Thank you so much to Page Street Books for sending me an ARC of this book!
Title: Sky Breaker
Author: Addie Thorley
Publisher: Page Street Publishing
Release Date: May 4, 2021
Genres: YA Fantasy
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Enebish has been deceived by everyone she once considered a friend. On the run across the tundra, her only allies are her best friend Serik and a band of ill-tempered shepherds. Her only hope of bringing peace to Ashkar is to unite the people of the Protected Territories and make a stand against the tyrannical Sky King and the hostile nation of Zemya. But that’s easier said than done. As supplies dwindle, the shepherds become far more desperate for food than freedom.
Meanwhile, Zemyan forces have stormed the Ashkarian capital. Imperial Army Commander Ghoa throws all of her power into a last-ditch effort to save her king, only to be abandoned by her fellow warriors. Held captive in a prison forged of magic and tortured by the zealous sorcerer Kartok, Ghoa learns his true ambitions lie far beyond the warring countries—he wants vengeance on the gods themselves.
The war between Ashkar and Zemya began centuries ago as a feud amongst the gods. Now it’s up to the two most hated people on the continent—the monstrous outcast, Enebish, and the notorious war criminal, Ghoa—to heal that spiritual divide before Kartok brings the skies crashing down on all of them.
Wicked Saints meets the Grishaverse in this stunning and relentless conclusion to the Night Spinner duology.
I’ll start with what I loved about this book! Just as in the first book, the world building of Night Spinner and Sky Breaker is phenomenal. I felt I understood quite well the different lands talked about, the different cultures, and the way the magic system worked. I love how it played into their religion, and how it played into Enebish’s life in general. I would love to explore more stories in this world. The prose as well is just a stellar as in the first book. I could just sink into Thorley’s lyrical prose. I love the way it paints a picture in my mind and brings everything to life.
This might be entirely because of the long break between books, but I struggled to connect with Enebish in Sky Breaker. I loved her to pieces in Night Spinner, but she seemed so much more cynical and negative in this book. Her distrust and paranoia were hard to swallow sometimes, and there were many times throughout the book I just wanted to shake some sense into her.
And while I was interested in seeing Ghoa’s POV at first, I realized what direction her story was going in… and I just didn’t understand why she needed a redemption arc. If this is still holding onto the Hunchback of Notre Dame retelling and Ghoa is the story’s Frollo, why did she need to be redeemed? In my eyes, Ghoa was unforgivable for what she did to Enebish, and nothing that happened to her in this sequel made up for that.
While the worldbuilding and prose is still incredible in this book, I was let down by the characters. This could totally be an instance of “it’s not the book, it’s me,” and I just wasn’t vibing with the book like I thought I would. I would still encourage fans of Night Spinner to give this book a shot a see if they like it.