The Quicksilver Court by Melissa Caruso
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the second book in the Rooks and Ruin trilogy, and continues the story of Ryxander, the mage with flawed magic who is trying to prevent a demon invasion of her country. The first book stood out to me because of the rigor of its worldbuilding and the steadily increasing tension of the plot, as everything that happens, and all Ryx tries to do, only makes things worse. That trend continues in this volume.
These are thick books, but both in this book and the first the narrative takes place only over the course of a few days (with three weeks separating them). This makes for a jam-packed plot and pacing, which on occasion had me wishing for a few moments to breathe. (The characters wished for that as well.) However, the author seems to balance out the breakneck pacing and slower character moments a little better in this volume. In particular Severin, Ryx's love interest who came perilously close to being a cowardly milksop in the first book, is better treated here. With his character development, I thought he became someone who was worthy of Ryx.
This book also drops a plot twist midway through that changes the whole complexion of the series. I'm glad the author didn't save it for the book's climax, as both the characters and the reader needed time to digest the implications of it. The book ends on a cliffhanger that in retrospect is inevitable given the worldbuilding and setup, but at the same time will leave you cursing and heading straight over to Amazon to see when the third book will be released. This is one of the best fantasies I've read in quite a while, and I can't wait for the final book.
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