Friday, April 10, 2015

Storm without End by R.J. Blain

I'm so glad that I read Storm Without End just before Storm Surge (the sequel) came out. Because by the time the book ends, you'll want to purchase the next one.

Storm Surge starts with Kalen, the Rift King, as he's out of his kingdom. Why? We don't know, but the poor guy is going to undergo a lot of suffering before the book ends. At the same time, his guardians are out there searching for him, because if he dies, the Rift will Ride. Ok, I don't know what that really implies, but it's a cool phrase that's repeated quite a few times.

Kalen, the poor guy with the worst luck in this book, is a young 30 year old Rift king who's been reigning for 15 years. Because of his small size and missing arm, people can underestimate him. Even I underestimated what he could do, although I could see he was smart. But at the end of the book, I found out just how powerful he is, which justified the reasons why the Rift King was so feared.

Apart from Kalen, there are a few other characters, like his father Breton and his - whoops, almost had a spoiler there. Suffice to say, Kalen's familial relations are complicated, even if we don't include his many, many adopted foals (sons/daughters. The Rift seems to love their horse and horse-inspired terms). Anyway, Breton comes across to me as a really sweet guy, although as a Guardian, I'm pretty sure I'd be scared of him if I met him.

As for the Rift, well, I haven't really figured out what it was. I know slightly more about this world at the end of the book than at the start, but I can't say I know everything. I know, for instance, how Kalen becomes the Rift King (and how Rift Kings are made), but the reason why the Rift King is so important, I still don't know.

This book basically builds up for the next book. This world that R.J. has built is very unfamiliar to me, so the time spent on getting to know it should pay off in the later books. At least, given the promising cast of characters so far, I hope it does.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for a free and honest review.

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