Final rating: 5/5 starsSo much things happened in this book I just don't know where to start. Many things are explained, many things have happened here. And the most important - we finally found out what happened to Moon's family. But it wasn't just that, this book was really and so much emotional. It had me smiling many times, and crying just as much. I sobbed at 3 am in the morning, and then I decided it would be the best idea to calm down and continue after I wake up, because, damn, it hurt t Final rating: 5/5 starsSo much things happened in this book I just don't know where to start. Many things are explained, many things have happened here. And the most important - we finally found out what happened to Moon's family. But it wasn't just that, this book was really and so much emotional. It had me smiling many times, and crying just as much. I sobbed at 3 am in the morning, and then I decided it would be the best idea to calm down and continue after I wake up, because, damn, it hurt that much. I didn't sob like this for weeks, maybe months, and this had pulled out my heart (and put it back there again, thankfully, which is very much appreciated).Not just that, but the plot was great, the world building was amazing as always and characters were fantastic. I love most of the side ones who appeared. Especially Chime, he is my favorite along with Balm and Stone. But now I have added (view spoiler)[Shade (especially him), Celadon and Malachite (hide spoiler)] too to the harem of favorite characters - especially kick ass heroines like Jade and some of the other queens and warrior females - but I really loved Jade in this one. So, what do we have in this book: Action? Yes. Cuteness? Yes. Plot twists? Yes. Court intrigue? Nice amount. Appearance of other courts? Yes. Finding out more about the Raksura and Fell races? Hell yes. Angst? Oh yes. Great new kick ass characters? Yes. Talking to my aunt made me understand something. My aunt asked me what I read now and I told her a general idea of their races. And she was unexpectedly interested in Raksura so much she started asking me questions about them. Which is rare because she is not really fan of high fantasy. But the questions she asked had so much sense and I realized that I could answer all of her them: How do they reproduce? What are their classes? Can someone else transform into other class? How do Queens rule together? What are their rules on claiming of their mates? Can they be with more than 1 person and does this count for Consorts as well? Can anyone be with the same gender person without being scorned about it? What are consorts like? Which qualities Moon has that he shouldn't express because he is a Consort? How do the children look like, do they shift too? How are they born? Are they born from eggs or live? How many of them are born at once, are there twins? What is their opinion on family relationships, how do they see mother, or siblings relationships? What is the relationship between the courts in general? How do they bury their dead, how do they deal with their dead? How do they deal with traitors and the ones who do unspeakable things and do they kill them or exile or imprison them? Where do they live? On trees? How does that work out? Do they take records and have their own language? What do they trade with others? Do they trade at all? What are they eating? Do they have sense of value and what is their currency? How do they treat outcasts and other races? And I could answer all of these questions and more she asked. And this is what I call a strong world building. Also I love how this book changes gender roles. Females here are kick ass, beings of action and rulers or high positioned or just kick ass warriors or whatever they are. ► STORY: *uh, oh, slight spoilers for this book and spoilers for book 1 and 2*Stone went with few others and Niran to return the ship to Golden Islands. Chime believes Stone either won't come back or will go for another consort. In the meantime, Moon is still having hard time figuring out Consort roles, and he and Jade are trying to make a clutch but there are no signs yet. One of the good things Moon had discovered was that teaching fledglings was acceptable work for consorts, and he thought he was fairly good at it. Though he would feel a lot better about his efforts if he could just get Bitter to fly.
And everything is going more or less well (when they aren't attacked by creatures or almost fall to death), when the embassy of the Emerald Twilight comes to visit for the second time... No one knows what they talked about the first time, but Jade and Pearl weren't happy about it. And this time, Tempest is coming with another queen from another court bearing very disturbing news.One of the queens recognized the possible bloodline of Moon and sent a message to the court she believes is his birthplace. Which is a big problem, because every single fact - 40 or so years, disappearance of consort called Moon and other things seem too accurate to be a mistake. Now Moon's birth Court Opal Night wants him back and Jade can't protest. If they had a clutch together she and Pearl would be able to avoid this. But since they haven't, they cannot claim him if they know that his birth court - which is also one of the oldest and most powerful and biggest, has a claim on him for his bloodline. It gets even worse because Tempest brought another consort, Ember, as an apology for Halcyon's errors. But Opal Night has a secret of it's own... a big secret that will change things for better and worse. And not just that, Fell have returned... and they are not the worst thing out there. ► CHARACTERS: *Slight spoilers for this book and spoilers for book 1 and 2 - MY ADVICE is don't read this section at all if you want to fully enjoy reading this book. *◈ Moon is finally settling in his new home - after his help with returning the seed he finally believes he could stay here, be with Jade and Chime and enjoy their life together. The artwork everywhere in the mountain-tree never showed Raksura in their soft-skinned groundling forms, something else Moon didn’t understand. Even though he had grown up alone, outside of a Raksuran court, he had known in his blood that both his forms were him, that he didn’t belong in one body or the other but both.You’re still here, he reminded himself. Considering his past record at trying to fit in to settlements, this was an achievement.
He got very attached to Frost, Thorn and Bitter who shared unforgettable moments with him, as well as other kids. What Moon had was a narrow shelf in the wall, holding the things that the fledglings and the Arbora children had given him on his visits to the nurseries. These were usually shiny rocks or pieces of wood, or intricate little sculptures made out of twigs or twisted scraps of cloth.
The surprising thing in this book though was his relationship with Chime - it escalated and another level, which was a bit shocking, finding out that Moon is bisexual (actually it seems all Raksura are Bi, considering how they are so casual when it comes to sex) - and Jade is absolutely fine with the two of them being together. But there is no breach of trust when it comes to things such as relationships between them. But everything changes when Opal Night claims him back - Moon falls into panic and figures out that this is a perfect time for him to see if Indigo Cloud wants him or not. And when Jade refuses to take a direct conformation, he feels betrayed - he cannot believe her because she lied to him about this before and he is torn between wanting to believe she would come to Opal Night to negotiate for him. Moon strongly believes she wants to get rid of him. There is this one thing about Moon that is very interesting - he didn't change after being offered few months of security, companionship and place to stay. He just faked and lied about being able to trust any of them. Trust is a very serious thing for Moon - he survived 35 years alone because he figured out trust is hard to earn and he should not believe in anyone. And many people don't realize how he feels about this. But Flower knew. And because of this... flaw... Moon is prone to do some things, like generally annoy others, because he is too torn to think straight anymore. Not to mention the fact that he doesn't dare to hope - it would hurt more because no one ever wanted him on the long roads and is sure he will feel like an outsider again in the new court as well. Moon in general has to deal with a lot of things like why they didn't have clutch yet, or is it his problem, he can't figure out what is happening anymore, why they want him now, do they want him back to throw him away formally because he is solitary and make it official or as a bargaining chip for making an alliance (aka selling him off to another court) to get rid of him, and many other things. He is not really in the right state of mind when this all starts happening chapter by chapter. But i really love that he is willing to save others and help when needed.◈ Jade wants to be there for Moon, and she manages to break through his defenses for a while. And then all hell breaks lose and she is forced to fight for him. She allowed him to continue acting as himself - even when it's known Consorts don't behave like he does. She is tolerating that because she loves him the way he is. But is she really willing to fight another court for him? (view spoiler)[ She is. She fights for him all the way. And it makes me so damn happy. (hide spoiler)] “I told you, I’ll follow you there, and make them give you back. I won’t leave there without you.”
◈ Chime is getting more relaxed when it comes to his new warrior form. And him being with Moon is never played for drama in any moment. Actually, they care of each other and figured out they have more things in common than anyone else. Chime made me happy - everytime he was happy. And he wants to help Moon and others, no matter what the cost. (view spoiler)[Chime groaned in dismay and stepped in after him. “Me, too. Let’s all go together. Then when—if we die, it’ll be less… lonely.”This just smells of optimism, right? (hide spoiler)]◈ Others: New characters were great as well. Tempest, who tries to do the right thing and has to deal with everything thrown at her. The characters of Opal Night, of whom I won't talk because - spoilers - were very interesting to read about. But I mostly agreed with Moon's opinions of them (sometimes I didn't when he actually crossed the line (which makes him regret it soon after)). Not to mention the royal clutch trio - the way they tried to help Moon with everything, including Thorn helping Moon learn to read Raksuran, and later bargaining with him when he told them he must go because he has no choices left. They are unforgettable cuties. ► OVERALL: Great great sequel. I'm just feeling so happy because there will be 2 more books. This has potential for a lot of great sequels. If you want to read different high fantasy read this book. OTHER IMPORTANT INFO:
⚠ Standalone: No. Part of a series.⚠ Point of View: Third POV, 1 character.⚠ Cliffhanger: No.⚠ Love triangle: Well... does a functioning one actually counts as a love triangle? ⚠ Angst: 1/5 of the book is certain angst ride.⚠ Supernatural: This whole book is about supernatural and magical creatures - mostly shapeshifters. ⚠ Explicit content: No. You know what happened but no explicit descriptions.⚠ Ending type: (view spoiler)[ HEA (hide spoiler)]► REVIEW(S) RELATED TO THIS BOOK: ◈ The Cloud Roads (Books of the Raksura, #1) ◈ The Serpent Sea (Books of the Raksura, #2) ◈ The Siren Depths (Books of the Raksura, #3) ◈ Stories of the Raksura, Volume 1: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud ◈ Stories of the Raksura, Volume 2: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below ◈ The Edge of Worlds (The Books of the Raksura, #4) more