Empire of Night

432p. (Age of Legends: Bk. 2). ebook available. HarperCollins/Harper. Apr. 2015. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062071279.
Gr 9 Up—Twins Ashyn (the quiet bookworm "seeker" of spirits) and Moria (the brave daredevil "keeper" of spirits) pick up where Sea of Shadows (HarperCollins) left off; determined to save the lost children of Edgewood and impatiently waiting for a plan in the Imperial city. Ashyn is puzzled and hurt that Rowan, so loyal during their journey to the city, is now so distant. Meanwhile, Moria is still reeling from Gavril's betrayal but distracts herself by battle-training with Prince Tyrus (one of the Emperor's illegitimate heirs). The Emperor decides to send an envoy including the girls, their spirit animals, and Prince Tyrus back to Fairview in an attempt to deal with the traitor Alvar Kitsune (Gavril's father). What the group finds in the small village are more horrors and unanswered questions. And so their quest continues and becomes increasingly deadly. For those already familiar with the characters and the painstakingly built world from the previous volume, this title is even more compelling. The introduction of new characters (such as misplaced spirit Guin and traitorous Simeon) adds further depth, intrigue, and even humor to this romantic fantasy. Throw in shades of richly imagined Japanese-inspired culture and Armstrong's talent shines.
VERDICT Recommended for fans of the author and the previous installment.

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