Remarkably Rich With Depth And Detail!!! One of the greatest fantasy series of all time!!!
Finding a great book out of the blue always feels a bit like a treasure hunt to me. Sometimes you come away with nothing much yet sometimes you strike gold. Then there are times you find those rare gems: a treasure which is so precious and unique even amongst all of the wondrous treasure you've discovered in the past. Tempest: Book 2 of the Scribes of Medeisia is one of those rare gems.
This story is sometimes dark, extremely epic and very familiar yet completely unique and new in it's own way. It is a very character driven story that completely sucks you in from the very first page and holds you down in it's murky yet brilliantly lit depths until the very last page. There is a wellspring of depth in this novel and is so very well written that the pages just fly by as you are absorbed into every single moment of the characters lives and struggles.
When we last left off in Mark of the Mage Drastona, Kye, the dragon Lochlen and their group of rebels had decided to go to war against the mad King Raemon but they soon realize they are going to need a lot more help in order to overthrow the King of Medeisia. Things grow much worse in Medeisia as it's citizens live in constant fear and persecution. Armed with the proof that Raemon intends to invade Sadeemia they make a daring and dangerous plan to try to cross the Ardus (the inhospitable desert which separates their two nations). Their courage and strength will be tested along the way, lives will be lost and the rebels who already understand the high cost of war will soon come to question whether the price for freedom is too high.
This book is simply incredible! Not only is it even better than the first one which is a rare feat considering how good the first one was but it also takes the story into brand new uncharted waters and I for one really enjoy the direction this series is heading. We are introduced to new characters, new allies and new villains. Speaking of new characters I really liked Prince Cadeyrn's character. He brings a surprising amount of depth and emotion to this book which is already rich with both those features. I love the magic and how it seems to be tied to nature and the elements. I loved the differences between the two nations of Sadeemia and Medeisia: a difference of night and day. Where one nation suffers from an evil king, poverty and oppression the other grows prosperous under an honorable and caring ruler, it's people free and scribes along with mages are welcome and even given esteemed positions of power and respect within the society. I loved the trees and Oran - Drastona's wolf companion along with her falcon. Most importantly I love the depth and realism, how the devastating effects of war are not just glossed over and how the rebels deal with that loss and cruelty. Some become weighted down in misery, others become stronger and more determined while some like Prince Cadeyrn seem to be so very cold on the outside yet are truly hurting within.
I cannot recommend this series and this book enough. The medieval setting is enchanting, the storyline engrossing and the main characters are all people I feel like I know as if they are all old friends. No matter what you favorite genre is, I feel this series has something that is sure to please everyone. It speaks to the mind and the heart in a very distinct voice. A voice I am very glad I got the opportunity to hear and has assured R.K. Ryals a spot of honor amongst my favorite authors. I plan to read any and every book she currently has out as well as any she may publish in the future. She's that good!