Rift (Nightshade Prequel #1) – Andrea Cremer

Rift (Nightshade Prequel #1) – Andrea CremerTitle: Rift (Nightshade Prequel #1) by Andrea Cremer
Publishing Info: August 7, 2012 by Penguin
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: August 25, 2012

    Sixteen-year-old Ember Morrow is promised to a group called Conatus after one of their healers saves her mother's life. Once she arrives, Ember finds joy in wielding swords, learning magic, and fighting the encroaching darkness loose in the world. She also finds herself falling in love with her mentor, the dashing, brooding, and powerful Barrow Hess. When the knights realize Eira, one of their leaders, is dabbling in dark magic, Ember and Barrow must choose whether to follow Eira into the nether realm or to pledge their lives to destroying her and her kind.
    With action, adventure, magic, and tantalizing sensuality, this book is as fast-paced and breathtaking as the Nightshade novels.

Breaking It Down Further: After being promised to Conatus, Ember Morrow feels no sorrow for the fate for which she had no choice. In fact, she welcomes the opportunity to join up with the knights of Conatus and finally put her feisty nature to use to fight instead of her father’s plan, to wed the best lad he can spot. When Ember learns of the nature of the battles of the knights of Conatus – a war against any dark, other-worldly creatures that plague the earth – Ember plucks up her courage and heads off to fight, knowing that this is where she belongs. She banishes all thoughts of marriage and love as silly notions… until her mentor, a handsome man and one of the best warriors named Barrow, somehow makes her heart race and takes her breath away…

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I think I’m really starting to get into high fantasy combined with historical fiction! My first impressions of Rift were a little reserved, but once I got into the story, I found myself reeling along the same path as when I read some of my other favorites that surprised me like Graceling and Grave Mercy! One minor drawback was that I was reading the ARC version of the book and… I guess that’s why it’s an uncorrected copy because there were at least three chapters that ended in the middle of a sentence and then a new one started. Whoops, definitely missing some pages. I don’t think I missed anything too important though!

Loved the steamy relationship that started heating up between Ember & Barrow! It was quite the slow burn that I love… But then again, I can’t help but feel like I’ve read this relationship quite a few times. I guess it’s really hard to make new relationships when your characters aren’t really allowed to be together. It’s a classic love story plot and I’m just too ready to make comparisons! Still loved it quite a bit though. It added a great aspect to the story.

I actually felt a bit torn that RIFT was split between Ember’s story and Eira/Cian. While the details of hearing Eira’s story were extremely important, I just didn’t want to tear away from the main focus on Ember. Just my personal preference!

I was also a bit surprised that we had a bit of a cliffhanger here! I didn’t really look into the book much before diving in (I rarely do anymore because I hate spoiling anything for myself!) so I didn’t know there were even more prequels than just this one. I definitely look forward to getting my hands on the next book because Rift was truly great!

Also, I still don’t think I’ll pick up the Nightshade series, in all truthfulness! If you thought it was great and want to sway me otherwise, please do let me know what I’m missing out on! I’m not really big on werewolf/shape shifter stories either (didn’t care for Maggie Stiefvater’s SHIVER and I learned my lesson on trying to make myself get interested in faeries when I had doubts already) so if you think it’s really worth the read, please let me know!

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Ember: I’ve been on a really big strong-female-protagonist kick too and Rift surely didn’t disappoint! Ember’s got quite a feisty temperament and a stirring deep within her that’s just dying to fight and prove that she can hang with the guys! And boy, does she. I had a lot of fun reading Ember’s side of the story and I loved the spirit that she brought to the book.
Barrow: Hm, for as strong of a presence as he was, I feel like there’s not a lot to say about him! He seems like more brawn than anything, but lordy, I do love me a good forbidden romance. I really liked how he regarded Ember and try as he could, he couldn’t turn her away.
Agnes: Hey, whatever happened to her story? We got a little peek of it and then…. nothin’. We catch on in the beginning that she’s clearly unhappy about her upcoming marriage, but we never learn what happens with that! Maybe it’ll come into play in future prequels (future prequels??? Is that an oxymoron?).

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Read it!

Really, really great. I love how I fell into the world of Conatus and I really enjoyed all of the characters. Even if the story line went a bit more paranormal than I expected, it was just so great to read overall.

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