Series: Tales of Tranquility #2
Source: gift from the author
Release Date: April 21, 2014
Challenges: Finishing the Series
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Blurb from goodreads:
As the bodies of her father and her sister burned, Bethany refused to say good-bye. She would say it only when she saw the release of their spirits and the burning of every person connected to their deaths.
Only then would they rest in peace.
Thousands are dead. Lady Champion Bethany's tainted sister is slain. Her home lost forever. And Magic yet survives. Bethany thought she'd given everything in the fight against Magic. She was wrong. When the deaths of those closest to her shake her already crumbled world, she doesn't wilt and die. She still has one thing left to gain even now: revenge.
Prophecy or no, half-goddess or not, Bethany vows to bring order back to the world with the edge of her blade. No matter who she must defy. No matter what stands in her way. No matter who must die.
For what they've done to her, all will pay.
Book 2 of the Tales of Tranquility Series.
Ms. Ball is a favorite author of mine while epic fantasy is not a favorite genre (though there was a time when I devoured it). But, since I like her writing so much, I tried out the first book in this series, and liked it. It was her first book, and that showed in the writing. In between that book and this one she wrote many others and I could see her growth as a writer. The pacing is smoother, the plot is more believable and story overall flows better.
Grief lives up to it's name- there's death in this story plus all the deaths that occurred in the first book, there's grief at the loss of relationships, grief at the changes in her life, etc. It's really not a book to read if you are grieving yourself, although it could be cathartic. Just don't expect a happy book or a happy ending. The ending is open but presumably continues in the next book, which is waiting its turn on my Kindle. :)
Characters are a strength of Ball's and this book was no exception. Even side characters are developed and a few from the first book who weren't fully realized are further developed here. Oh, and if you think fantasy heroes have to be male or be human, yea, this book's not for you. Men, women, elves, humans, all are capable of being good or evil, of being weak or strong, and our heroine Bethany kicks butt! She's a fierce and skilled warrior who prides herself on keeping safe those she loves and those under her protection. She's not so good at expressing her emotions but she as them in spades. Ball puts her through the wringer and I was tearing up at times.
But, not to worry, it's not all emotions. There's lots of action, and some gore (well, there is a war), to go with the character development and lots of political machinations. There's romance too! Yep, the book has everything and while occasionally it felt overstuffed, Ball reeled me in and kept me reading. It was another late night reading, darn the woman. :D
"Grief" and the Tranquility (really, where does that name come from?! There's no tranquility yet. ETA: It likely has to do with the temple where Bethany lives and works.) series are reminding me of why I enjoyed epic fantasy in the first place - romance, stories of the Other, fantastic quests, family dysfunction, and adventure galore. Grab your hankies and grab a copy of "Grief"!