Review: Riot of Storm and Smoke

Beautiful woman with katana isolated on the white backgroundTitle: Riot of Storm and Smoke
Author: Jennifer Ellision
Series: Threats of Sky and Sea #2
Genre: YA Fantasy
Length: Novel
Available: Now

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War draws closer, like a tide to the shore.

Bree and her friends have escaped the clutches of the Egrian King, but their troubles are far from over. Still reeling from the secrets that drew new breath when her father took his last, Bree sets off for the safety of Nereidium– the kingdom she’s just learned is hers.

But with the King’s ire at its peak and war a certainty, Nereidium is no longer safe. As Prince Caden rallies the Egrian people against his tyrant father, Bree, Princess Aleta, and Tregle race to the Nereid shore to warn them of the incoming danger—and to put the Nereid Princess on the throne.

The only trouble there: Bree can’t bring herself to reveal that the Princess is her.

It’s not a dilemma she can waste time pondering. With a new weapon in his arsenal, the King’s strikes are sure to be bolder than ever before. And Bree may not be ready to wear a crown… but she won’t let her kingdom down without a fight.


Source: Review copy from the author via email

This second installment in the Threats of Sky and Sea series suffers a little from a hurry-up-and-wait feel. The beginning kicks off right where the last book ended, so there’s plenty of tension as Bree and her two travelling companions escape the palace and find themselves stuck in the city. This is followed by some travelling. No, actually, a lot of travelling. There’s a lot of travelling in this book. Possibly a bit too much. Egria is a big place, I understand, but so… much… travelling…

This is not helped by the fact that Bree makes some truly stupid mistakes. I liked Bree in the last book because she was straightforward and down-to-earth. The world kept shifting about her, but she essentially stayed true to herself, which I liked. In this book her world is changing again, but this time Bree seems to cope by becoming dumber than a box of rocks. I know, I know, she’s traumatised by the loss of her father and everything to do with Lady Kat and all, but seriously, in what world do some of her decisions make sense? I thought she was at least practical, but… well. Apparently not.

Also, will someone just teach her about magic already! Does no one learn the basic tenants that are common to all magic users in this world? (Clearly there are some, such as powers recharging after use.) What is the point of Aleta and Tregle? Why doesn’t anyone notice Bree’s lack of magic earlier? Don’t these people talk?

Luckily this book is not just about Bree. In fact the chapters, for the most part, trade off between her and Caden. Not that life is any simpler for Caden as he discovers that he doesn’t have anything like as much influence as he thought he had. Sadly, Caden also suffers from attacks of brainlessness like Bree at times, but thank goodness for Lilia! She completely saved everything for me. She’s amazing. I want more Lilia – in everything. I also really liked Sir Liam too. Both of these characters were excellent additions to the cast, and surpassed the others for me in this book.

Like the fraught beginning, the end piles on the threat and action, before once again ending in a perilous situation – one that was fairly obviously going to happen in some form or another throughout. In fact I got kind of impatient waiting for it to happen, so was more relieved by the cliffhanger than annoyed for once, which made a nice change. It also left me wanting to read the next one, if only to find out how the scene ends.

So overall, this was a good follow-up to the first book. The pace is pretty slow throughout, though, and some of the characters make some exceedingly dubious decisions. This is mostly made up for by the addition of some interesting characters and by the building turmoil created by the power-hungry king. It definitely has the feeling of a bridge book, filling time and covering miles before getting back to the more “important” monarchy plots, but it does a good job of setting everything up for the finale to come.


Riot of Storm and Smoke is Out Now!
Visit Jennifer Ellision for more details.

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