I have to say first that I love this cover! It's also perfect for this second and final book in Brusenna's adventure, the first book being Witch Song. I enjoyed both stories.
In this story Senna is maturing and asking questions the others will not answer. Senna is done with being an outcast, scared and not understanding her true nature. She's changing since we last left her and some of the head witches know some of the answers to a few of her questions. She finds unlikely allies and lots of betrayal to those close to her and even those that are expected. Senna knows she must do something and the others are reluctant to take the hard road, make the hard choice. So she does but finds more unlikely allies and betrayal in her midst.
I enjoyed Senna's journey, but I have to say that at times her questioning herself was just a bit too much. Not enough to spoil my enjoyment, but enough to take me out of the story from time to time. It's good to question and she is young, but she just needed confidence that I would have thought she would have found by fighting so hard in the first book. It's there, it just comes at a slower pace than what I would have personally liked. I also had a hard time with Joshen, her betrothed, in this book and when he finally stops being so selfish it's nice to hear, but it just came suddenly with no epiphany. I would have liked to have seen what caused him to change his mind so abruptly.
I give this book 4 stars. In all I really enjoyed my time with the witches and Brusenna's hard choices. I'm sad to see this end, but 2 books make Senna's story fulfilling. I recommend it to those that love YA, adventure and fantasy.
This reads more like a fantasy in the way the world is built. Not the kind of fantasy where too much information is thrown at you, but in the way the world is lushly built. You follow Ilyenna who has just become the female aspect leader of her clan. Her job is to rule over the home and hearth and lead her people if the men have to go off to war. There is a political and war-like move within the clans and Ilyenna finds herself dying. She is saved by the fae, but there is a price to pay. The question becomes is if she will pay it by the time winter rules the earth again?
This fantasy was very gripping in terms of the adventure of Ilyeanna doing her best protecting her clan. She is kind and loving and is willing to sacrifice herself for others. I did like her character and found that many of the other women characters were quite strong as she was, but I didn't care for the lamentations that they were "only" women. It was understandable because of their society, but I would have loved it more if they just concentrated and celebrated their strengths as women a bit more. Their actions proved that they were strong.
My only other complaint for this fantasy was the ending... and yet I enjoyed it at the same time. The ending was a bit contrived and a bit too easy. Still, I enjoyed it because it gave me an HEA and a solid ending. No cliffies here! I think this is a good introduction to this world and I'm curious where the story goes next. I give this book 4 stars and recommend it to those that love an older YA (there is mention of rape and sex, but nothing graphic) fantasy.