Date Read: 18/03/2014 – 28/03/2014
Emergence is the second installment in the Darkness and Light series by K. L. Schwengel, who is also known in these parts as the fearless leader of the Wippeteers and wrangler of the flying monkeys. I read First of Her Kind, the first in the series, back last May, so I was a bit worried about how much I’d remember. My concern was unwarranted, however, as I very quickly found myself settling back into the world of Ciara and Bolin and their adventures and struggles.
This novel is a bit road-trippy; Bolin is ordered fairly early on to take Ciara to the Emperor in the city of Nisair and I would estimate the middle 40% or so of the novel is them getting there. This does run the risk of letting the plot drag, but while there were a couple of points where it did seem to slow down a bit, for the most part there was plenty of action to keep the plot moving in spite of this.
We have a host of new characters in the form of the escort sent to make sure Bolin and Ciara arrive in Nisair. Most notable of these is Berk, who not only gets some awesome action scenes, but also acts as a second love interest to Ciara and makes Bolin grumble. Also, he’s super-adorable, and I never add “super” to things to make them sound even better, so that says a lot.
In First of her Kind, the big bad was Donovan, Ciara’s father from whom she inherited Andrakaos, one of her two forms of magic. Donovan is still around, but he is no longer the only adversary our heroes have to face. Donovan has teamed up with Teeva, a Dominion priestess in possession of some of the darkest magic there is. There are also Marauders to contend with, and they get nasty (actually there are some pretty dark things going on in the marauder camp, so if that’s not your thing, maybe give this one a miss). Oh, and let’s not forget that some of the Imperial Mages aren’t exactly acting under the direction of the Emperor anymore.
The multiple magic systems that K. L. Schwengel has created weave around each other seamlessly, and one of my favourite parts of the novel was the development of Ciara’s control over Andrakaos, which culminated in a very dramatic scene during the novel’s climax (vagueness deliberate). Bolin is also dealing with the effects of Teeva’s magic, and by the end of novel, there is something else looking on the horizon: the Darkness. The action scenes are also very vivid. I can see everything play out in my mind’s eye exactly as described.
My only real criticism of Emergence is that I thought we could have seen a bit more of Ciara. There was definitely some important stuff going on that we got to witness from her point of view, but I felt this was more Bolin’s story overall. Not necessarily a bad thing, he is a main character after all, but personally I would have liked a bit more of our heroine.
The ending has left us set up for an exciting and intense final installment in which many opposing powers are going to clash (there was also a Ciara/Bolin scene that left me with a huge, stupid grin on my face). I know I’ll be first in line on the day it goes on sale! 😀