Synopsis: For months, Darian and her Shaede Guardian, Raif, have searched for the Oracle who attempted to overthrow the Shaede Nation- and kill Darian in the bargain. But now that they’ve finally found the half-crazed Oracle, they are granted a possibility too painful for Raif to imagine and too enticing for Darian to ignore.
Darian is determined to reunite Raif and the daughter he thought was dead, but her mission quickly proves dangerous when her love, Tyler, is almost killed. And when a brooding and mysterious Far warrior offers his guidance- at an extraordinary price- Darian finds herself willing to risk everything. As her single-minded hunts turns into an obsession, and she and Tyler grow further apart, Darian becomes caught between the man she loves like a brother and the man whose love she can’t live without.
Review: I am a huge fan of Amanda Bonilla, and it’s really not just her writing that I love. She is one of those authors who is very accessible to readers and I love that about her. But her writing is really awesome too. I really loved the first book in the series, and I really enjoyed the novella (seriously if authors keep putting out these great novellas I’m going to have to rethink my anti-novella stance). So I have been waiting for book two and it finally arrived. I was very curious to see what was going to happen to Darian now that the big battle from book 1 was over.
The plot of the book was not exactly what I was expecting. Shaedes of Gray was very much a book where the plot action based and you had this feeling when you were reading it that the stakes couldn’t get any higher. I did not get that feeling from BBS. For me this entire book is so character driven, although there is plenty of action scenes, and when you finally find out what is really going on you realize the stakes are pretty high), but mostly it’s so about the characters.
Darian is still finding her way as this new “changed” being that the events of book one left her in. She has also found herself in a relationship with Tyler who she does truly love, but after not letting anyone close to her in 100 years there are certainly some growing pains that need to be worked out. It also doesn’t help that someone is clearly messing with Tyler’s bond to her and it’s make their situation all the more tense.
Raif is such a great character, and you really get to see how much Darian loves him. He has become really like family to her, Bonilla refers to him as a brother type love, but he kind of feels like a cross between brother and father type figure. He has done so much for her so of course she wants to do anything she can for him, like help find his daughter. By the time the book ends I love Raif all the more, and I am so glad that Darian has him to lean on.
My one complaint is that I would have loved to actually see more Xander in the book. He is referred to a lot, and has a few scenes, but generally speaking I missed his whole high and mighty routine/trying to convince Darian to be with him.
Overall I really enjoyed the book. Like I said it is super character driven, and you get to meet some new ones along the way, but you also get to know the old ones a lot better. At the end of the book I really felt like the whole theme was about love, and so many different kinds of love are included in this book. And the ending was so bittersweet, it really made me want to know where everyone was going to go from here. If I had to pick I think the first book is still my favorite, but only by a hair, this is a great follow up book and I would recommend it to anyone (but read the first one too!).