When Serengard rebelled and the Orion monarchy fell, former crown princess Kierstaz Orion’s love for her people became a burning desire to set things right. With a price on their heads, Kierstaz and her brother Mikel led a handful of men against the new army, fighting skirmishes all along the border of Dreibourge. But months of heavy bloodshed forced her small band of knights to abandon the border—and all of Serengard—to the rebels.
Nine years and a thousand betrayals later...
Kierstaz and Mikel again find themselves on the run—only this time, they’ve a boy in tow: Malcom, the son of two of the Seren rebellion’s strongest leaders. The new regime wants him dead, Mikel wants him alive, and it’s all Kierstaz can do to keep their tracks covered. Desperate to preserve the innocent life she swore to protect and the brother who has always stood by her, Kierstaz must gamble the last thing in the world she owns: her identity. Secrets are a staple of the Orion family, and those Kierstaz keeps are as dangerous as the ones kept from her.
KNIGHTS OF RILCH is the sequel to COLDNESS OF MAREK (August 2013), and the second book in the SERENGARD Series.
Rachel O’Laughlin grew up writing adventure stories on an archaic laptop that only ran one program, couldn’t connect to the internet, and died every few days—which provided a nice excuse to use a typewriter in the middle of an epic murder scene. After high school, she pushed novels to the backburner for immersion in the arts, touring with her band, and a hands-on education in sustainable living. At last she admitted to herself that she missed her first love and returned to fiction full time. She lives in New England with her husband and two kids, listens to The Fray, and drinks too many lattes. Two novels in her SERENGARD fantasy series have been released, and a third is scheduled for December 2014.
I loved this book so much, I'm not even sure I can put it into words. I love the world, the history, the way she weaves past and present together. I loved Mikel, and "Tev". I already knew that from reading book 1. I wasn't expecting there to be so many others I would fall for. Especially Sark. I may be completely gone over Sark.
As for Trzl, I'm not sure how I feel about her. She has confused me throughout this book. I want to like her, and yet I want to hate her at the same time.
The ending just about killed me. I had to flip back and make sure that was really the end. Can't wait until the next one is out.
Rachel O'Laughlin does not disappoint with the second book in her Serengard series. This book is filled with action and intensity from the very start, and Rachel has woven a careful web of stories around each of her main characters, constantly pulling them apart only to draw them back in again with Trzl's schemes. I really liked how the history of what happened directly after the rebellion was told, and how it helped you to understand everything happening now and how the characters have evolved.
What I love the most about these characters is that there really is no 100% bad guy, aside from maybe Otreya. Trzl, Mikel, Kierstaz--they've all done things that they feel have tainted their character. Their moral lines can be blurred at times, though this seems to weigh the heaviest with Mikel (which is a nice turn of events since female characters are stereotypically the softer and more full of regret).
Reading this book, you feel completely immersed in the world and the war. The violence is everywhere, and we are reminded of that without having our noses rubbed in it. I've said it before, and I will say it again: Rachel O'Laughlin has a brilliant gift for detail without boring the reader. She knows how to enchant you, and that is exactly what she does with this series. Her world exists so purely, and so vividly. The plots are intricately played out, the characters well developed and believably flawed, the relationships strained but not beyond hope, and the politics and action creating a tension that takes hold of you and doesn't let go, even with the last page. Brilliantly done!
She has done it again. And even better this time. No second book slump here...just more adventure, intrigue, and insight into characters I love and hate. I can think of no other author who has been able to pull off causing mixed feelings about their characters. One minute I want to hug them and tell them all will be okay and the next I want to punch them in the face to knock some sense into them. Her characters add layers to an already intricate plot and it's amazing what she pulls off.
I've been waiting for this sequel ever since I did the blog tour for the first book in the series last summer and I was not disappointed! Rachel O'Laughlin is the real deal--the perfect balance of fantasy world-building, action, and smoke-and-mirrors suspense. Loved!