Title: SILENT KINGDOM
Series: SILENT KINGDOM #1
Author: RACHEL L. SCHADE
Genre: YOUNG ADULT, FANTASY
ABOUT THE BOOK
Some fates can’t be escaped.
Chosen by truth. Marked for death. Halia must choose to save her kingdom, or let it fall.
Misroth’s king has died, and the entire kingdom is in mourning—or so it seems. After her father is crowned regent in his brother’s stead, Princess Halia discovers a terrible truth that could end her life. But when she flees to live in hiding, she discovers that the Royal Guard are not all she has to fear. Dark creatures stalk her, reports of oppression and war reach her ears, and her burden to protect her kingdom—at any cost—will not be silenced.
AUTHOR GUEST POST
My Writing Process
Once upon a time, I used to be a huge pantser. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, it refers to a writer who doesn’t plan or outline—they literally begin a novel with the vaguest plot idea or two and then write by the seat of their pants.
The spontaneous part of my personality loves how adventurous this can be. Sometimes it feels like the book is writing itself, and you as the author can find yourself as surprised by your plot’s twists and turns as your readers. However, it can also be a very time-consuming and messy way to write. Halfway through, I would realize I wanted to change huge plot points or my character arcs and that meant most of what I’d written needed to be scrapped. I would get stuck in a cycle of rewriting.
Over time, I began to adapt my writing process. Now, I am a happy blend of a plotter and pantser—a plantser. (OK, OK, I know these terms sound pretty silly. But they are what they are). I try to plan out most of the big plot details of a book before I begin writing so I at least have half an idea of where it is headed. It keeps me flexible to new inspiration that can change my plot direction a bit as I go, and helps everything feel “fresh” and exciting as I write—I still have the potential of surprising myself as I go—but it adds more direction and purpose to my project.
As for how I write, I occasionally write while listening to music (mostly instrumental), but most of the time I prefer silence. Instead, I prefer to listen to music during brainstorming sessions because I find it inspiring. I’ve also found that I write best in chronological order (since I leave some elements of the plot up in the air), so everything can develop naturally in my mind. And, despite how adamantly some writers preach against it, I do some light self-editing as I draft. It’s almost a compulsion. And hey, it works out all right for me!
It was definitely an enjoyable book. Lots of fascinating thing happened in the story, and I was so captivated by its pure beauty. Totally loved it!
This book follows the journey of Halia, a royal princess from Misroth who were sentenced to death by her own father for speaking the truth. Eventually, she survived and escaped to Evren living a new life as Elena. There, she met a guy named Avrik who later become her best friend. 4 years later, a shocking news about her kingdom reached her ears and her gift suddenly make a reappearance, making her made a decision to leave her new life behind in order to save her kingdom.
This book does remind me of The Remnant Chronicles a bit, from the characters to the storyline. I suddenly felt a little bit nostalgic about the whole thing. Honestly, I really did enjoy this one. I loved the concept of speaking the truth, glad that the author used it in the story and make it unique. ‘Truth’ is Halia’s gift, she had this visions where she can see and know things without actually seeing it and learning about it. Her gift is unique, and her gift is what makes her automatically speak the truth about what she saw in her visions. She obviously can’t lie, no matter how hard she try, she will always speak the truth. When her vision suddenly disappeared and she turned mute for 4 years, I was shocked and honestly worried that she might not be able to speak again. Little did I know that it all has something to do with her vision.
It’s very rare to have a protagonist like Halia, whose gift is to speak the truth. ‘Truth’ is what matters the most, even in real life, truth always matters, and even though it can be hurtful, it can also be helpful. Most people rather take the lies than the truth, because they were afraid of the truth, but to me, I rather take the truth than the lies. This book portrayed what the truth can do to people, how much the truth affected a person, and the portrayal of it was solid and on point. This is one of the reason why I loved this book and find it unique. This type of book is very hard to find, this is the first time I ever read anything with this concept.
Halia went through a lot of tough things in the story. The beginning of it was so heartbreaking for me to read. She was just a 13-year-old girl and already sentenced to death by her own father. The way Narek (captain of the royal guards) and the other guards pushed her and left her to die was really harsh. I felt bad for her. But I was glad to know that she survived, but also sad to know that she can’t speak so suddenly. I was wondering why she became mute all of a sudden, but was satisfied later on by the explanation. Her gift works differently in a unique way, and it has something to do with the Giver of Life (sort of like their god), and her visions. It really took Halia 4 years to be able to speak again, and for her vision to reappeared.
There wasn’t a lot of action in this book, only a few, but even those few actions were epic and well-written. My most favorite action scene was when Halia faced her father in the final two chapters, it just shows how far her character has changed, but it was a good change. Also, the plot twists, it was all unpredictable, I totally didn’t see it all coming! Especially the first chapter that showed how Halia’s uncle was killed, I was like “Damn, I’m just on chapter one and this already happened!” I never thought the author would do that on the very first chapter.
The whole story does flow so well, and the whole plot does make sense. At first, I don’t understand what Halia’s father’s motive was for doing what he did, but after I found out later on, I totally understood it and can see clearly why he did what he did, but still he was pretty evil. Everything was well-plotted, there’s always been a reason why certain things happened the way it is.
It ended in a cliffhanger, you know how I feel about it! Even though it was a clever way to end a story, but it was also makes me want to scream because of the way it ended. I’m so eager to find out what happens next, and I can’t wait any longer! The frustration was real! But it also kind of hinting the readers on what to expect in the next book, and setting up everything for the continuation. I can tell from that ending, the next book will be a lot more intense than this one. This one has its own intense moments too, but like I said there’s not much, only a few.
The world-building was unique, and beautiful. Even though we didn’t get to see much of the places that was mentioned in this book, but just the little description of it makes me so excited to see it, well hopefully in the upcoming books. The story takes place in both Misroth and Evren. Both are unique on its own, but I find Evren to be more beautiful than Misroth. Misroth kinda look miserable, the way I see it, the people had to live in fear because of their current king. But I do hope to see more of it, to learn more about the tradition of the people who lived there (because I don’t get to see much of it). As for Evren, we’ll be seeing a lot of it. Thanks to Halia for living there for 4 years. The tradition of the people who lived in Evren is totally different than the one in Misroth, I get to learn what type of celebration do the Evren people celebrate, and what kind of culture they have there, and so far it was all beautiful and totally captivating. The people of Misroth and the people of Evren has different beliefs (if I’m not mistaken), and that also play a part with Halia’s gift, and I admit it was well-plotted by the author. This epic and beautiful world isn’t easy to build, especially putting it in writing, but the author really done a great job at writing and describing the places, the people in it and so on. I’m excited to see what the author has in store for other places that was mentioned for a couple of times in this book that we haven’t seen yet.
The writing was very-very excellent. As I said, writing this type of story isn’t easy. I liked how the author write this whole story, especially writing and describing Misroth and Evren, and also describing the cultures and traditions of the people from both places. Also, writing about the creatures like the Sedwa. Writing it might look easy, but describing the creature itself is hard. It’s totally not easy to make the creature look uniquely scary and different from other creatures that already existed in the other fantasy world, but the author did her best in making the creature totally new and different and scary. Making up and writing this fantasy world of Silent Kingdom is totally tough, but I respect the author for putting a lot of works into her writing and trying to make it look perfect. Creating this totally new fantasy world requires a lot of research, a lot of thinking, a lot of description and explanation for certain things. Must be hard and stressful, and I truly appreciate the author for being able to write it and finished it, and also for delivering a good and epic story.
I loved the pacing of the story, I hope it remain the way it is because it was interesting enough already. It’s not too slow or too fast, just fast but not too fast (if you know what I mean), and I was very glad of it because if the pacing is slow or too slow, I might get bored and just completely not in the mood to continue/finish it. The pacing was fine, and I admit at certain point I was nervous it might somehow slow down, but luckily it didn’t.
The only thing I hope for the upcoming books to have is, chapters from the hero’s POV (Avrik). The whole story were told from the heroine’s POV (Halia). So I was hoping for Avrik to get his own too, at least the readers know what he was thinking the whole time, and how he view the whole situation through his own eyes. And most importantly, learn a lot more about him. I wouldn’t mind that Halia tells the whole story, it’s just that I hope for Avrik to get his chance to tell the story too. Probably added other important characters too, like Gillen, and Narek.
The characters were given great dialogues. It wasn’t cheesy or lame, but it was very highly important and interesting. Through their dialogues, it showed their maturity a lot. Even with their young age (Halia, Avrik, Narek), the dialogues that the author gave their characters made them look like they were mature adults. I wouldn’t mind that honestly, at least it shows that their characters aren’t childish, and it help the readers see how grown up and mature their characters are. The dialogues work so well with their characters, it doesn’t matter what their age are.
The characters were amazing and unique on their own way, especially the main characters. Some can be easily read, some are difficult to understand. Each of the characters that appear in the story plays an important part and each contributed something into the story, whether it was small or big. We get to see how these characters come together and why they are so important.
Halia is a royal princess, who later took up a new identity named Elena. Whether she’s Halia or Elena, she’s still the same person, just with different personality. When I read the book and get to the part where she became Elena, I can see the difference in her character. Her personality changed once she become Elena, but a small part of her that is Halia still lived inside of her. She’s very sassy, fierce, strong and brave. But deep inside, she had to live with guilt and shoulder her own burden. She masked away all the hurt and the pain so that others won’t see it. I truly felt her, and can relate to her situation. Living a new life in Evren is a good thing for her, because she can have a fresh start, living with a lovable family, and making new great friends, at least she wasn’t lonely like her life as a royalty. Her life adventure in Evren is my most favorite part, she was free of her miserable old life, and seeing her laugh and smile so often makes me happy. Seeing her spending a lot of time with Avrik really cheers me up. She finally get to live a life like normal people do, and for that I’m thankful that the author put her in this lovely adventure of her life. Even then, there was still a part of her that was worried about her cousin, Gillen. She left him behind but it wasn’t her choice, so I get her guilt. The years she spend living in Evren helps in developing her character. She become more braver than she was before, even though sometimes she was scared and afraid, but the moment she came back to Misroth, we get a new version of Halia. The one that isn’t scared of anything, the one that isn’t worried to speak and spread the truth to her own people in order to bring down the evil that is her father. She’s the best heroine and protagonist this story could get. She acted so maturely, she speak so highly and has a clever way with words, she also make a proper and careful decisions, and everything about her character is so likable. She is literally the best, and always up for a challenge.
Avrik, the hero of the story is also as likable as Halia/Elena, but the final moment of him and her hurts me more. He’s so charming and very friendly and is the only one who talks the whole time he was with Halia, because she can’t speak due to her speaking ability suddenly gone temporarily. There’s not much we can learn about him, only a few, about his hobby, his background, and also a few of his thoughts about the current situation he and Halia faced. So, I hope he get his own chapters that can help the readers understand him more and learn all the things that he hide. He’s also as brave as Halia and can basically hold his own in a fight…have you seen his fighting skills or his archery skills? This guy has some mad skills and I was pretty impressed. His character is very great, and Avrik as a person is just so kind and genuine, he truly cares about the people he hold dear. He always spend time with Halia and teach her a few things about swords-fighting and how to build a fire. He’s so great to have in this story, definitely another character that everyone can easily love aside from Halia.
Gillen is Halia’s cousin, the crown prince of Misroth. Even though he didn’t appear much in this story, but his character is important to the story. He was supposed to inherit the throne, but since he’s not yet of age, Halia’s father has to take the throne and become king regent of Misroth. Now, 4 years later it was supposed to be Gillen’s turn to take the throne, but somehow he hasn’t returned to Misroth after he was send away on a mission. I hope to know more about him and learn more about his character. Sadly, he doesn’t make much appearance except for in the beginning of the first chapter where he was talking to Halia. But I can tell from Halia’s memories of them, that Gillen is truly a great and nice person and that he is a kind guy. I hope to meet him more in the sequel. A nice character like him who also hold an importance in the story deserve to get a time to shine. I was frustrated that the book keep mentioning him, but never show him in the present, only in memories and flashbacks. He is like a mystery guy in the book, now let’s hoping we get to see him…like in the present, okay!
Narek is the captain of the royal guard, even though he’s younger than majority of the guards but was named captain after the deal he made with Halia’s father. He’s not that older than Halia, they were about the same age as Halia described at one point in the story. He definitely is a mysterious person. I don’t get what he wants, what his motive in all of this, and why he was so hateful toward Halia and quickly switched side from being on Halia’s father’s side to Halia’s side. I was so suspicious of him, and I can’t trust him yet, or maybe ever! He definitely have a hidden motive/agenda of his own, but what, I still didn’t know. He did say ‘freedom,’ but what he means by that was still unclear. So I can expect it will be revealed in the next book, hopefully. There’s a lot to learn about him, and why his character was written to be moody, cold, harsh, rude, hateful, and a bit evil. His character is the one that I had a hard time trying to read, I seriously want to know what’s his deal, but I got nothing. If there’s a lot of boxes, he is definitely the one box that no one can successfully open so easily.
The importance of family and friendship play a huge part in the story. We get to see why family and friendship are so important. For example, Halia and Gillen. We get to see the strong family bond these two shared, and also why Halia feel guilty for not coming back to Misroth sooner rather than later. I want to see these two living a happy life as family again, like they used to be back then. Now, she can only hope her cousin still alive and well. As for friendship, it was between Halia and Avrik. Their friendship is important too, we can see what the truth did to their friendship later on and how their promises and trusts were broken just by a simple truth. I know it hurts them both that after this they will have a very hard time trying to to reconcile, but it hurt me more as a reader. I was rooting for these two to somehow get together, but now I don’t know. Things are gonna get ugly for both of them after this, but I’m not letting go of my hope of seeing them to have a relationship (romantically) and build a future together as they were hoping for. Deep down these two does have feelings for each other, no matter how many times they throw around the word “friend.” I think this is part of building them up for their epic relationship (I hope so). They have strong chemistry and they were so compatible together in so many ways, and they are definitely a perfect match. Their strong bond is unbreakable and even if it did break, I’m sure their feelings for each other will bring back the bond and probably make it stronger so it won’t be easily breakable. I hope the opportunity of pairing them up won’t go to waste.
Overall, the book was great and the story was interesting and very enjoyable. I devoured it deeply and honestly, I feel so happy reading this one. It was due to the part of Halia’s journey in Evren. It was like Evren is real, and that I was actually there. That place just bring a smile to my face. Even though the chapters was too long, but it hold just as much important information. There is definitely no fillers, just straight up to the point and basically everything is important. I’m excited to see what happens in the sequel and I’m worried about Avrik and Halia. I desperately want these two to be together, so I’m just gonna keep hoping even though the future is uncertain.
Title: FORSAKEN KINGDOM
Series: SILENT KINGDOM #2
ABOUT THE BOOK
An empty throne. A ruined kingdom. Is she their deliverance or their downfall?
Halia’s fight for her kingdom is only beginning. With Misroth’s rightful king in danger, Halia is forced to trust her enemy and embark on a dangerous journey into Toryn to find her cousin. But Toryn is in ruins, its peaple plagued by terrors and fighting for survival. As death stalks them all, Halia must face the darkness in her past and her deepest fears, until at last she is faced with one terrible question: How much is she willing to lose?
I don’t know whether I should scream or cry!!! Okay, listen…
Forsaken Kingdom picks up exactly right after the ending of Silent Kingdom. But, this time around things are getting a lot rougher and far uglier than the first book. This one is all about Halia trying to save her kingdom by finding and saving her cousin, Gillen, the rightful king of Misroth. She sets out traveling to Toryn with her four companions in order to find her cousin. On her way, she and her companions bumped into her old friend, Avrik. All the six of them continue their journey to find Gillen in Toryn. No one can predict that there are other sinister creatures that try to stop their journey or that they will eventually meet other Toryn people in the Calidar or that Halia had to complete a bigger mission than she or anyone expected.
This one is like an upgrade of the first book. The first book was all fun and full of happy moments, but this one, things are getting much dirtier and uglier. There’s a lot of deaths, tortures, blood being spilled, battles, and some drama involving the new characters. The whole thing was so chaotic. But the good thing is that, all of this has its importance, and it has a connection with Halia and her gift of being able to see things through her visions. Halia is the most important character and this book will tell us the reason why she is so important.
I loved the plot. I feel like the author never disappoint and that she knows what she was doing. The plot was so well-crafted and I honestly admired the author’s ability to make everything so complex but also make everything easily connected from this point to that point. At first, it might look like it was so complicated and you might find that some of the things aren’t important, but when you get to the point where everything was revealed, you will find yourself so surprised because everything is important and actually everything is connected to one another. I was shocked too when I found out. It was a brilliant writing. There was some shocking plot twists too, and of course it was necessary to add some twists and turns when it comes to a fantasy story.
The storyline was fine, it does flow so well and the writing was brilliant and excellent too. I seriously enjoyed it a lot, literally devoured the whole book so deeply. I was so invested in the storyline and found that it was so good and much better than the first book because this one has lots of intense moments, and lots of actions that made me nervous and anxious to find out the fate of the characters that I truly cared for. It didn’t disappoint at all, I was feeling so satisfied with the direction that the author go for (except for the whole Avrik and Iyleth thing), and also I was amazed by how epic the story has become this time. I didn’t expect it to turn out the way it did, and the jaw-dropping and cliffy ending seriously makes me shocked but also I was screaming because I seriously need the next book, like RIGHT NOW!!! I need to know what will happens next and there are so many questions that I have in my mind about the ending and also about the next installment.
At first, it was all about finding and saving Gillen, and then it turns into building an alliance with the Toryn people because they wanted Halia to break the barrier that her ancestor magically built ages ago, and then it turns into the sinister creatures wanting Halia to break the said barrier too so they can roam freely to other places. Saving Gillen is important to Halia’s kingdom, and breaking the barrier is important to the Toryn kingdom. Both of the missions are important, but only one is important to Halia and the other is not that important to her because breaking the barrier meaning, her kingdom and her people will be in great danger. The whole book was basically focusing on these two missions but it was up to Halia which one she will choose. I totally understood why she refused to break the barrier, I can only imagine the danger her people will be in if she does break it.
Choosing and making decisions are harder than anyone thought or imagined. This book showed the consequences of Halia’s decision. What danger she bring when she chose to save Gillen, and what she will lose if she choose to break the barrier. The whole thing was so hard and complicated but in the end, whatever she choose, there are still gonna be a lot more deaths. We get to see and witness a lot of horrible things due to her decision. But also, the story has a lot more depths and it will help its readers understand why Halia has to do what she has to do and why we can’t fully blame her for doing what she did.
Not only that, but also this book deals a lot with trust issues and honesty. We’ll get to see the characters that appear in this book have a huge trust issues when it comes to trusting a person or a group of people. And we also get to see the outcome for not being honest to the person we’re close with. Take an example from Narek and Avrik. Halia along with Jennah, Layk and Gare had a hard time trusting Narek or trusting the new characters. They didn’t know whether they are purely good people or just good on the outside but have a hidden agenda on the inside. As for Avrik, he had a hard time to reconcile with Halia after she couldn’t bring herself to be honest with him when it comes to her identity back in the first book. Halia did explained it already, but Avrik was so stubborn to listen and understand her situation. I feel bad for both of them, but mostly Halia. Honesty play a huge part in a friendship, but once it’s broken, it’s hard to pick up the pieces. I was hoping they get to reconcile and forgive each other, but after the ending I wasn’t sure anymore. But I’m not gonna lose hope now, I’m hoping the next book will bring them together and since both of them confessed they were the future both of them hoped for, let me just say this, just put them together as a couple. It has been obvious since the beginning, I’m just trying to patiently wait for the time to come.
Another thing I loved about this book is the new place the author take her readers to. This time around the whole story takes place in the Toryn kingdom, but on the underground which they called as the Calidar. There’s an explanation why the remaining of the Toryn people hide there, and it was also being shown how these people survive the whole time their kingdom was attacked by sinister creatures like the ichgor and the nestrae. We also get to see what type of tradition the people of Toryn follows, what culture do they have and what are their beliefs. This was all written so well by the author. We get to see all of the differences between the people who lives in Misroth, Evren, and Toryn. It was excellent on the author’s part for making it unique, for describing why the people who live in Misroth are different than the people who live in Evren and also why the people from those two places are different than people from Toryn. It was well-described, well-explained, and well-written. I loved learning and seeing the differences of Misroth, Evren, and Toryn. And hopefully we’ll get to see Alrenor in the next book (it was mentioned multiple of times, so here’s to hoping).
This book also features new creatures like the ichgor and the nestrae. These two are just as sinister as the sedwa. I was pretty impressed by the author’s writing skills, she get to make these two creatures different from each other and also different from the creature we saw in Silent Kingdom, and…she get to make them unique. Trying to create a new fantasy creatures, let alone the evil and sinister ones, is not easy. It takes a lot of thinking, and a big imagination to picture what the creatures will look like depending on how we want it to look like. Plus, writing it down and describing it isn’t easy either. But the author successfully did it all and managed in making me terrified of the creatures itself, like the sedwa and the nestrae. These two are so evil and so scary, I can already imagined what they look like. The ichgor was also scary, but it’s not something that terrifies me, unlike the sedwa and the nestrae. I don’t know what new creatures will be introduce next, but if there’s a new one, let’s just hope it will be just as unique as these three that we already meet in the story.
Also, the new creatures are the villain in this one, but most importantly the nestrae. The nestrae is like the main villain of the story, whereas the ichgor is just the side-villain. Much like Zarev (Halia’s father) and Kyrin (Avrik’s father) in the first book, where Zarev is the main villain, and Kyrin is the side-villain. I liked the idea of main villain and side-villain thing, at least we get two different villains who had different purpose. The nestrae and two of the characters in the story does mentioned ‘Nesrelle,’ also known as the goddess of death. Although, we didn’t get to see Nesrelle in the book, but we will surely meet her in the next one…It was hinted at the back of the book, so I’m looking forward to it, especially see how sinister she can be and what she looks like.
Not only does this story has greater development, but the characters also get their own amazing development that will make readers love them more. I was so happy with their developments and totally loved the new upgraded version of them. We also get to meet some new faces but not all of them are so likable, mind you!
Halia become more fierce and a lot braver in this one. We get to see what other fighting skills she possessed. She is still amazing as she was back in the first book, but here we get to see her acted more as a royalty. We also get to see her leadership skills which truly make her character glowing in this book and I was impressed by her the whole time. Honestly, she’s a great leader when she’s not letting her emotion get in her way and mess with her head and her vision. She can definitely rule a kingdom on her own. When she opens her mouth to speak, I know her speech will be amazing and truly make her look like an actual leader. She never let anyone see her weakness (except for when she cannot control her emotion), and she always has this strong and fierce look on her face every time she faced other people. She doesn’t let anyone look her down or disrespect her, she’s tough and won’t take defeat so easily. She keeps on fighting and survive for her own people, for her kingdom, for her cousin. She’s definitely a selfless heroine. When she make a decision, she can be very selfish sometimes and I saw the consequence of her selfish decision, but I can’t actually blame her for that. She had her own reasons and even though not many people can understand it but at least her companions understand her and went along with it because they put their trust and faith on her and for Halia that is already enough. She doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone and need their validation, she can handle things on her own. She is a fighter, has all the qualities of a queen, and has all the skills of a leader. She always speak her mind and not afraid to do so. She can be very challenging too, so never underestimate her. She’s still the same Halia, just with more upgrade. We don’t usually get to see her weakest moments in this one, only a few and it was totally heartbreaking to see when she breaks down. Death follows her wherever she go, and she has to shoulder a lot of burden this time around. She’s still young but already facing a lot of crisis, and I feel sad and sorry for her. I want to see what version of her will we get in the next book, I’m sure her character will get a major upgrade since she faced so many dangers and deaths in this one and it will only shape her character to be so strong and a lot tougher, and hopefully a lot fiercer than she was in this one. I’m excited to see what she will do next after that major ending. I can totally see her letting out her rage and all of her anger in the next book and use it as her weapon, so that her enemies won’t easily break her or defeat her. I just wish she get to have her own happiness and I hope she will get it with Avrik (here’s to hoping).
Avrik has turned into someone so quiet, someone who has a lot of rage and anger on the inside but keeps it quiet on the outside. I understood his pain after what happened in the first book, but I was so disappointed in him here. I know it’s not easy to get over the hurt of finding out your best friend isn’t who you think they are, but even when they already explained it to you and you still treated them so coldly after that, it will makes you just as bad. I liked the upgrade of his fighting skills, he become more skilled than he was before and he definitely becomes tougher too. He rarely showed his weakness, which is hard to see. At one point, I was pretty convinced he doesn’t have any weakness at all, and if I can recall correctly, the only time I get to see his weakness was only one time. He becomes more cold and more harsh, gone was the soft, sweet and flirty Avrik from Silent Kingdom. I’m still not sure about his character at the end there, is he alive or dead? I wasn’t sure honestly, like there’s a chance he might be alive, but also there’s a chance he might be dead. He has a lot of potential for his character, and I was glad the author didn’t waste his potential, and let’s hoping we get to see him again in the next installment—if he’s alive somewhere.
Narek finally get a time to shine in this book. He was majorly a mystery in the previous book, but this one really showed what type of person he is. He’s more of an anti-hero than a hero, he’s not a bad guy but not a good guy either. I admit I was confused by his character back in Silent Kingdom, it was because I didn’t know his true motive yet. This book really explained what he had suffered in the past and what he meant by ‘freedom’ at the end of Silent Kingdom. He never showed his weakness, he always put a hard expression on his face, but in this one we get to see his expression cracks into sadness and pain. His motive was explained very well and why he chose to side with Halia and why he wanted her to break the barrier. His people suffered a major deathly tragedy for years and in order for him to help his people he had to go to Misroth, following Halia’s father. And now, he had to help Halia find her cousin and also free his people along the way. I was suspicious of him for majority of the book, I had a hard time trusting him mainly because he never prove that he is a good person. But in the end, all he did was just goodness, never once did he betray Halia and their companions. He’s basically the moody guy with a good heart. Despite his untrustworthiness, he still help Halia and still have a heart to help his own people, even if that means leaving them behind again. I’m hoping he stays the same way as he did in this book, and I’m so excited to see where his character will go from here and what will he do next now that Halia’s kingdom—basically his kingdom too since he moved there—is in danger. Aside from Avrik, Narek also has some great fighting skills and I was impressed that even when he was injured, he still had the energy to fight in a deathly battle against the sinister creatures. Also, I wanted to see how the author will explore his friendship with Halia in the next book.
Jennah is not entirely a new character, but she along with Gare and Layk are the three characters that was introduced near the end of Silent Kingdom, and in this book the three of them get their own time to shine, and we get to see them more than we did back in Silent Kingdom.
Jennah is an Alrenian woman from Alrenor. She is basically a warrior on her own way and can hold her own in a fight. She definitely is the most skilled female fighter, well Halia is a close second. Jennah also has this scary look on her face that will make others terrified of her. Even when they were all in a great danger, never once did she ever show her weakness when facing her enemies, or feeling so scared fighting them. She’s a great mother to her two daughters, and also a loyal wife to her husband. I get to learn more about her since she spent a lot of her time with Halia and they usually chat about her Alrenian heritage and also talking about their plan on saving Gillen. She loves helping others but also she can be very wary of trusting people that she just met. Can I just please borrow her toughness for a day, because I seriously need it! I’m not sure what happened to her at the end there, I mean I do know what happened, but I’m not too sure whether it’s true or not…So I guess we either see her in the next book or not at all.
Layk who is about the same age as Halia, is a great character. He is a great guy, and he definitely has the skills of being the captain of the royal guard, just like Narek. He’s so different compared to Narek and Avrik, which make Layk unique. I mean all the characters are unique in their own way! Despite always in a serious mode, he can be very playful too and he absolutely has the charm. His protectiveness toward his sisters and his companions proved that he is a caring, helpful and a kind person. He’s not entirely on a good term with Narek, but these two and their little friendship makes me laugh so hard. I loved their banter, and it was literally the most hilarious moments ever to witnessed the two of them fighting each other with their words. I was hoping for Avrik to somehow joined in too, since the three of them basically about the same age. I’m gonna miss Layk and his non-stop remarks about Narek and making everyone laugh even in dull moments and deathly situations.
Gare is a great gentleman and also a trustworthy person to guard Halia and the rest. He was a great storyteller, every time he opened his mouth to tell a story, no one dared to cut him off or make a noise. Everyone just keep their mouth shut and stayed quiet to listened to him, and no one interrupted him at all. He is the only person who gets a lot of respect from Halia, Jennah, Layk, Narek, and Avrik. I wished we can see him joined them going to the Calidar and facing off a new character named Haek, just because Haek is a hot-headed person and doesn’t like to back down. I would definitely pay money to see Gare put Haek in his place. Gare won’t be easily forgotten, he’s a great man and also a good friend.
Iyleth is a new character, she’s the Intercessor of her own people (the Toryn people), and also Haek’s sister and Captain Luiken’s daughter. The three of them are the new characters in the series, but only Iyleth get to have a big part in the story. Her role as an Intercessor makes her more important compared to her father, who is their current leader/captain and her brother who will inherit their father’s position as the new leader/captain. The reason why she is important is because she always brings peace to her people and just want to make friends with new people, in this case Halia and her companions. She was tasked to build an alliance with Halia, but when building a friendship didn’t work, she tried another way and that’s where Avrik come into the picture. I liked her bubbly personality and good attitude, but sometimes she can be a bit unbearable. She has a good heart and is an actual kindest person. Her people always listened to her and respected her more than they did to her father and her brother, so from there I know why she is so important to her people and loved by them, even though she is just as young as Halia. The way she delivered a speech make her look like she was preaching, different from how Halia did it. But I still prefer Halia more because she spoke like a true leader. Even though Iyleth is a great character, but her role in the story doesn’t hold so much importance. The way I see it, she was put in the story to create a bigger tension between Avrik and Halia, and was put in there mainly to caused a little bit of a love triangle drama, which is the trope that I’m not a fan of. She does help Halia and her companions even though it was just a little help. She has a lot of confidence and even when she doesn’t possess a leadership skill, she definitely can be the right-hand person of a leader. I thought she can’t be trusted, and that she has an agenda of her own, but I was glad that she purely wanted to be friends. I’m not sure if I’m excited to see her again, but if she do appear in the next book, it better not be because she wants to be with Avrik. I’m not even sure if I like her character at all.
As for Gillen, it was still the same as the first book. He barely make an appearance, only a few which was in Halia’s memories, and the final 2 chapters where we get to see him in the present time. I feel bad for him, he suffered a lot. His condition was terrible, and what he went through was so horrific. I’m not sure how he can get back up in the next book, I hope he will get a lot stronger after everything that happened to him. The characters keep on mentioning him, but his appearance was only near the end of the book, which was so frustrating to me. I’m hoping we get to see him back in full health and see him in action. I seriously want to see his fighting and leadership skills in the next book, and it better have more of him since he’s important too.
Even though the whole story was utterly amazing, I still want to see the story told from other characters POVs, like for example: Narek, Avrik, and Gillen. I wanted to know what were they thinking about the whole situation, and what are their opinions on it. I want to learn how Narek feel about the whole thing. I want to know what’s on Avrik’s mind the whole time. I want to see how Gillen view the situations he was in. I just want these important characters to get their own chapters where we as a reader can see what was in their head the whole time. I want to see how they view the whole situations.
I loved how well-flowed the whole thing was, and the ending raised more questions than answers. I’m not sure what to expect next but all I can be sure of is that, the next book gonna be a lot more bloodier and more sinister than this one. After that ending, I’m not sure whether they’re all free to go or they will be held captive by the nestrae, I mean I can’t trust all the nestraes to just fly off to another place. Also, the whereabout of Avrik and Jennah was still unclear to me, I understood what the life-giver was saying to Halia in the final chapter, but there was a slight hint where he told her that her gift can still help her, so I guess I just have to wait and see whether Avrik and Jennah survived or not, whether they were held captive in the other location or the one where Halia went to. I’m definitely looking forward to read Broken Kingdom. I’m so eager to find out what will happens next to everyone, mainly to Misroth, and let’s hope we get to see Gillen in action too, and fingers-crossed we get to see Avrik and Halia get together.
Rachel L. Schade was born on the first day of summer in a small town in Michigan, only to end up in another small town in Ohio. She attended The Ohio State University to learn how to write obnoxiously long papers, cite people who use big words, and discuss her passion: books. She has a great love for the color blue, sunshine, chocolate, and not folding her laundry. Currently she lives with her husband and surrounds herself with coffee and books on a regular basis.