*I purchased this book and audiobook because I so enjoyed the first one.
Aidan's heart aches over her willing to leave him just hours ago, with Micah. All he wants, is to follow his heart and rescue Amelia from the grips of the mad Queen. Aidan needs to connect his wolf with him by breaking the bind placed on him to learn if he's what the Animages believe he is, even with each day's passing he becomes more magically powerful than the previous day. Aidan needs to be able to use his powers and his wolf to help the hidden Animages and his love, Amelia, before the war starts.
The magic room she stays in at Cresthaven quells the pain of the Keeper's power, but "She", raged inside her at leaving the place that became her hearts home. Amelia's on the inside now. If she can control the Keeper and her magic, and play the Queen's games, she might be able to find out more information to help all Mages. However, in a place she's told repeatedly that she's not safe, is the one person that claims he can protect her here, in the Queen's home, trustworthy?
Kristin once again draws me into this world with her talented voice. With different voices and tones for each character I'm able to drop right into the world once again and not get lost. The best part, the characters from the first book return and all sound EXACTLY the same as book one! Kristin's voice acting is so impressive, I don't feel I have to see facial expressions to know how the characters are feeling. Her voice tells it all. And I feel she has connected with this story and characters on a level that feels this story is hers and lives as them. So much emotion! Well done!
We are drawn further into the world of Mages here. We learn more of the Mage magics along with the Hunters and their abilities. There is more here that we didn't know, or Amelia as well. The things plaguing the mages are deeper than expected. There is also a twist with the Hunters. There was a brief mention about the Hunters when they were bound to Queen Julia and that some may not agree to her ways, but there is a hint of it coming to life here. I'm curious what will come with the Hunters in the future story.
This story is from the POV's of Aidan and Amelia. Both are in different places in this book. Both are learning different things. Though much of what we learn here solidifies the ideas we had from book one and gives more details of those impressions, along with uncovering additional troubles for Mages. Aidan is learning first hand of the Animages and his own abilities. Amelia is seeing Hunters and learning pieces of her mother, an Elder. Amelia still struggles with the power in her and hopes to learn something that will help calm and control the Keeper in her, that seems to be a dangerous entity. Both these characters, and many along with them, are determined to fight for what they believe in and what they want. The strength of this determination will help keep them going.
Aidan's thoughts in the beginning are a reminder to us of the important people and events of what had happened with them, friends, and family. Amelia does touch on some history, but I'm glad she doesn't to much as it would be repetitious of what Aidan remembers or learns.
We get the insight into Aidan and his thoughts. We learn of when Aidan first started changing and what brought it about. But! There is a bind on him that needs further breaking. Oh the history that belongs to Aidan. I'm so glad he got to learn the things he does about his family and what happened to them. Aidan is more than he ever imagined, and is trying to understand it all as it hits him as fast in this book as it did in the last for Amelia.
Bethany, oh Bethany. I love her sarcasm and direct path of discussions. She brings a smile to my lips, even when she's hurting from her boyfriend leaving. Bethany is the only human in the battle here. And she's more determined than any to do something about her friend being held by the mad Queen.
We meet new characters! The one that sticks out in my mind is Dylan. He's so adorable! I love his personality and his attraction to Bethany. He's extremely loyal to Aidan, Bethany, and a few others. He tries his hardest to be proper calling people Mr. and Ms. (Mr. Aidan, Ms. Bethany). He's young, you can tell but he's just a cutie-pie.
I'm loving this world and the characters. I need to know how it all works out for everyone, Amelia, Aidan, the Mages, the Hunters, and even the crazed Queen Julia. This book does end on a bit of a moment that makes me say, 'No, it can't be the end of the pages.' But I'm also happy where Amelia ends up, it's just... well, it leaves me anticipating the next book like the first book did.
I'll be counting down, waiting for it's release!