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The Gods-Touched Duology #1

She Who Rides the Storm

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In this atmospheric YA fantasy that is Wicked Saints meets There Will Come a Darkness, four teens are drawn into a high-stakes heist in the perilous tomb of an ancient shapeshifter king.

Long ago, shapeshifting monsters ruled the Commonwealth using blasphemous magic that fed on the souls of their subjects. Now, hundreds of years later, a new tomb has been uncovered, and despite the legends that disturbing a shapeshifter’s final resting place will wake them once again, the Warlord is determined to dig it up.

But it isn’t just the Warlord who means to brave the traps and pitfalls guarding the crypt.

A healer obsessed with tracking down the man who murdered her twin brother.

A runaway member of the Warlord’s Devoted order, haunted by his sister’s ghost.

A snotty archaeologist bent on finding the cure to his magical wasting disease.

A girl desperate to escape the cloistered life she didn’t choose.

All four are out to steal the same cursed sword rumored to be at the very bottom of the tomb. But of course, some treasures should never see the light of day, and some secrets are best left buried…

400 pages, Kindle Edition

First published September 21, 2021

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About the author

Caitlin Sangster

6 books173 followers
Caitlin Sangster is the author of the Last Star Burning Trilogy, She Who Rides the Storm, and A Baker's Guide to Robber Pie.

She grew up in the back woods of California and would rather go hiking, running, swimming, or general outdoorsing than just about anything else. If there aren’t any mountains, it doesn’t count as a real place. At eighteen, she moved to XinJiang, and at twenty-one it was Taiwan. She did eventually buckle down and graduate from Brigham Young University with a BA in Asian Studies and is now that person you avoid at parties because she'll probably start talking about Shang dynasty oracle bones.

Caitlin has been writing since middle school. She always thought of it as a silly sort of compulsive habit until she realized that people like reading stories and she liked writing them and there wasn’t much silly about that.

She currently lives in the Chicago area with her husband and four children.

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5 stars
68 (23%)
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111 (38%)
3 stars
81 (27%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 116 reviews
Profile Image for Kartik.
205 reviews35 followers
Shelved as 'tbr-fantasy-slash-adventure'
February 9, 2022
Me: Eh I don't think I'm really interested in this book
Brandon Sanderson: I liked this book and thought it was good
Profile Image for Alex (The Scribe Owl).
340 reviews107 followers
September 11, 2021
See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl!

Thank you to NetGalley and Margaret K. McElderry Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

4.5/5 stars

She Who Rides the Storm is an incredibly engrossing high fantasy. I was a little bit nervous for this 600-pager, but it managed to stay interesting the whole time!

Our core cast was a good size, with four POVs and intertwining storylines. They were all unique, and I loved the way the all connected to each other in some way.

When you have a book that's this long, it has to be a little slow-burn. I definitely don't mind, I love that! But it does it so well that it never feels slow. You're always moving, always getting to the next plot point if you aren't there already.

The only thing that annoyed me about this book was the mid-chapter POV switching. Sometimes it took me a while to figure out who was talking! Maybe it's just the formatting of my ARC, but there wasn't even a pagebreak or anything to mark it.

All in all, this was a great book! I enjoyed it more than I expected to, and I would highly recommend it.
Profile Image for Hannah.
161 reviews86 followers
September 23, 2021

The immersive and dark fantasy that features incredible worldbuilding and compelling characters that did not quite hit the mark for me, She Who Rides the Storm is a book that is sure to captivate readers. This novel is a tale of revenge, power, and political intrigue that offers a unique magic system that would appeal to fans of detailed high fantasy stories.

She Who Rides the Storm is a young adult high fantasy novel by Caitlin Sangster. It features four main characters who are swept into a perilous heist in the tomb of a powerful shapeshifter. They all want to steal a cursed sword, all with different motives, and all with complex backstories.

I enjoyed the characters in She Who Rides the Storm. There are 4 main point of views, an each are equally entertaining to read about. Anwei is a Basist who is out for revenge for her twin. Knox is a runaway Devoted who has a dangerous secret regarding his sister's soul. Lia is determined to escape from her Devoted life. Mateo is a snotty archeologist who is suffering from a disease. All have fairly interesting stories and were fun to read about, but I couldn't quite connect with any of them the way I wanted to. My favorite was definitely Mateo, but they were all great characters.

The worldbuilding is She Who Rides the Storm is simply spectacular. It is lush and magical and well fleshed out. I was definitely a little confused at the start. There wasn't any info-dumping, but it still felt like a bunch of terms were being thrown at me from the start. I thought that the magic system was very cool and helped sell the story for me. I loved the whole vibes of the setting from the beginning and it was very well done.

Unfortunately, the plot is where She Who Rides the Storm falls a bit short for me. This book is pitched as having a high-stakes heist that can be compared to Six of Crows. However, I felt like the heist element in the story was rather unimportant until a good chunk of the book in. The first 30% of the book felt like it dragged on. I could barely force myself to keep reading and considered DNF-ing the book multiple times. I'm glad I stuck out with it, but the beginning did not draw me in like I expected it to.

I would definitely recommend this book, although it was not my cup of tea. If you are a lover of intricate and immersive worldbuilding, this book would definitely appeal to you. If you love character driven stories, this book would appeal to you. But if you are looking for a heist story, you might be left underwhelmed.

Thank you to Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for sending me a digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Starr ❇✌❇.
1,107 reviews108 followers
October 22, 2021
I received an ARC from Edelweiss
TW: human branding, attempted sexual assault, mentioned attempted murder of a child, brutal murder of teenagers, animal fighting, fire

Anwei has been desperate to avenge her brother since his death- a death, she's sure, at the hands of a shapeshifter, a dangerous monster of a person. For now she is a thief, hoping to steal important information at the same time. It is a line of work that Knox finds himself a part of too, swept up once Anwei saved him on the streets after running from The Devoted, a society he was once a part of- one meant to honor the very goddess that speaks to him. The only person he regrets leaving behind is Lia, a girl he thought of as a sister, and who was sent to look for him- only to accidentally leave The Devoted herself, after an attempted assault by a fellow member. Now she and her family are being blackmailed by a man who wants her to marry his son, Mateo, who is not Devoted but somehow has the fatal disease that afflicts them.
Their unknown connections are all the more entangled as they set their eyes on a single prize- the ancient, cursed sword at the bottom of the first shapeshifter's tomb.

Conceptually this book is an absolute gem. I personally love misfit/ragtag casts and complicated associations, and this book does not disappoint in that regard. The characters are well written, with enough depth to set them apart from each other as well as make their dynamics interesting, and with enough motivation for each to have good reason to get involved at all.
The characters are all likable as well. They're fun and different, and easy to root for. Personally Matteo was my favorite, but I can easily see anyone getting emotionally attached to any single character.

Back to those dynamics- I was a little wary when I realized that this book was going to break our 4 characters into 2 neat relationships, but surprisingly the romances are really done well! They're two different types of romantic relationships- for one thing, one of them has a slow burn that begins off page, before the story, and the other begins under the guise of dislike and fake courtship- and both feel very real, well paced, and work well with the overall story.

The story itself has a nice amount of tension to it, keeping things moving. The pacing is, admittedly, a little slow throughout, but it definitely keeps dangling questions and plots to help you stay invested. I also love the little bits of mythology, history, and world building we get, from the tomb paintings to Anwei's healer braids.

I also think the ending is good. It picks up the pace, and then doesn't let off it a totally abrupt way while also not dragging things out. I'm sure the sequel is going to be really interesting, and will definitely be reading it.

I think for me the biggest let downs keeping me from loving this book were that, while I love the cast, I was hoping for more interaction as a whole instead of two spheres of action- or for totally independent arcs and storylines. Pairing them up did work in some ways, but it wasn't quite as exciting as I'd hoped in regards to character interactions. Though, I do expect that to be different in the sequel.
I also expected more action- the plot feels slow in multiple places, and I think this book could have cut some things and been a snappier, shorter version of itself.
And while I enjoyed what we're given in terms of world building, I really did want more. There are some details teased that would have added more depth and stability to the world had it been expanded on.

This is a fun fantasy with a godpunk leaning, and some heisting to boot. I had a good time with this one, and look forward to seeing where it goes in the sequel.

Pre-review comments below
"A healer obsessed with tracking down the man who murdered her twin brother.
A runaway member of the Warlord’s Devoted order, haunted by his sister’s ghost.
A snotty archaeologist bent on finding the cure to his magical wasting disease.
A girl desperate to escape the cloistered life she didn’t choose."

Why do I already love all of them
Profile Image for Cindy ✩☽♔.
948 reviews769 followers
Want to read
July 28, 2021
Just pre-ordered this from the author's website since she is doing a special edition with stenciled edges that will be signed =D
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
244 reviews18 followers
January 3, 2022
Update: Apparently the second book doesn't come out until early 2023. That's a long time!

The phrase “everything is not as it seems” may be trite, but I think it does really apply here. I won’t go into more details for spoiler purposes. Let’s just say that those 600-odd pages were leading up to something(s).

She Who Rides the Storm follows four characters—Anwei, a healer with a dark past; Knox, an ex-Devoted (magical warrior) who has his own secrets; Lia, a Devoted who has been prohibited from leading a normal life; and Mateo, an archeologist with only a short time left to live—unless he can find a cure to his deliberating illness.

At the center of this story is a tomb that is being excavated, the resting place of an infamous shapeshifter. In this society, shapeshifters are regarded as evil and dangerous, and many suspect the tomb is cursed. The archeology and true history behind the tomb was pretty interesting to read about.

Admittedly, the world-building is a little bit difficult to understand. It goes unexplained, and the setting itself isn’t exactly familiar, being not drawn distinctly from one culture or another (though this aspect is a positive). The plot is complex and unique, though it did at times take a while to get going due to the length.

Something I appreciated about the cast of characters is that while they were obviously not perfect they were good characters with good intentions (even if they were selfish). The author wasn’t trying to make them purposely edgy or morally-gray (if that makes any sense), but they were still awesome. Mateo (with his fancy shoes) was probably my favorite, closely followed by Lia. I enjoyed their chapters more.

There’s also not too much romance here. While there are four characters and even numbers in YA books signify pairing off, no relationships are directly established. There’s a hint/definite pairing though, so ships are welcome.


I was fooled into thinking this was a stand-alone, and am currently mourning the fact the second book probably won't come out for a while yet. That ending was something...but for one thing it didn't change who my favorite character is, even after all that. ;) I can't even remember how I found this book, but it only has around 40 ratings and reviews so I am humbly asking for more hype. Also, I procrastinated my impending homework to finish this. So there's that.

More coherent review to come...
Profile Image for Kristen.
109 reviews2 followers
July 26, 2021
She Who Rides the Storm, apart from having a gorgeous cover, is just a really, really good book.

With an ensemble cast of diverse characters with super conflicting motivations, this book is the sort that I both wanted to finish reading immediately and wanted to stew over for several days after finishing. There’s Anwei, a healer with a complicated past who has sworn vengeance for her twin brother’s murder; Knox, a runaway warrior/magician/monk who hears voices of both his dead sister and the goddess he serves; Lia, who has been forced into service as a mindreader for the fearsome Warlord and desperately wants to leave; and Mateo, an archaeologist who is searching for a cure to the sickness killing him. This book’s plot is complicated and twisty, and I was eager to get back to each viewpoint whenever we switched away. I've found in multi-POV books that usually one POV is weaker than the others, but that wasn't the case here. I particularly loved Mateo’s sense of humor and his witty observations—in a cast made up of pretty proficient fighters, it was great to have someone who was both competent and not made for a life of violence.

The worldbuilding in She Who Rides the Storm is one of its best features. It’s fully fleshed out and immersive, and there are so many layers of secrets in the plot that I had fun uncovering them throughout the narrative. For me, She Who Rides the Storm hit the sweet spot I was looking for. If there was a Venn Diagram that included Six of Crows’s ensemble cast, Avatar the Last Airbender’s sweeping worldbuilding, and Sanderon’s funky magic systems, this is the center of that diagram. The character dynamics are at turns moving and agonizing (especially when characters who you want to get along are at odds) and overall, this was just a really fun read. Plus there are killer unicorns. What’s not to love about that??

Can’t wait for book two.
Profile Image for Korynne.
404 reviews22 followers
February 5, 2022
DNF at 14%.

I was so excited to read this book when I first heard about it. That gorgeous cover + a blurb by Brandon Sanderson + my book club’s monthly pick + a fantasy heist with magic and two romances? Hook, line, and sinker. Unfortunately, I really really struggled with all aspects of this book and had to DNF on page 84 because I noticed myself actively avoiding the book by choosing to do anything else other than reading, which is always a bad sign.

To start with, She Who Rides the Storm is marketed as a young adult fantasy because the characters are all teens, but this should really be marketed as an adult fantasy instead. It reads like an adult fantasy and has intricate magic like an adult fantasy and drops you into the world mid-story without explaining anything like an adult fantasy. Initially, this made me more excited to read it because I tend to prefer adult fantasy over young adult fantasy, but I actually think the way this was handled here was to this book’s detriment.

This book has lots of POVs. I think maybe four or six? I’m not sure because it was hard to keep them all straight or figure out whose perspective I was reading from. Sometimes I was even convinced I was reading from a third-person omniscient POV, which just wasn’t working for me. We’re introduced to a ton of characters right at the beginning, and each person has something special about them. I was not able to connect with or care about any of the characters, however. I’m also not sure which character is supposed to be represented on the cover because she doesn’t seem to resemble any of the ones I met.

I cannot pinpoint a specific reason why, but I just could not focus on the story. Nothing was drawing me in and it was very slow-moving. There were lots of new terminologies that weren’t being explained and I could never intuit what they meant. That combined with a brand new world that also wasn’t being explained and the huge cast of characters I couldn’t connect to and a plot that was hard to follow was all too much for me. Often it took me an hour to read only ten pages. Like I said, I struggled.

I’m very sad She Who Rides the Storm did not work for me because I genuinely wanted to love this book. The synopsis sounded so good, plus there are the reasons I listed above for why I was so excited for it. But then I had to ask myself if this book didn’t have a pretty cover and it wasn’t blurbed by Brandon Sanderson would I feel bad about DNFing it? And I concluded no, I wouldn’t. Those are superficial reasons to continue reading a book when I’m struggling so intensely and actively finding other things to do so I don’t have to read it. That’s a sign I need to put it down. However, if I am able to find an audiobook in the future I would consider finishing it because it is so much easier to finish difficult books when I’m effortlessly listening to someone read them to me versus me reading them to myself.

Overall, I am greatly disappointed with this book. I expected to love it; I expected it to be a new favorite novel. But it just wasn’t working for me. Every time I read a new page my brain couldn’t absorb any information about the story and I was constantly confused about what was happening. This novel could have greatly benefitted from a glossary because of all the new terminology and the types of magic and all the gods and the huge cast of characters, etc. From the first chapter we are introduced to these new fantastical concepts, but there were never any explanations, so I felt distanced from the story and confused the entire time I was reading it. There were lots of elements of this story that I should have loved: fantasy heist, Indiana Jones vibes, ancient tomb setting (supposedly; never got that far), revenge, fantasy religions, different types of magic, forbidden love, fake dating, and multiple POVs. But I honestly didn’t like anything about this book. I really really hate to say it but She Who Rides the Storm was nothing but a struggle for me and I cannot in good conscience recommend it.

My Book Blog: Storeys of Stories
Profile Image for Shelley.
5,103 reviews458 followers
January 20, 2022
*Source* Publisher
*Genre* Young Adult / Dark Fantasy
*Rating* 3.5


She Who Rides the Storm, by author Caitlin Sangster, is the first part of a two part duology that alternates between four key main characters. Anwei is a healer who is obsessed with tracking down the person who killed her brother and forced her into fleeing her home. She is a thief to both make money and secretly find information to help her achieve this revenge. Knox, Anwei's friend and partner in crime, is a runaway from the Devoted, living in fear of discovery. He hears voices of both his dead sister and the goddess he serves.

*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*

Profile Image for Natalie.
2,342 reviews52 followers
January 23, 2022

I don’t know if this was a case of the writing style not working for me or what, but I have absolutely no idea what happened in this book.

To be fair, the first third or so was interesting and pretty solid, but then the plot just sort of meandered in circles and didn’t go anywhere.

The premise sounded like an Indiana Jones story but in a fantasy setting, with a heist of a cursed tomb complete with dangerous traps and such. Unfortunately, most of the book was just about making plans to do a heist of the tomb. That’s it. They sat around planning for most of the book. It made the stakes feel very low.

The characters were not that interesting, except maybe Lia. There are 4 main characters, and the perspective would change at random, which made for a very confusing reading experience.

The world building was nonexistent. I read the entire book and I know literally nothing about the world. I was honestly confused more than anything else.
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,209 reviews268 followers
November 12, 2021
There's two notable things about this book - the similarities to Six Of Crows and the fact that it's a good 600 pages long. The latter has had me complaining for a good week, and I'm glad to finish it, because the plot honestly did not need any more than 400 pages and I ended up skim reading the last 5 percent just to finish it.

The plot was quite confusing, you had Gods that can speak to humans, shapeshifters and a bunch of warrior kids in the center of it all trying to find a way to live, trying find a lost brother, trying to find themselves. In a stark contrast however, the world building wasn't practically none existent and the teens never left the town this story was set in.

What did pull me into this story and kept me reading was the four teens - Mateo, Anwei, Knox and Lia. They were so well written, I was invested in their stories and I rooted for them and worried about them throughout the story. It's just a real shame that the rest of the story was so lacking, and I will struggle to decide if I want to continue the series.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
101 reviews9 followers
February 4, 2021
I beta read a less than finished version of this book last year, but there was already so much to love! It had such beautiful tone and characters to die for. I can't wait to read an even better published version! If you like Six of Crows and other YA-ish Heist Fantasy novels, it is definitely worth checking out! I will edit this with an updated review when I read the final version.
Profile Image for Alex.
457 reviews148 followers
September 2, 2021
WOW, in this SOC meets Witchlands start of an epic new series you cannot go wrong in picking this book up this September.
I really appreciated being thrown straight into the fantasy world of Choal and the Islands of the Clays that make up the kingdom.
We start by following the first duo of our team Knox and Anwei and in doing so, learning more about the world of the Devoted and the "Dirt Witches" and the complicated history between the two magical enhanced beings of this world. We slowly get introduced to the rest of our team, but with all the twist and turns never really know who we can trust other than our dynamic duo.
This book has so much going on in it, from amazing plot twists, throughout the book, to stunning world-building and characters that you will love.

Tropes Included:
Heist, Bound-Together, Forbidden romance, Mistaken Identity, Revenge Story.

4 stars.
Profile Image for Hannah.
161 reviews86 followers
August 1, 2021

RTC closer to the publication date.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster and NetGalley for sending me this digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
343 reviews
October 2, 2021
Unpopular opinion time.

This book is to me, as I am to my parents: a giant disappointment.

It is blurbed by The Man Himself, Brandon Sanderson, as "A tightly woven fantasy heist with memorable characters and a killer premise." Other than having a killer premise, none of these things were true.

"A tightly woven fantasy heist"-- More like a meandering walk through the most boring park of all time.

This book is peddled as having a plot where our main characters are racing to enter a dangerous, recently uncovered tomb and try to steal a sword of potentially unlimited power. That is a plot I am here for. Unfortunately, that is literally the opposite of what happened. The tomb is being excavated on page 87, but the "race" for the sword doesn't start until the last 40ish pages? And at that point, is it even a race? We just spent 500 pages on side-quests and talking (oh my god, so much expositional talking) about who we are and what we want and blah, blah, blah--how is that a "tightly woven heist?"

At 595 pages, this book could've lost 150-200 pages and still functioned comprehensively--in fact, cutting down the extraneous detail, subplots, and absolute nonsense backstories/world-building (can it be called world-building if it doesn't add to the world?) would have made this book significantly easier to digest and more exciting to read.

"Memorable characters"-- The characters were pretty "meh" all the way around.

They weren't terrible, but they weren't standouts either. I didn't hate Anwei, Knox, Lia, or Mateo... I didn't feel attached to them either. They all had their thing that made them special: Anwei and her sense of smell, Knox and his connection to Casta and Willow, Mateo and his sickness, and Lia's thing is a spoiler--but unfortunately, all of the main four except Lia, lose their thing along the way. Anwei's sense of smell is HEAVILY used in the first chapter and then only mentioned at times of plot convenience the rest of the book. Knox and his connection to Casta and Willow--once again, only when convenient to the plot. Mateo's sickness is more prominent, but for a dying character, we get maybe a line or two about how terrible he feels when we are in his perspective. Let me repeat: he is dying, and in 595p, we only get a line or two about how he physically feels. WHAT?

Lia's "thing" is the only one that wasn't lost along the way, and honestly, at this point, I think that was just a happy accident.

Again: the characters and their relationships weren't terrible. Unfortunately, there was nothing original or exciting to them either. Anwei is your typical "special snowflake, not like other girls, powerful" female protag. Knox is every "in love with my female best friend, but can't act on it for reasons" male protag. Lia is down to her red hair and small stature every "don't underestimate me, I can kill you with just a look" badass female protag. And Mateo was every single "Sarcasm and smarts are my only defining attributes" male character.

Every interaction in this book went exactly the way I anticipated it would, which is... not great.

"With a killer premise"-- the premise was dope, it was executed poorly, though.

I appreciate the world-building tactic Sangster took--write the book like the reader lives in the world and let them figure everything out with context clues. The problem was... there weren't enough context clues? From explaining who aukincers and khonins are to auras and how they work to getting a better grasp on the Devoted and what they do/the fact that there are different types of Devoted, we aren't given any of that--and those facts are central to the story. As a fantasy reader, if I don't understand the rules of your world, how am I supposed to be blown away when you bend and break them?

Ultimately everything in this book was either murky or was derivative of every YA fantasy I've read before. If this book came out in 2012, I probably would've felt differently about it, but YA fantasy is a juggernaut genre full of excellent series with original plots, compelling characters, and mind-bending world-building.

This book didn't do it for me at all.
Profile Image for Taylor - Muse Ignited Reads.
418 reviews17 followers
June 19, 2021
Caitlin Sangster just went from unknown to auto-buy author for me. It's been a while since I discovered a new fantasy series this rich and immersive, I was swept away from start to finish...of all 600 pages. This one really blew all my expectations, and I can't believe I haven't heard more about it. Plenty of mystery and intrigue makes this a twisty AND deeply felt delight. And there are a couple of major surprises waiting for you at the end that will have you reflecting back on all you've read and everything you thought you knew. **Thank you to Netgalley and Margaret K. McElderry Books for my eARC in exchange for an honest review**

The Lowdown: Touted as a heist fantasy, I found it to be less Six of Crows (I realize this is everyone's current benchmark for YA Heist Fantasy) and more Mistborn. The world building and fantasy and magical elements far outweigh the actual heist element (which is more Indiana Jones than Six of Crows). It's not that there isn't a major heist aspect to the plot its just that there is so much more!
It's rare that I read a book with essentially 4 main characters and end up liking them all pretty equally. They are a diverse group and should appeal to male and female readers equally (they also represent a good racial mix, along with some of the supporting cast I got a meso american, eastern indian, asian, irish and african vibes). I also appreciated the meso-american shapeshifter vibes vs the more common eastern european (werewolves) ones.

We've got Anwei who wants revenge for her murdered twin, she's a Basist (those blessed by the nameless God, one eradicated from history and blamed for the creation of the "evil" shapeshifters) and her thieving partner Knox, a runaway Devoted (those blessed by the Goddess Calsta and in service to the Warlord) who's hiding the fact that the sword he keeps hidden contains his sisters soul, who grows more desperate to escape her confines every day.
Then there's Lia another devoted, a Spiritist (blessed with the most powerful gifts from Calsta) determined to seek her freedom away from her fate at the hands of the Warlord. Originally she's in the city in order to hunt down Knox (who was her best friend before his escape) for the Warlord, but circumstances force her to flee her life as a Devoted. Then we have Mateo, a spoiled young archeologist on his death bed, who I was pretty sure I was going to hate but ended up loving (inspite of the fact that he never really changed ie he never suddenly became a skilled fighter or anything, but instead used his weaknesses to his advantage and fought against them as best he could). His self deprecation and sarcasm made him a witty addition to the story.

Now introduce a tomb of a once powerful and evil shapeshifter being excavated, three different groups all with different motives trying to infiltrate the dig, a mysterious magical "Wasting" disease infecting the devoted. along with another possibly magical or poisonous plague infecting everyday people, a strong supporting cast of complex characters throwing wrenches in the plot, a restless and possibly cursed ghost, a Goddess speaking to people in their heads, plenty of political intrigue and mysteries buried within mysteries, great action, betrayal, sabotage, unique and unusual magic and magical systems, and lots of secrets...secret identities and secret powers....and you've got a good idea of the tip of this iceberg.

Highly recommend. Perfect for those who love detailed full blown unique fantasy, and fans of series like Sanderson's Mistborn, VE Schwabs A Darker Shade of Magic, Maas' Throne of Glass,and Danielle Jensen's Dark Shores,
Profile Image for Nathaniel.
Author 18 books102 followers
March 7, 2022
If Indiana Jones and Six of Crows decided to have a child, it would look something like She Who Rides the Storm. Which makes this book really unique. This is the first time that I can recall seeing a fantasy side to archaeology. While I can't say I ever wanted to BE an archaeologist, it's definitely something that I find fascinating. The secrets of the past are so interesting...and possibly a little dangerous.
Yeah, this book was good. The characters fit so well into this complex cultural landscape, and I was just as intrigued by them as I was by the actual plot. Caitlin Sangster writes so well. It was like poetry at times, flowing as a movie in my head.
I could not get enough.
And I will be returning for the sequel.
If you're looking for a new fantasy novel to read, definitely check this one out. It's worth the time it takes.
Profile Image for Soph the Oaf.
399 reviews28 followers
September 14, 2021
This book was sadly... disappointing. I expected it to be a fast-paced, adventurous fantasy, but it didn't turn out that way. The plot was confusing and the story felt removed from me as a reader. I quickly lost interest and motivation. I have a short attention span, and the reality is that most readers do too. Some, I suppose, would still love this book, but many, including me, would not.
Profile Image for Lindsay.
1,327 reviews60 followers
October 10, 2021
While I liked this, it was way too long. And I thought it was too long because it was going to be a stand alone fantasy book. But no, that ending was not an ending at all.
Profile Image for Teri.
Author 6 books140 followers
September 20, 2021
I read a title from this author’s backlist a few years ago and was excited to see she’s releasing a new series. The fact that it’s a heist story made it even more appealing.

Talk about lack of trust. Each of these characters has valid reasons for not placing theirs in just anyone after being betrayed in various ways. They’ve also suffered incredible losses – Anwei her parents and twin brother, Knox his sister and best friend, Lia her family when she was ripped away from them, and Mateo his parents and possibly his life if he doesn’t find a cure for the wasting disease. I liked each of these characters and quickly grew to care about them. Mateo also injected some humor into his scenes that I especially enjoyed. Anwei and Knox have been partners in crime – literally – for a year, and before long all four of their lives become entwined. Stories that bring together a group of misfits are among my favorites, and this one also offered a couple of sly, crafty supporting characters who add to the plot.

Romance wise I was skeptical when it became evident these four would be paired off into relationships, but both are vastly different. Two of them have harbored slow burn feelings for quite a while, but the other two are in a quasi-kind of fake courtship that results in some light-hearted, comedic moments. They each work well within the scope of the story.

World-building is a big thing for me and this being a fantasy, it’s incredibly important to the plot. It’s clear the author developed a complex world with some original elements, but I never felt like I had a good grasp on it. Looking at other reviews, this wasn’t mentioned so it could have just been me being distracted at the wrong times. The pacing is a bit slow for my taste, but like a carrot on a stick, hints were dangled throughout to keep me going. I admit to being thunderstruck over the twists at the end – a perfect setup for the sequel.

With hints of Indiana Jones, a dangerous heist, and easy to love characters, this novel is sure to appeal to fantasy fans. I’ll be watching for the sequel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Stephanie P (Because My Mother Read).
1,072 reviews36 followers
November 15, 2021
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

This epic new fantasy is full of intrigue and dynamic characters. It follows four different people who are trying to retrieve a shapeshifter’s cursed sword which is believed to be buried at the bottom of a uncovered tomb. The book jumps between all four perspectives and I found each character’s journey compelling and engaging. In some books with multiple points of view I want to rush through some to get to the ones I care about, but in this story I fully enjoyed each one.

Like most high fantasy books, this one has a bit of a learning curve at the beginning to understand the world and magic. At almost 600 pages it is also longer than most young adult fantasies, but I found it to be compelling all throughout and I felt like the length was necessary to tell the full story. This is the first book of a duology and I can’t wait to see the rest of the story unfold.

Brandon Sanderson has a great blurb on the cover of this book and I really think fans of his books would enjoy this one as well. I also think it has great crossover appeal between teen and adult audiences.

Content/trigger warnings: non graphic violence and death, non graphic attempted rape
Profile Image for Jan farnworth.
1,261 reviews82 followers
December 17, 2021
She Who Rides the Storm is a captivity fantasy novel in Chaol. Among the Commonwealth, there are people, the devoted, blessed with powers from Calista goddess of sun and storm, and those that follow the nameless god the Bassists, who are natural-born witches/healers. The story follows four main characters, two devoted and two bassists, who are all on a quest to find the legendary ancient and cursed sword of the Shapeshifter king located in his tomb.
It took me a while to get into the grove of the story and figure out the main back story for each character; we are told a little about each one in the blurb but not the names. The history of the two groups is covered extensively in this book as a setup for the next book. The groundwork is laid out in this book, and the characters learn a lot, and they are tested to decide if they believe what they know is accurate and true. The ending is a major cliffhanger, so if you are not a fan of that, maybe wait to tell both books are out. It was a captivating story and, at times, heartbreaking to read. The novel plots along at a slower pace than I thought it would, and at times, I did feel it got repetitive in spots as the characters muddle through, accepting what they learn. I am eagerly anticipating the sequel.
Profile Image for Julie Janis.
Author 5 books35 followers
December 14, 2021
This was a high 4 star for me. An incredible, true epic fantasy that took turns I wasn't expecting! Loved the characters, the world was unique, the romance was just enough (and I look forward for more in the sequel) and the magic reminded me of a Brandon Sanderson magic system. It's also written very well. Highly recommend!
Profile Image for Claire.
32 reviews3 followers
October 22, 2021
Wow! I initially thought this is kind of slow but OHMYGOODNESS! The world building and characters are phenomenal. So much depth and intrigue. And that ending! I can't wait for the next book!
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