by Jennifer Anne Davis
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The people of Nelebek live in fear of persecution from the evil Morlet, who reigns with a dark and destructive magic. The kingdom's only hope lies with the Order of the Krigers--twelve warriors with mysterious powers linked to magical weapons.
For over a century, Morlet has been annihilating the Order, picking them off one by one. Eleven Krigers have been hunted down, tortured, and imprisoned in his dungeon. Now only one remains.
Sixteen-year-old Kaia survives by keeping her head down and minding her own business. But when she finds herself in the middle of a public execution where the mysterious Morlet is in attendance, an odd compulsion she can't resist comes over her and she looks into Morlet's eyes.
Soon an ancient power awakens and Kaia can no more blend into the scenery. Will she heed the call of the Krigers or will Morlet's dark magic destroy the last of the Order?
The idea behind Rise was so much fun! An evil ruler who tracked down and imprisoned warriors who were in the Order. And only one remained, Kaia, a sixteen year old girl who took care of her ailing father. Of course I was glued to the pages in the beginning! But I started to struggle connecting to some of the characters as the book progressed. Especially when I learned that there were three love interests. So while I loved the idea behind Rise, I wasn’t that huge of a fan of some of the characters and the love square (ohhh that word totally exists!).
Rise focuses so much attention on the characters, so here they are:
“Why are you running away?” He slid a knife from his boot and cut my bindings.
“Why?” I shrieked, shoving him away from me. “You’ve killed at least six men tonight. Six. You’re crazy.”
His eyes narrowed. “I saved you.”
“By killing people. You’re no better than the king.”
Anders growled and took a step toward me, making my back hit the wall.
Anders – There was only one clear winner, of the love square, in my eyes. Even though Anders was a little dark and disturbing at times. He was an assassin, who helped out Kaia, and he seemed to kill without a conscious. Yet all of the times he killed people throughout the book, and there is a lot so be prepared, he was doing it to protect Kaia. But that little thought would disappear out of my head from time to time because he was SO talented at being an asshole. I adore those types of males in a book, because you hope that a nicer/softer side is going to sneak out from time to time. And I loved seeing that other side of Anders when we got tiny peaks here and there. He was definitely my favorite character in the whole book!
I had no idea what I’d gotten myself into. – Kaia
Kaia – I adored Kaia in the first part of the book, but I struggled with her in in the latter part. While she was always determined, I started to disagree with some of her thoughts as the story progressed. You see, Kaia started to become friends with Anders and another guy you’ll meet, Victor. They saved her. They protected her. They warned her about the King Morlet, heck she had been warned by her local townspeople about him. Yet that knowledge would fly out of the window and she would trust the King from time to time. And those situations made me frustrated with her.
“Do I need to torture a child in front of you in order for you to cooperate?”
It sounded as if he was discussing what to have for dinner, not threatening me. – Kaia & Morlet
Morlet – Morlet was the evil King that ruled over their Kingdom and had been trying to hunt down all of the Krigers. He screamed tortured bad boy, which I usually love, but he was just a true psychopath bent on power in my eyes. Although I’m sure that many will disagree with me for thinking this *hides face*. His first strike against him was when he ripped a toddler away from his mother, with the vocal intention of torturing the poor child, just to obtain information from the town’s people. Even if he was bluffing, which we never learned, it still deeply bothered me. His second and third strikes I can’t talk about. But know that he hurts others while he claimed that it pained him. Oh please. Unfortunately, Morlet was a front runner, to be a possible love interest in book two, and it made me want to shudder and shake the ever living life out of Kaia.
Vidar – Vidar is Anders friend who also helped protect Kaia. I had no qualms about him in the beginning, other then the fact that he was a tad creepy – you must sleep in my bed so I can protect you *rolls eyes while laughing*. I just started to warm up to him, and get past his different ways, and then he spouted out a fact. After that fact was out, he was soooo annoying and demanding. He didn’t seem to give much thought to Kaia’s wants and needs, and he came off a little cold and yes still very creepy. Vidar was the final love interest, and I can’t imagine re-warming back up to him.
He shook his head. “I’ve been around for so long that I forget what it’s like to care for someone.” He turned to face me, a small smile spreading across his face, softening the lines around his eyes and forehead. “You remind me of that.” He reached out and squeezed my hand. – Anders
So I am conflicted. If I hear that she will eventually wind up with Anders, by the end of the series, then I will definitely continue. If she is going to end up with Morlet or Vidar, then I can’t finish this series because I know that my heart will be broken. But on a side note, I will say that I was happy to figure out one of the plot twists. Hmm just know that it involved a prophecy we learn from Vidar, and I knew it! But here’s hoping you end up liking this series WAY more than I did, because the story itself was really fun! Good luck!
*ARC kindly provided by Month9Books in exchange for an honest review*