Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Review: Viper's Creed by T.L. Shreffler

Viper's Creed by T.L. Shreffler
Series: The Cat's Eye Chronicles #2
Genre: Fantasy
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Sora is having visions. Strange, terrifying visions brought on by her Cat's Eye necklace, an ancient and magical device. Spurred to action, she leaves her mother's cabin to find Crash, the mysterious assassin who once changed her life. She is certain that together, they can discover what the necklace is trying to tell her.

Crash is still on the run from the dark sorcerer, Volcrian, but now a plague is spreading across the land. Volcrian's quest for vengeance has awakened something far more evil than himself; a force that could destroy the entire kingdom. Together, he and Sora must harness the power of the Cat's Eye and kill the sorcerer before it's too late....

"All friends are burdens. But we carry them anyway."

I think I'm slowly falling in love with this series. This book is quite a bit different from the first one. This one has a lot more high emotion to it and I wanted to shake Sora several times in the first half of the book. (Okay, so that's not so different from the first.)

"Warriors don't cry," she whispered brokenly.

Sora has been training for a year and it shows. She's a much stronger fighter, but there's still a bit of the spoiled brat still left in her. I won't say once she meets back up with Crash and Burn that things improve greatly, but adding new people seemed to draw more of the Sora that I like back out. The one that isn't always so darn droopy and thinks she knows better than everyone, that is.

Over time I've also found myself getting attached to Crash. He's…well, an assassin and I do adore my assassins. But he's also a truly interesting character. Burn is a little under utilized, I thought, though he's definitely a comforting presence. There's also the much needed addition of Laina, a young girl to travel with them.

And that's one of the things that this book does well. We don't have a lot of noteworthy women in this book, but the ones we do get are amazing. I definitely have to make special mention of Sora's mother who is really something special. (And our first non-human female, Joan who I kind of adore.)

She was going to die at the end of this journey. It was a nagging truth, one she tried to avoid thinking about.

The plot is still 'defeat evil wizard' which I LOVE. It's so typical fantasy, but this is one of the many reasons I love fantasy. (Though I think I like Volcrian a little too much…)

We're still getting to meet other races and there is a good deal of world building going on. I love it - enough, in fact, that I can kind of ignore when the author info dumps the history a little.

Who knew where the assassin got all his cuts and bruises? Perhaps he had stepped on a garden rake and gashed his arm.

One thing that I loved about this book so very, very much is that there was a death in the first book. A death that ripped out my heart and squashed it like a bug, but that's another subject. This person that died was not forgotten.

They were mourned and, even though it's been a year, the loss is still obvious. There is pain coming from Sora, but it's the kind where you can smile about the memories. Honestly, I love how this was handled so much.

Now, the first half of the book was definitely a three star read while the second half was a solid five stars. I have split the difference, but know that it's on the high side of a four for me.