I have to be perfectly honest. Unless I have read the previous books in a series or can make time to read them, I never decide to read a sequel. It's just not in my nature. I have to know what happens beforehand in order to gain a sense of the novel I am set to review. But this one caught my eye with one name. Kayla. A princess of Gaynor and wild magic witch who has almost tamed the banished magic that resides in the great forest. I say almost because no matter what, the wild magic she can command still has a mind of its own as we find out near the very end of this particular installment in this series. But this name, a mirror of my own, and this character spoke to me. I just had to know this story. I had to read the second book first in this case.
Because I was not able to read the first book in the series, I was actually quite ecstatic that the author gives a little sense of what happened in The Golden Apple at the beginning of this book. It doesn't reveal everything that might have happened, but at least the gist is pretty well touched upon. It segues great into this book, telling the reader all the information, or at least most of the information, needed to be able to know what is going on in the story or what has gone on in the story so far.
Our characters are pretty well separated into pairs in this book, each pair having their own chapters until finally near the end all four are reunited again. We have Rane and Kayla, and Soren and a new character Miri. Now Miri, as stated in the book's blurb, was bespelled by her father in the womb to be the greatest sorcerer who ever lived. And she definitely is a great sorcerer. But unlike other sorcerers, she uses her magic to help instead of hurt. So it is no surprise that she saves Soren when given the chance to either do that or run. Even when it means her own capture and the loss of her most prized possession. He returns the favor, even with the knowledge of what she is and his animosity and vow to kill all sorcerers, and they escape, not knowing that it will be matters of the heart helping to keep them together soon enough.
Rane and Kayla are on the search to find both Soren and get back the golden apple in Nuen's possession, making a stop back at the Great Forest to free the earth witch Ylana from the spell that currently binds her. Kayla will plead her case to learn how to control her magic and the providers of that magic, but it will be up to Ylana herself whether or not her animosity will allow her to teach the girl. And without her help, the war of the sorcerers that has been looming might just arrive.
I really did love this book. I mean, I really didn't feel lost due to the explanation of what happened in the previous book. However, there were a few times where the story didn't feel as full as it could have. The story itself was complete, but I didn't feel as fulfilled, like something was missing. Other than that, there were a lot of wonderfully written scenes, and the world itself, especially the Great Forest, was quite beautiful in its descriptions. I especially like the imp in the dress. (You'll definitely have to read the book to understand.) I currently have the first book and will definitely be putting it on my TBR list just so I can gain more of a sense of the characters from the very beginning. And I will definitely be reading more of this author's work in future.