Rift (Nightshade Prequel #1)
By: Andrea Cremer
Released: August 7, 2012
Source: ARC from BEA
Purchase the Book: Amazon
"Chronicling the rise of the Keepers, this is the stunning prequel to Andrea Cremer's internationally bestselling Nightshade trilogy! Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow is promised to a group called Conatus after one of their healers saves her mother's life. Once she arrives, Ember finds joy in wielding swords, learning magic, and fighting the encroaching darkness loose in the world. She also finds herself falling in love with her mentor, the dashing, brooding, and powerful Barrow Hess. When the knights realize Eira, one of their leaders, is dabbling in dark magic, Ember and Barrow must choose whether to follow Eira into the nether realm or to pledge their lives to destroying her and her kind." ( Summary from goodreads.com)
I really enjoyed Rift and it's the beginning of a great prequel series. I already loved the Nightshade series. I'm particularly a big fan of Andrea Cremer's writing. I was thrilled when I first heard about this prequel series because I was not ready to say goodbye to the world that is built in the Nightshade series. I wasn't entirely certain what to expect from this book when I started it but I was pleasantly surprised by it.
Andrea Cremer writes strongly developed female protagonists and Ember is exactly that. She stands on her own and is fierce, strong, and willing to do anything for the people she cares about. She is sent to join the Conatus and fight. Ember was also very easy to connect with because she's not perfect either. It only took a few pages until I was cheering her on.
I loved most of the secondary characters and found them each to be strongly developed as well. There is Barrow who is Ember's mentor. It took me some time to like Barrow but I eventually fell in love with him too. Then there is also Alistar who has been Ember's friend for years and I instantly liked him from the beginning.
The plot is paced well from beginning to end. There is quite a lot of development going on but I didn't mind it because I was fascinated with learning about it. I especially loved how it was presented and explained clearly. I thought there was a good balance of action and romance. My favorite aspect though is definitely the world that Cremer builds. It was a refreshing take on the world that she already developed in the Nightshade series. However, it's in a completely different setting. I really enjoyed getting to know all of these new characters and learning about this world. I'm really looking forward to the next book and I can't wait to see where Cremer will take these characters next. I strongly recommend Rift to fans of the Nightshade series!