Between Burning Worlds by Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The publisher and Netgalley provided me with an ARC of this title in exchange for an honest review.

The first book in this series, Sky Without Stars, was one of my top reads last year. The richly imagined world, premised upon one of my favorite works of classical literature, was firmly entrenched as one of the most vivid and lyrical re-tellings I have ever read. I was beyond excited when I heard about the sequel, and have already pre-ordered my hardcover edition.

Between Burning Worlds evokes all of the magical suspense of SWOS. It builds on the complex characters of Marcellus, Alouette and Chatine as they are thrust into new adventures and dire situations. I was enthralled by the political machinations that underpinned the actions of the General. I was entranced by the brief promise of freedom Chatine experiences. I fervently turned the pages to find out if Marcellus and Alouette can orchestrate a coup.

Chatine will forever be my favorite because of her gutsy, angsty, obstinate spirit. Her banishment and imprisonment strengthen her rather than diminishing her. Secrets from her past set her upon a quest that consumes her. Marcellus is forever changed by the acts of treachery he witnesses from his grandfather. He is determined to carve a better world out of the hopelessness of Laterre. Alouette makes discoveries about her history and purpose that alter her trajectory and her sense of self.

We meet a whole cast of new characters – including the handsome, enigmatic Etienne. He helps orchestrate Chatine’s escape and introduces her to a world full of possibility and opportunity. What awaits Chatine is knowledge that will undermine all of the assumptions she has made about her family and her life. Alouette and Marcellus make a desperate gambit to escape the clutches of the general, that ends in anarchy, and rebellion.

I cannot wait for the next installment.

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