Friday, November 19, 2021

Freeform Friday: Redemptor (Raybearer #2)- Jordan Ifueko

Summary: For the first time, an Empress Redemptor sits on Aritsar's throne. To appease the sinister spirits of the dead, Tarisai must now anoint a council of her own, coming into her full power as a Raybearer. She must then descend into the Underworld, a sacrifice to end all future atrocities.

Tarisai is determined to survive. Or at least, that's what she tells her increasingly distant circle of friends. Months into her shaky reign as empress, child spirits haunt her, demanding that she pay for past sins of the empire.

With the lives of her loved ones on the line, assassination attempts from unknown quarters, and a handsome new stranger she can't quite trust . . . Tarisai fears the pressure may consume her. But in this finale to the Raybearer duology, Tarisai must learn whether to die for justice . . . or to live for it. (Summary and pic from goodreads.com)

My Review: This is the second book in the “Raybearer” series. See my review of Raybearer here. I think it’s sometimes hard to follow up an exciting book. There’s a lot of pressure to keep the story going, and to get your readers up to speed without losing your momentum. I’m not sure this book was able to do all of this.

Before I write a review (and after I’ve read the book, of course) I go back and read the description that Goodreads has for it, just to make sure I’m back in the mood of the book. This book’s description is exciting. There is a lot to cover and a lot to get done, and to conclude this part of the story (and possibly the series, as Goodreads only has two books listed right now) a lot of things had to happen. I would say that those things happened, but I just didn’t find them very exciting. I’ve been searching my soul as to why this was. On the surface, it seems like I should have been totally swept up in this book. I like YA fiction, I enjoy strong female characters, and I love books that take place in interesting places with rich cultures. This book had all of it. However, instead of feeling as strong as she did the first book, she just felt whiny and indecisive. I understand that no one is completely strong all the time, but maybe I was just sick of the extent of it. The book seemed to go on and on, and then the parts that were important felt rushed. For instance, in the ending of this book (and I’m trying to keep ya’ll spoiler free here) there is a culmination of everything where Tarisai goes to the underworld, and in the end, it just sort of rushes through it all. Like she’s been dithering around the whole countryside for an entire book, but the important parts are concluded within a few paragraphs. Or just skipped over. Remember the end of one of the Twilight books (and I forget which one and don’t care enough to go looking) where Boring Bella sleeps through the whole fight and just wakes up on the other side? It wasn’t that bad, but it felt similar to it. There are other parts in the book that are like this as well. Also, the story itself felt disjointed and just kind of like the characters were muddling about without much direction. They wanted places to go, they had things to do, but the story just didn’t come out to organically allow them to do what they needed them to do.

Now that all being said, I feel like this was a fine conclusion to the book. The things that needed to happen, happened, and there was enough of a conclusion that if there isn’t another installment to this series, we’ll be fine. However, there is an opening for either another installment or an adjacent series as well. That’s a good place to be in.

If you read Raybearer, you should absolutely read this book. And the series is definitely worth your time. It’s got some great female characters, and an interesting culture and fantastical realm that is enjoyable.

My Rating: 3 stars

For the sensitive reader: There is some language and a sex scene, but on par with others in the YA genre.

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