Dec 1, 2018

Review--The Skylighter by Becky Wallace

Johanna and Rafi are in a race against time to save their country before a power-mad Keeper destroys everything they hold dear in the “enthralling magical world” (Cinda Williams Chima, author of The Heir Chronicles) introduced in The Storyspinner.

As the last of the royal line, Johanna is the only person who can heal a magical breach in the wall that separates her kingdom of Santarem from the land of the Keepers, legendary men and women who wield elemental magic. The barrier protects Santarem from those Keepers who might try to take power over mere humans…Keepers who are determined to stop Johanna and seize the wall’s power for themselves.

And they’re not the only ones. As the duchys of Santarem descend into war over the throne, Johanna relies more than ever on the advice of her handsome companion, Lord Rafael DeSilva. But Rafi is a duke too, and his people come first. As their friendship progresses into the beginnings of a tender relationship, Johanna must wonder: is Rafi looking out for her happiness, or does he want the throne for himself?

With war on the horizon, Johanna and Rafi dodge treacherous dukes and Keeper assassins as they race to through the countryside, determined to strengthen the wall before it’s too late…even if it means sacrificing their happiness for the sake of their world.

While it's only been out for 3 years, I feel like it's been ages since I've read from Becky Wallace's The Keepers' Chronicles! The Skylighter has been sitting in my pile for 2 years, so 200+ books ago I last read The Storyspinner and naturally, there was no recap to be found, so I just dove in head first with very little recollection of what went on. This seems to be a growing trend for me lately, must be old age, lol! But as I tend to do, I just get through it as best as I can and enjoy it for the story it is.

I can't remember where we last left things but basically what you know at the beginning of this book, war is coming. Johanna is struggling to accept her new identity and yet still remain true to herself and the heritage she grew up with as her own. She and Rafi are struggling to find the rest of their friends whom they got separated from after the events of last time. After that they need to find a way to repair the magical barrier that divides the kingdoms.

Meanwhile we have Sapro gunning for the throne to rule over everyone. Basically, bad guys trying to take over and be the all mighty and powerful deity that rules all! As before we have a cast of characters that share in the storytelling. Characters like Johanna, Rafi, Dom, Jacare, Pira, and Leao are the ones with the most page time. Though, naturally, we pretty much just stick with Johanna, Rafi, and Dom.

In all honesty, I am struggling to recant most of the storyline, as I felt like it was definitely continuing things from the first book that I can't remember worth a darn. At the same time though, I did enjoy what I read. We basically have bad guys trying to take over the kingdom and the good guys trying to stop them. There was pain and heartache for several of the characters and not everyone got their happy ending. Though I was quite pleased with how things ended. Sure there was heartache, but for the most part, I truly enjoy it.

Throughout the book we had Rafi and Johanna fighting to be together. Johanna isn't sure she wants what Rafi wants and that will naturally put them on opposite sides of life. The old standard of wanting to be together yet circumstances are constantly fighting to keep them apart! And then there's Pira and Leao who have that new tender relationship that barely had a chance to start before Pira finds herself a prisoner of the enemy. And then there was Dom. He was fighting his own game of romance between two different girls...which the results of that "love triangle" were quite shocking.

There was still a decent bit of mystery going on as well, as Maribelle is a spy of sorts working among Dom's castle trying to sniff out a spy. She has her own game plan going on that may or may not interfere with Dom's. There was a lot going on, quite a bit of intrigue you could say. It was always engaging too. One thing I love about multiple points of view told through chapters is when each chapter seems to end with a cliffhanger for that person and then you're dying to get back to them, only to go onto another person and basically start the cycle all over again! It's maddening, yet really really fun too!

All in all, I wish I would've waited to binge read this duology (as well as a few others I am struggling to find time for). It's truly the best way to go about things with duologies. I still enjoyed The Skylighter though. There was a great deal of fighting destiny and desires, yet in the end...well, I'll leave that as a surprise for you all if you've yet to read this one! It's a fun duology filled with magic and just the right elements of The Sleeping Beauty, as I glimpsed just a few more threads of the beloved fairy tale woven into this story. I hope that one Becky Wallace will return to fantasy reads as she writes a very magical story here.

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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