As I was hoping, the first book, Daughter of Fire: Conspiracy of the Dark, was setting the scene and this one is where the action really takes place. Yet not all the action since it, once again, ends on a cliffhanger, although it’s a lot less frustrating than the end of book 1.
Daughter of Fire: The Darkness Rising starts where the previous book ended, with Lyse restraining Aeryn, preventing her from attacking the ambassador of the people she holds responsible for her family’s death. There’s a lot Aeryn doesn’t know, and Lyse shares her theory with her on what really happened. At the same time, the two students keep investigating the unexplained disappearances throughout King’s City. While doing so, they meet Lady Asher, a young knight, whose interest in Aeryn displeases Lyse. Aeryn and Lyse try to navigate their feelings for each other, despite Lyse being bonded to Timo. If that wasn’t enough, a Dark mages conspiracy seems more and more plausible, and the little group of students at Windhall University might be the only ones able to fight it.
There’s a lot of action and growth and excitement happening in this second book and it all makes for a very enjoyable read, even though I couldn’t shake the Harry Potter feel. Some scenes drag on a little, which messes with the otherwise fast-paced rythm, usually when the heroine is overwhelmed. That said, who wouldn’t feel overwhelmed in her place?
Aeryn is the perfect YA heroine, in that she’s responsible and earnest, and sometimes unyielding. She’s arrogant in that way only gifted teenagers can get away with. Lyse is also becoming an interesting character. She’s much stronger than she lets on and I hope we’ll get to see more of that side of her in future instalments.
I enjoyed this book more than the first one, and am looking forward to the next one, hoping I’ll like it even more.