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As the Shadow Rises (The Age of Darkness, 2) Hardcover – September 1, 2020
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From the Publisher
What is the inspiration behind The Age of Darkness Trilogy?
The series began with the characters. Each of them came to me somewhat separately––reckless gambler Anton, exiled prince Hassan, dutiful Jude, Ephyra the killer, and her dying sister Beru. I knew their individual quests, fears, and secrets, and I knew that they were somehow all connected. It was really in figuring out that connection that the rest of the story came to me––the prophecy, the world of the Six Prophetic Cities, the Graces, and the Hierophant and his Witnesses.
I was really interested in exploring this common trope in fantasy: prophecy and the Chosen One, and delving into what that means. What happens in a world that used to rely on prophecy, and now no longer can? What happens if there isn’t one Chosen One, but five? How do each of these very different people react to the knowledge that they will either save the world or destroy it? How do their own goals and desires shape the way their destinies unfold? These questions became the core of the series.
Which of your characters is your favorite to write and why?
I always enjoy writing Anton’s perspective, because he’s definitely someone whose internal life doesn’t necessarily match how he presents himself to the world. He has this sort of carefree, ruffian persona, but inside he’s much more calculating and closed-off than he lets on. And then in As the Shadow Rises, I was excited about getting to delve deeper and show more of Beru’s journey.
What do you hope readers will gain in reading this series?
When I set out to write this series I wanted to write a book with a big scope and epic stakes, and most of all, characters that are in turns compelling, lovable, and frustrating. What I hope readers will get out of the series is a cast of characters they can fall in love with, a world they want to explore more of, and a plot that keeps them guessing and speculating until the very end.
From School Library Journal
"As the Shadow Rises solidifies Katy Rose Pool's status as one of the best fantasy writers of the 21st century." ―Popsugar
* "Adventurous relic-hunting, mind-blowing twists, budding love, and terrible betrayals feature in this multiple-narrator, character-driven study of power, agency, and identity and the ways these are affected by the interwoven threads of both history and legend." ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Nailbiting plot twists." ― The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Praise for The Age of Darkness:
A Morris Award Finalist for best debut young adult novel!
FOUR STARRED reviews!
A Tor.com Best YA SFF/Horror Book of the Year!
A Kirkus Best Book of the Year!
An Indigo Best Book of the Year!
"One of the most stunning debuts of the year." ―Seventeen
“A can’t miss debut from an exciting new talent.” ― New York Time bestselling author Kiersten White
* "A well-crafted, surprising, and gripping start to a new trilogy." ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Pool accomplishes a masterful balance of exposition, action, and characterization . . . full of genuinely surprising and interesting twists that will have readers anxious to get to the last page." ―The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, starred review
“I dare you not to fall madly in love with the cast of characters.” ―New York Times bestselling author Laura Sebastian
"Reading this intricate YA fantasy, you get the feeling Katy Rose Pool’s plot is always seven steps ahead of you. You’ll want to catch up as quickly as possible." ―Refinery 29
* "High stakes, abundant action, and realistic romances." ―Publishers Weekly, starred review
* "[S]et apart by its immersive worldbuilding and compelling narrators." ―Shelf Awareness, starred review
"Explosive." ―New York Times bestselling author Sara Holland
"[G]ripped me until the very last pages." ―Julie C. Dao, author of Forest of a Thousand Lanterns
"There Will Come a Darkness feels both utterly original and like the best of classic fantasy" ―Tasha Suri, author of Empire of Sand
- Publisher : Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (September 1, 2020)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 496 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1250211778
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250211774
- Reading age : 14 - 18 years
- Grade level : 10 - 12
- Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.43 x 1.69 x 9.15 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #129,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book was everything I'd hoped it would be and more!! I loved loved loved how this story progressed and I was riveted from the first page to the last. Ok...ok...I'll admit there were some POVs that didn't thrill me as much in this book as in the first - where I loved them all. In Shadow Rises, a couple were just a wee bit boring for me, but with how this story is formatted and how the POV swaps from chapter to chapter these slower sections did not quell my love of the story or lesson the pace of the book.
Shadow Rises further delves into the lore of this world and its faster paced than There Will Come a Darkness as much of the world building and character development aspects have already been established. It was so easy to get sucked into this world and I gasped a few times at some of the reveals. I raced through these pages knowing that I should try to savor them more as Book 3 is just a glimmer on the horizon and seems impossibly far away. This gang of misfit strangers must learn to trust one another in a world that has always betrayed them in one way or another. But if they fail to come together than the entire world and everything they've ever known is at stake.
Shadows Rise is a hard book to review as its book 2 in a series so can't say too much without giving the entire plot away. Just know that this book doesn't fall into the book 2 slump that's mostly filler and where not much is added to the story. Because there is a lot that happens and I am dying to see how it will all turn out in the third and final book.
Recommended for fans of The Lumatere Chronicles and Six of Crows Duology
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.
As the Shadow Rises picks up where There Will Come a Darkness leaves off. Alternating chapters follow different characters and the continuing journey to try to stop the Age of Darkness from coming or to figure out their rolls in it.
This fantasy tale is a lot to keep up with, but the characters are interesting enough that I don’t have much trouble keeping the stories straight and the book moves fast. There were a lot of surprises in this book as well and of course the romance between Jude and Anton which kept me going for sure. I will definitely continue reading this series when the next book is released and I give this one 4 stars.
The end of the world begins indeed!
Picking up almost immediately after where we left off in There Will Come a Darkness, As the Shadow Rises is ready to explore the consequences of our POV characters’ actions in the previous book. Everything they’ve learned, everything they’ve sacrificed is sliding into place in a greater scheme, even as it all unravels.
Jude and Anton must reckon with the Order and broken oaths. Hassan grapples with the damage to his beloved city, Nazirah. And as Beru searches for a way to escape her half-life entirely, Ephyra does everything in her power and then some to prevent it from coming to pass.
There are no easy choices. In this series, there never were.
“There’s something dark inside of us.”
I think what makes As the Shadow Rises so strong of a sequel is its commitment to bad choices. Not bad choices on the author’s part, but bad choices from the characters. Though they have good intentions, even loving ones, their actions have consequences that ripple out into the wider reaches of Pelagos. And when their intentions are far from good?
Friends, I am fragile.
Truth be told, this feels like a section I should dedicate to Ephyra. The other four main characters mostly find their motivation in noble goals, or at least goals that seek to do more good than harm. And while Ephyra’s quest is to save Beru’s life, she’s willing to do terrible things along the way. Unlike the other characters, she crosses lines so much more readily, and with much less deliberation. She will quite literally do anything for Beru, and it absolutely wrecks me.
Even worse? When she thinks she’s out of options, she’s as self-destructive as it gets. That, really, is what makes Ephyra my favorite character. Sometimes, she doesn’t have an angle. Sometimes, she loses sight of her purpose. And when that happens, all hell breaks loose. It’s a fantastic character study of what happens when a good character spirals out of control and knows they’re making bad decisions, and it’s intensely refreshing to read about.
And of course, the rest of the cast was a joy in so many ways. Anton and Jude remain a delightful duo even under pressure, Hassan is trying so hard to navigate life in Nazirah under the Hierophant’s control, and Beru aims to do something right with her stolen life before her revenant body fails at last. But at the end of the day, Ephyra is absolutely my favorite, and a shining example of how to make a complex, flawed character worth rooting for.
As the Shadow Rises also excels in opening up the world of Pelagos!
Previously, with all the characters wandering Pallas Athos, we didn’t get much of a chance to explore the wider world. Now, though, with everyone scattered to the winds in the wake of the Hierophant’s actions in Nazirah, it’s an entirely new place. I loved our trip further into the desert, both in the cities along the way and the landmarks in between. Glimpsing other cities and wonders, too, like the Floating Gardens labeled on the map, was a treat (though I’m biased toward this one because it’s just such a beautiful concept)!
I do wish that the new supporting cast had half the charm of the expanded world, though. Really, I think this is the one part of As the Shadow Rises that didn’t stick the landing. Ephyra in particular gets to accompany a new miniature cast, and in the end, I felt like a number of leads fell away where there could have been greater substance. I mean, if you’re going to have characters withhold secrets, at least tie it in to the broader plot?
And if you’re going to hand me a group of thieves, don’t squander them, I’m begging you. Yes, this is about Parthenia and Numir, and no, I will not accept anything less than further backstory. I’m getting sapphic warrior/librarian vibes and refuse to back down. (Plus, Ephyra’s initial reaction to Parthenia? Bi as hell. Please let her be bi.)
Anyway, that little drawback doesn’t outweigh the enjoyment I got out of As the Shadow Rises, not by any means! It remains a fantastic series, and the new world-building really shines. The addition of new locales breathes life in the setting, and the added lore? The Relics?
Precisely my kind of thing. 👀
So, happy book birthday to As the Shadow Rises!
It’s out on shelves now, so you no longer have to wait to see what these five teenage disasters are up to! And cut them some slack, will you? They’re all under twenty and trying to intimidate a prophecy into going their way. Pretty bold of them, and damn exhausting, I’m sure. (Can you tell that I really just want to protect all five of them? 🥺)
If you loved There Will Come a Darkness, it’s time to get to this sequel as soon as you can. Based on As the Shadow Rises alone, I think we’re in for an absolute storm of a finale when the last book arrives…
CW: violence, gambling, loss of a loved one, suicide, human trafficking
Top reviews from other countries
Tutto sommato la trama procede più lentamente rispetto al primo volume della trilogia, in quello che solitamente viene definito il "destino del secondo libro", ma non per questo l'ho trovato banale o meno interessante. Al contrario, credo che la minore intensità di eventi abbia portato un maggiore approfondimento dei personaggi, fornendo un'introspezione che nel primo libro a tratti era venuta meno, e chiarendo diversi aspetti lasciati in sospeso.
Va da sé che, essendo il secondo volume, "As The Shadow Rises" ha un finale aperto in attesa del capitolo conclusivo che chiuderà il cerchio. Fino ad allora, posso solo rimanere in attesa in compagnia del solito vuoto fino all'uscita del terzo volume.
Voto: 4,5 su 5.
How did I get so attached to all of these characters so fast?
What is going on here?
This book goes way more into details about the setting, the lore and the inner workings of the world and I am here for it.
I am not even sure I can say much more.