After escaping from Sheol I with a group of clairvoyants, Paige now returns to London hoping to find allies in the war against the Rephaim. Having left Arcturus (the actual name of Warden) behind, she has to hope that he made it out safely as well as he worked against the others to help her.
Even with their connection, Paige is not able to feel him now and when she hears news that he is a prisoner of another mime-lord, she makes her way to rescue him. She can go do this as she, compared to the others coming back from their prison in Oxford, still has a home in the midst of Jaxon Hall’s gang. On top of finding Warden, the pale dreamer has to find a safe place for her companions to survive.
In this process, she and her newly formed group of allies also want to spread the news about this other race that held them and so many others captive. A side effect of this plan is the discovery of some uncomfortable truths about Scion and its connection with the Rephaim.
As the members of Scion are reluctant to work against the enemy, she has to take matters into her own hands, especially because she is being followed by her own kind and dark creatures from the Rephaim world. In order to accomplish her mission, the pale dreamer also has to ally with a group of Rephaim, the Ranthen, who also want to destroy the rule of the evil Nashira Sargas. But even with their help she might not have another option than to challenge the rulers of Scion to make her voice heard. This could be working in her favour or everything she had to endure was for nothing.
I could not wait for this book to be delivered to me after finishing the first. Thankfully my wait was not that long so I could start only a few days after the first instalment. And my hopes were not disappointed.
Everything that made me love the first book was there again. The challenging language, the elaborate glossary, the detailed world building and description of situations and the chapter names (Somebody put thought into this, sublime!). Sometimes the in depth descriptions where sowing the plot advancement but I knew that from the first book and expected it to be like this here too and to be honest, I did not mind at all.
What I find irritating and inappropriate in some other books I read is that the one moment that the plot and the characters were heading for is handled within one chapter of, let’s say, 20 pages. This is so sad because mostly this point deserves way more attention than so many other redundant passages. But Samantha Shannon spends a great amount of time on her climax, just the time it is worthy of. This gives the impression that much thought has been put into writing and the story is well-conceived.
I also love the way the story goes. Paige does many things right and somehow she always finds a way but there are equally many situations where she has to overcome her fears or issues in order to help her friends. And she would not be able to do all this without her friends and allies, more often than not she would not make it as far as she does. On the other hand, Paige is no saint, she can use her abilities relentlessly against those who hurt her or her friends.
Having started the relationship with Warden in the first book, Paige now tells us more about her feelings. She know that this will not last and she cannot and will not ever forget what Arcturus did to her and others. Yet, she feels somewhat connected to him and enjoys his presence and his touch. I think it is great that we get a perspective on her feelings as the initial concept of this relationship can appear a little bit strange. The way I see it, because Warden helps Paige uncover her true potential more and more and the time together in their respective dreamscapes gives rise to their connection. Yet even though Arcturus and others are always trying to support the pale dreamer, she is struggling the more she learns what she is capable of. She does not discover a new feature of her power and immediately masters it which makes her so much more believable and human.
I am excited for the fact that there will be another 5 books not only because I love the writing style and the story but because this means that fighting against the Rephaim will take more time that just 3 or 4 books in total. Yes, that's more realistic. I can’t wait for the world to be expanded further and the characters having to overcome crisis and I believe there will be a few as Miss Shannon did not recoil from doing so in the first two books.