Rift by Andrea Cremer

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Rift (Nightshade Prequel, #1)Title: Rift 
Author: Andrea Cremer
Publisher: Philomel 
Release: August 7, 2012
Pages: 431
Series: Nightshade Prequel #1

Chronicling the rise of the Keepers, this is the stunning prequel to Andrea Cremer's internationally bestselling Nightshade trilogy!

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.

When I heard there was a prequel to the Nightshade series coming out. I jumped at the opportunity to read it in advance. I haven't read the Nightshade series yet, but I thought the prequel would be a perfect place to start. I went in with very high expectations because of all the hype around the Nightshade series and I am happy to say that I really did end up falling for this book.

The characters were all crafted excellently, though in the beginning their relationships were a tad bit confusing. Ember was great, she was strong and didn't depend on men and she wasn't totally dependent on her family. She wasn't afraid to made the decision she knew she wanted instead of what someone else wanted. She did gradually fall for Barrow, the love interest of the book. In future books, I hope that Barrrow will be built upon character-wise, he felt fairly underdeveloped for such a main character. The secondary characters weren't all that developed, I hope to see more of them in the next book. The writing was truly stellar, I've never read anything by Andrea before, but I want to read the other Nightshade books right away. She clearly has a lot of experience in writing, she plotted it brilliantly and kept me wanting to find out what was in store for the characters.

A strong protagonist, a ton of action and luscious romance, what more can you ask for? I give Rift a 4/5 for being a great start to the Nightshade prequel series. I'd recommend it to fans of the Nightshade series and to anyone who wants to start in on the series, but doesn't know where to start or who want a great paranormal series.

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