Today is my stop on the blog tour for Rothana by Sarah Delena White. I’m also reviewing book one, Halayda, in this post.
A new queen falls. A death lord rises. An ancient foe looms in the shadows.
Sylvie Imanthiya is desperate to lead Faerie well and deepen the bond with her husband, former king Taylan Ashkalabek. But all hope of that vanishes when the winter solstice ceremony ends in disaster, stranding her and Taylan in the Deathrealm, and stripping the kingdom from her.
With Faerie in chaos, Zad and Diza are separated once again: Zad to reconcile with an old mentor to stabilize the kingdom, and Diza to confront the nefarious Casimir in the mortal realm. But Casimir claims that a greater evil seeks to destroy both realms, an evil that Diza’s unique death magic can hold at bay—if she could only remember how.
In the Deathrealm, Taylan is succumbing to the lure of specters from his past, and pushing away Sylvie’s love. Overwhelmed by decay and darkness, Sylvie must summon unexpected magic from the soul of Kyure to fight for her convictions and her husband’s heart.
Shadows divide them. Their friends are in peril. If Sylvie fails, her marriage and her world will fall.
Oh my gosh! I was slightly worried that Rothana would not live up to my love for Halayda, but boy was I wrong. This series just got better and I didn’t think that was possible.
This review will not cover everything I love about this story. Really, I think you should stop reading my review and go read Rothana now, but I will go over what I loved.
Once again, the characters are fantastic. I’m very attached to these characters now, and found myself talking out loud to them so they would make choices I wanted them to. Of course, they didn’t always listen.
The world building is just as breath taking as it was in book one. I’m just in awe. The plot is fast-paced, and I felt like I was part of this book.
Sarah Delena White has become one of the authors I know I will reach for anytime she releases a book, because she has delivered such magnificent fantasy novels in the first two books of this series. I highly recommend checking out both of these books if you’re a Fantasy lover. I don’t think you will be disappointed.
A mortal alchemist. A faerie king. A bond that transcends death.
Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.
King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.
Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.
Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.
If you know anything about me, you know I absolutely love (well-written) Fantasy novels. I don’t always get the opportunity to read in this genre. Well, I found one brilliant fantasy novel in, Halayda!! Wow, wow, wow! There…that basically sums up my review. I’m going to go into a little more detail here, but just go pick up this book. It’s THAT good.
The characters were fantastic. The relationships between them were refreshing. One thing I really enjoyed was the relationship between Sylvie and Taylan, because it was already established before the book began. Translation, no insta-love! The growth of their relationship feels real, and I loved reading it. Each character is brought to life with interesting dialogue, believable motivations and well-written backstories.
One important element in any story, but specifically in the Fantasy genre is good world-building and a well-established magic system. Well, Halayda has amazing world-building that I’m still thinkingabout. This story alternates between a steampunk human workd and a fantasy Faerie world, with other realms teased. Intricate magic, speces and settings, are some of the reasons why I’m absolutely obsessed with this book.
Alright, I really could go on and on. There are so many elements to this story, it’s something you have to read. If you couldn’t tell, I was hooked from the beginning and absolutely in love with this world. This is definitely on my list of favorites read this year.
Sarah Delena White was raised by wolves in an alternate dimension. She writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark. She’s an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds. She is the administrative manager for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not writing, she can be found making elegant designer bead jewelry, traveling to festivals as a professional ballad singer, drinking tea, and seeking to create the perfect latte. She can be bribed with dark chocolate.
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Join Uncommon Universes Press and Laura A. Grace of Unicorn Quester to celebrate the launch of Rothana by Sarah Delena White! Includes games, giveaways, exclusive behind-the-scenes, and more. Also features guest authors Bethany A. Jennings and Morgan L. Busse. Save the date to hang out with these fabulous authors!
Does this sound like something you’d read? Let me know if you do! Hopefully you’ll join the release party! I know I’ll be there.