Book Review: The Ever Cruel Kingdom

Rin Chupeco is fantastic. Like, this second book of The Never Tilting World duology is wonderful – the heartbreak, the characters, the fact there’s not one complex mother-daughter relationship but two. I always worry that endings will not be satisfying especially after a great first book but this one knocks it out of the park and more.

This review will contain spoilers for The Never Tilting World so I’d advise you go away now and pick up the first book!

Star rating: 5 stars

So, at the end of book one Odessa and Haidee finally learn of each other’s existence – and meet for the first time, enabling the world to turn again. But all is not quite right with the world, as the demons of the cruel kingdom keep escaping.

The character development continues as Odessa learns to deal with what the galla took away from her in exchange for her gifts, as Haidee returns to the deserts around the Sun City, this time bringing her sister. Lan is still recovering from the horrors that happened to her before the first book. Arjun has brought Haidee home with him, and has to deal with the fallout when darkness returns to the desert for the first time since The Breaking.

Another set of twins unite, Asteria and Latona also learn that the other twin lived. The relationship between Asteria, Latona, Haidee and Odessa is explored in much more detail as the mothers become and even larger part of the story.

Romance is still present between our leading couples and I really appreciated the lack of drama that came with it. Sexuality is treated so well in this book – there’s even an asexual character and nobody questions how she feels (though it is only mentioned briefly).

I can’t say much, but what I can say is that the ending is fantastic and carries with it all of that Rin Chupeco bitter-sweetness. It is both heart-breaking and satisfying, and in my opinion is a perfect conclusion to a story that really did pull at my heartstrings.

Overall, a more than solid final book – Rin Chupeco does it again!

Book Review: The Never Tilting World

Hello everyone! Today I finished my re-read of The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco. After really loving The Bone Witch trilogy I was so excited to see what Rin would do next and this really does not disappoint! It’s described as Mad Max and Frozen combined which is such a weirdly fitting description.

Star rating: 5 stars

So, what’s the book about? It has four points of view – they are Lan, Arjun, Odessa and Haidee.

Odessa and Haidee are twins on opposite sides of the world – Odessa living in the rainy darkness and Haidee in the scorching dry of the desert. Neither know of each other’s existence as something happened with their mothers in the past to cause The Breaking of the world.

Lan is a Catseye who is charged with protecting Odessa. She used to be a ranger, and was the only one who returned from her previous expedition meaning she is suffering with a lot of survivor’s guilt. Arjun lives in the desert, getting by on scraps with the other orphans that live with him. But one day he meets the young Goddess Haidee and his life changes forever.

The book follows Lan and Odessa on their journey to The Abyss, with a mirroring journey taking place for Haidee and Arjun. I loved each and every character and their point of view, but if I had to pick a favourite it would be Haidee. Rin really masters the balance between character development and action in this book as it blends elemental fantasy and science-fiction to build a futuristic world. I loved that the world-building mixed technology with magic.

Overall, another hit from Rin and I’m going straight into the sequel next. Have you read any Rin Chupeco before? What did you think? I highly recommend her books.