Genres: Young Adult, YA Fantasy | Release Date: 27 March 2022 | Series: Althuria Chronicles | Series Book: #2 | Pages: 249 | Indie Author | Review
I have been very spoiled, receiving Shadows and Shifters via Book Sirens and Ryver Knight so soon after reading the first book, Smoke and Spells! Shadows and Shifters immediately picks up where Smoke and Spells left off*, with Asha searching for her missing sister, even as she tries to evade the Queen’s grasp. Everything is not as it seems, and what Asha learns about the people closest to her is humbling. There’s a rebellion in the works, and the use of runes and void magic might be the key to overthrowing the Queen.
I felt like Shadows and Shifters packed even more into these pages than the first book had, which is pretty impressive considering it’s a little shorter! There are hidden finds, mysterious markings, and a wider array of characters than ever before. Asha flits through all of these things, with a dogged determination to find and rescue her sister. I queried her behaviour towards Althea in Smoke and Spells, but Asha certainly makes up for it in this book. This is loyalty. This is love. Family can be what you make it, and Ryver shows us that again and again in this series…
I didn’t know if this book could get better than Smoke and Spells, but it *did*. How great is that?! There is more depth to these characters than I anticipated, and their interactions drive this story. It is a pleasure to read of bonds forged in friendship, that can well and truly withstand anything. Yes, that even includes going against a Queen who is hellbent on starting a war.
Asha has to do some quick growing up in Shadows and Shifters. While she is lucky in the people around her, it can’t be left up to them to fix things. It also can’t be up to her friends to save Asha’s sister; in the grand scheme of things, Althea is just one of many. Asha realises this, and has to then decide what to do – what choice can she live with? I really like that Ryver has Asha maturing as the story progresses. It’s gradual, but I think that’s actually a good thing. A complete 180 overnight wouldn’t have been believable.
There are moments in this second book, which gave me chills. As in, I was so, so invested, that I *felt* these words. As a reader, you cannot ask for more than that. And I felt a very lucky bookworm for having this experience.
Like I said, Asha had to grow up a bit. In the beginning, you do want to give her a little shake for some of the thoughts racing through her head. But nobody’s perfect, and this is certainly not the most self-absorbed character I’ve ever read. If you can give her a grace period like I did, I know you’re going to love everything about Asha.
Ryver has given us an amazing sequel to her first book in the Althuria Chronicles. I was swept away with Asha and her friends, as they try to overcome every obstacle that the Queen throws their way. It was a delight to revisit these characters, to see how they evolve over this time period; how they handle adversity is both wonderful and real. Not everyone is going to be left unscathed in this fight within Althuria, but I’d put my money on Asha any day. She’s a fierce and protective young lady; I can’t wait for the next instalment!
You can order via my Amazon link: Shadows and Shifters
Missed the first book in the Althuria Chronicles? You can order it by clicking this link: Smoke and Spells
* If you haven’t read my review for book one, you can read it here: Smoke and Spells: Ryver Knight