The Spirit Heir (A Dance of Dragons #2) by Kaitlyn Davis
Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: October 30, 2014
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From bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis comes the second book in the thrilling A Dance of Dragons series--perfect for fans of Throne of Glass, Graceling, and Game of Thrones!
Drenched in darkness and surrounded by the echo of screams, Jinji waits deep in the dungeons of Rayfort, haunted by the memory of the knife stabbing Rhen, plagued by a foreign voice whispering through her mind. A few floors above, Rhen rests trapped in a coma, about to wake to a changed world—a world where his best friend is a woman, his nephew is the king, and an enemy army surrounds him on all sides. But human wars are insignificant compared to the darkness gathering unseen. Memories of lives she never lived flash through Jinji's thoughts, hinting at a past that cannot be repeated. A mysterious phantom visits Rhen, carrying cryptic messages of the future. And somewhere out there, the shadow continues to lurk in silence. Uncertain of their relationship and tempted by new feelings, Rhen and Jinji must find a way to work together. The fate of humanity rests on their shoulders and the real battle has only just begun…
"The Spirit Heir" by Kaitlyn Davis pretty much picks up where the last book left off. Rhen and Jinji are back in Rhen's kingdom and they are dealing with the reproductions of what happened when the shadow came to court and a war was started in Rayfort.
One thing that I had trouble with with "The Shadow Soul", the first book in Davis's "A Dance of Dragons" series, was that it was a bit hard for me to get into the story at first. There was a lot of world building (which is always a necessary evil) and getting to know the characters, but that didn't happen with "The Spirit Heir". Maybe it's because I was already familiar with the characters after reading the first book and I was just genuinely interested in what they would do next, but I was engrossed in the story from the beginning.
Speaking of the characters, Rhen has finally found out that his new friend Jin is actually a girl named Jinji, and he must now learn to deal with that. I was glad that he didn't hold on to his anger towards Jinji for her deception, because the story flows best when the two of them are together and it would have hurt to see them angry with each other. Also, now that Jinji's biggest secret is out, the two are a lot more truthful and forthcoming with one another. They continue to grow as individuals, as well as grow closer in friendship (and maybe more?).
While the big bad in "The Shadow Soul" was the shadow that possesses and kills, a lot of "The Spirit Heir" had to do with the impeding war that is about to befall on Rhen's kingdom. Although the shadow is still addressed (and we learn even more about its origins!), it seems to take a back seat for a good portion of the story. I personally liked the different focus for the story, because it made the book unique and stand apart from its predecessor.
So many times a second book to a series comes out and is a disappointment, but "The Spirit Heir" is the opposite. With the new level of trust and openness between Rhen and Jinji, the new adventures they go on, and the back story and mythos we get about the shadow, it's possible that I enjoyed this book more so than the original. The stakes were also raised in this book, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the story continues in book three.
Kaitlyn Davis is the bestselling author of the Midnight Fire series, a young adult paranormal romance, and the A Dance of Dragons series, a young adult epic fantasy.
Kaitlyn graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Writing Seminars. She's been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to finally share her work with the world. She currently lives in New York City and dreams of having a puppy of her own.
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