4 out of 4 stars
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This is the second book in the Divergent Chill fantasy series and can be read as a standalone book, but I would advise that the first book be read just for the sheer spectacle of it!
Divergent Chill: Fall of Night begins not too long after the first book in the series, Battle of Nesma, ends. The Divergent Chilali, of a race almost exclusively female, found in the sacred forest and blessed with extreme speed and strength but also with excessive anger, has survived her betrayal and attempted murder. While bound in her mountain prison, she discovers in her attempts to escape that she possesses an ice elemental power and begins her quest for revenge with her new persona of Chill. Her journey back to the Empire to kill those who imprisoned her is fraught with danger. Danger in that not only must she face a terrifying new foe in the form of Nightspawn, but danger in that what was once civil about her is slipping away and a vengeful, angry monster taking its place. Meanwhile Alden Amos, who still believes Chill to be dead, has escaped from the Emperor's clutches and is stationed at Rosewood when he receives word that the Ragebourne Shank is once again killing and eating children. As he sets out with a hunting party to confront Shank for the second time, he has no idea that this quest is part of a big political game which will pit friend against friend and force foes to work together. Will Chill succeed in her desire for justice for herself, and will Alden, when realising that he is a pawn in someone else's game manage to keep those he swore to protect, safe?
I was really impressed that even though over four years had elapsed between the two novels, that the author kept the continuity in style and flow of writing. Once again characters' emotions and actions were so well described that I was right there in their world with them. Chill's first encounter with the sea had me gasping for air as I experienced every breath that she took. The colours, shapes and textures of cities, clothing and landscapes were vividly and richly portrayed. As with the first book an epic battle creates the climax to this part of the story and the movements and actions of the characters were so intensely depicted that I could feel the blades rip into my skin; and when the inevitable deaths occurred, my heart felt shattered.
Unfortunately I was disappointed in the silly editing mistakes. There weren't too many, but enough to make you stop and have to reread sentences. Looking at the series as a whole I understand where certain elements are necessary to create the storyline, but I felt that some of the explanations of the political moves became a bit stale and long-winded, causing me to lose concentration. There is a lot of violence in the book, but in its context it's necessary for the story. Those with weak stomachs may be put off though.
I rate this book by Brian Fontenot 4 out of 4 stars and would recommend it for mature young adults and up. It is another impressive instalment in the series that takes you straight out of your current environment and smack into the grimy dust of a quest, the sumptuous smells of banquet food and the rough textures of a Ragebourne's pelt. I am eagerly awaiting the next one in the series.
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