Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Stormsong by C.L. Polk
Series: The Kingston Cycle #2
Published by Tor on February 11, 2020
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple
After spinning an enthralling world in Witchmark, praised as a "can't-miss debut" by Booklist, and as "thoroughly charming and deftly paced" by the New York Times, C. L. Polk continues the story in Stormsong. Magical cabals, otherworldly avengers, and impossible love affairs conspire to create a book that refuses to be put down.
Dame Grace Hensley helped her brother Miles undo the atrocity that stained her nation, but now she has to deal with the consequences. With the power out in the dead of winter and an uncontrollable sequence of winter storms on the horizon, Aeland faces disaster. Grace has the vision to guide her parents to safety, but a hostile queen and a ring of rogue mages stand in the way of her plans. There's revolution in the air, and any spark could light the powder. What's worse, upstart photojournalist Avia Jessup draws ever closer to secrets that could topple the nation, and closer to Grace's heart.
Can Aeland be saved without bloodshed? Or will Kingston die in flames, and Grace along with it?
I am continuing with the Kingston Cycle series which I started because of the gorgeous cover. I love the covers and the magics in this world. Miles and Grace are wonderful characters and have come to see the world outside of their father’s purview.
This is a unique sort of fantasy, which feels historical, maybe steampunk. Each kingdom has its own sorts of magics and there is fighting between kingdoms. There is also definitely a class system. ugh. There always some greedy bastards who not only have to be in charge of a kingdom and take everything for themselves while making others work hard but then they also want to take over more land and workers.
Witchmark was the story of Miles. I really loved him and his compassion. He’s a doctor who fought in the war and then treated soldiers. He and his sister, Grace, fought together to stop the enslavement of others.
Now in Stormstong, we begin with Grace in prison for that fight. She is quickly released as she is talented with weather magic and she is needed. She serves the Queen and tries so hard to do what is right for Aeland, but it is so difficult. Everyone wants to control her. She is very knowledgeable about the players but still has some tricky moments with traps laid for her. There is a lot more history revealed.
This is an urban fantasy although each story has the start of a new romance. You do need to read these in order to keep track of the politics and battles and the characters in power. I confess I had trouble starting to read partly because it has been a bit since I read the first but also because the ARC was oddly paged with some garbage characters in it and some words with odd spaces in them, so it took me awhile to settle into reading.
I really enjoyed the political maneuvering of the characters. I did guess at the villain early because he was not a nice guy overall. Grace was such a humble and tireless servant for her country and its people. She was brutally honest while working for palatable solutions for various groups. Grace, with the support of Miles and Tristan, was amazing. I hope there is more in this world but there aren’t any more siblings.
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