbeast explores the deeper sides of belief, friendship, loyalty, and love. In Darkbeast, Keara felt alone in loving Caw and hid the truth from others. In Darkbeast Rebellion, Keara is not alone in loving her darkbeast and is unafraid to live what she believes. With support in numbers, Keara teaches Dillon the healing bond between man and darkbeast. But Keara’s attention to Dillon causes Goran to pull away, thinking he has been replaced as Keara’s best friend. However, their background and surviving so many trials together helps the two to reconnect in an unbreakable friendship. What would have strengthened Keyes’s story is a map showing the journey of Keara and her group. This would help readers know the timeframe of their travels and solidify the setting for Keyes’s book. A thought-provoking fantasy appropriate for ages twelve and up.