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Rift Hardcover – August 7, 2012
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"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up- In 1404, Ember, 16, should have been the wife of a rich landowner, but she has been promised to Conatus, a group of monklike warriors shrouded in mystery and housed and trained in Tearmunn, an estate in the Scottish Lowlands. Ember's birth was nearly fatal for her mother and, at his wits end, her father called upon Conatus for help. A midwife saved both the baby and her mother, but the cost was dear; Ember was promised to Conatus. When a brooding and handsome warrior named Barrow comes to collect her, Ember all too willingly joins the elite guard. The bulk of the book details her initiation, training, and gradual understanding of the magic that is at work at Tearmunn. Alternating chapters give insight into Cian and Eira, sister warriors who are part of the circle of leaders of Conatus. Readers slowly grow to understand that Eira is beckoned to the dark side and, in Cremer's world, this is evil indeed. They will need to be patient with the slow start of Rift, but those who persevere will be rewarded with a richly layered, supernatural romance both appealing and unique. Ember and Barrow's connection is steamy (but not explicit). Ember is a realistic heroine whose warrior skills make her a formidable protagonist, and Cremer deftly weaves in an antagonist in the form of the well-intentioned Eira. Ties to the "Nightshade" trilogy (Philomel) are loose, and this prequel is refreshingly able to stand alone.-Tara Kehoe, Plainsboro Public Library, NJα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
“A bit different from Nightshade, this is a book for historical and paranormal romance lovers alike. ...A great new book that will leave you breathless.” – Romantic Times
“A richly layered, supernatural romance both appealing and unique.” – School Library Journal
“Cremer’s trademark quick pace, romantic sensuality, and strong female characters will have fans clamoring for the next title.” - Booklist
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Ember is being collected to pay a debt that was owed for her very life to begin. In order to save her and her mother, her father made a deal for a special healer to send his daughter for service to a secretive sect of the church. When they come to collect, her father is distraught (having better plans to marry her off for his own political influence), but Ember is actually excited to leave the future life of a wife and a mother. She knows there is more out there for her. When she arrives, she is shocked to learn just how much is out there... but not surprised enough to leave.
After the initiation where Ember chooses her path as a hunter, it is the prey that changes her life. Horrible supernatural creatures threaten innocent people, and they are responsible for keeping innocents safe. When her mentor is chosen, she is first nervous then excited to learn it is to be Barrow, a man whose mere presence leaves her longing. But it is his expertise and strength on the battlefield that has her excited to train with him. What none of them expected, however, is the horrible evil that is brewing right under their noses. And the worst part of that evil is its ability to corrupt good hunters with warped ideas of how the means can justify the ends. Now the hunters who refuse to ever side with evil may be hunted themselves, by the very people they trust the most.
This was a phenomenal prequel, and I have to say I think it was even better than the first series! I always loved the pack dynamic and how the wolf side played into everyone's lives, but this connection to the Knights Templar and the hunting of so many kinds of evil is just too interesting! I think it adds this additional layer of intrigue that makes me appreciate the original series even more. I know there is a second book out there to this prequel series, but I hope Cremer will keep going with it! It reminds me of Sarwat Chadda's Devil's Kiss, especially with the strong female hunter role who struggles to balance being a woman, being a hunter, and how that job is societally unacceptable for women. It makes for one heck of a leading lady!
Having read about this history behind the Guardians, the Searchers, and the Keepers, I now wonder how I read that original series without knowing this information. It seems so vital to the story! In fact, I think I would suggest someone to read this series before Nightshade if they haven't already read those books. I think this story is really exciting and will help your understanding of the Guardians even more. Although, maybe it will reveal TOO much from the original series? I guess it is your call! But whatever you do, don't skip any of Cremer's books!
Unfortunately, I was totally let down. You see, I would have gone cheeringly along with a new rider being able to go at a trot and then a gallop on her first day. It is clearly set in a pre-industrial world and she is a 'special' heroine. I would go along with being able to ride from village to village because of the magic that exists in the story. I would even have skipped along with being able to smith, pound, cool and polish a small metal weapon in a single night. But I do draw the line at throwing the heroine into battle with a weapon she got two days before and had used once. These characters that do that are military men used to battle. It insults the reader and the characters, as well as demeans the set up by throwing a character into a situation like this. Someone this green would be more a hinderance than a help. Compounding all these errors just made my brain cramp.
The writer does herself no favors by repeating the same reaction of her heroine to just about everything. All she does in blush, she doesn't stutter or any gulp or anything else that could happen when you are embarrassed. Not to draw in a totally adult book, but the same problem appears in 50 Shades of Grey. I am a writer myself, so I understand how easy it is to have a set reaction for any situation your character bumps into. But really, this too, insults the reader. You get a case of the dreaded "Said-pox". In this case, her cheeks turned pink, her cheeks heated. Nearly as bad as some romance novels, the old fashioned bodice rippers.
I hope that her other books are better because I feel robbed with this one and will not try again...