Friday Favorites: All That Burns by Ryan Graudin


Friday Favorites is a weekly meme hosted here, that spotlights a favorite author, book, series, publisher, cover, blog, etc. Basically whatever bookish thing that you love, recommend, and want to tell others about. Just pick one and link up to my post each Friday to share. You can use the graphic I used above, the other one here, or your own.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, All That Glows (see my review here), last year and have been looking forward to seeing how the main character and her prince was getting along. I thoroughly enjoyed finding out...

All That Burns (All That Glows, #2)All That Burns
(All That Glows #2)
by Ryan Graudin
YA Urban Fantasy
Paperback464 Pages
February 10th 2015 by Harper Teen

Summary

In this thrilling sequel to All That Glows, the worlds of magic and mortal are colliding as London celebrates its new king, marking an era of unity between the Faery realm and the human one. Emrys, the Faery guard to the British royal family, sacrificed her powers to be with King Richard, choosing love over immortality. But now, as Emrys struggles to navigate her place between the Faery queen’s court and London’s lavish galas, danger looms beyond the Thames.When a prisoner with dark, strange magic breaks out of Queen Titania’s labyrinthine prison, endangering Emrys's king and sparking an uprising, Emrys must make the hardest decision of all.

Will she reclaim her magic to save Richard’s life and lose him forever? Or stay powerless as the kingdom goes down in flames?

    

My Review

I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series, All That Glows, so I was really looking forward to reading this sequel. I had fairly high expectations going in and sometimes these second books, or in-the-middle-of-a-series books can be unsubstantial, boring, and without much development. Graudin did a fabulous job in letting All That Burns shine. It was faster paced and had more depth than the first book, had a lot of character development while still being fairly plot driven, was intense, contained twists that I didn't see coming, and built to such a climax that I couldn't put it down. It helped that the romance was marvelous as well.

I loved how much Emrys and Richard both have changed and continue to change throughout the story. In the first book they were faced with destruction, danger, and death. Those things don't leave them alone in this story either, but they also have vastly different responsibilities and find themselves in different circumstances than before. Richard is about to go through with his coronation to be king. He also is trying to vastly change things and unify the fae and his people. There is blood magic to deal with, political groups that would like to see him replaced, people who don't trust him or Emrys because she is fae, and then trying to do everything he's supposed to do and still have time for Emrys.

Then you have Emrys who has give up so much (this is in the summary, so I'm going to say it's not a spoiler). She's given up just about all that makes her a fae: her magic, her powers, and she feels so very human and weak. So, here she is feeling like she's lost half of herself and living as a human for Richard only to have him not really be present because of his duties. There are strong groups of people who don't like her to the extent that they would do her harm. She can no longer defend the king as she once did, nor herself, but she still has those instincts, a sharp intellect, and the desire to do so. She also still desires magic as that is who she is and because she was so powerful. It was a lot to give up. When Richard can't hardly spare a moment for her, it seems almost pointless.

Both Emrys and Richard wade through all these challenges. It was tough watching them struggle and wanting to shake them sometimes and then just hug them at other times. There are some very sweet moments and some that are intensely romantic. I was cheering them on and trying to figure out what was going on right along with them. There were some major twists towards the end that I hadn't figured out. The ending was spectacular. Things were resolved enough that I felt good at the end, but also open enough that I can't say what danger they'll face in the next book.

What I also loved about this story was getting to know Richard's sister, Princess Annabelle, as well as some other intriguing characters. Annabelle was just a fabulous character! I really loved her. She deals with some pretty tough stuff, and even though she doesn't always choose what she should, she keeps fighting and stays loyal. I wouldn't mind reading a happy love story focused on her.

These two lines sum up the essence of the story for me so well:
     "We're almost there. Trust me, it'll be worth the climb." [Richard]
     Beautiful, hard things always are. [Emrys]
(location 4451, Kindle ARC) 
All in all I loved All That Burns! Danger, magic, devious plots, swoon-worthy romance, a cause to fight for, royalty, and two fierce heroines made this story a favorite. I can't wait for the next installment!

Content: Yay! It was also clean! (There was some innuendo, some heavy kissing, and some violence, but I would consider this clean.)

Source: I would like to thank the publisher, Harper Teen, through Edelweiss for my complimentary copy, which did not affect my review in any way.


Author Ryan Graudin is stopping by my blog today as part of her tour for All That Burns. Go check out what she has to share and enter the fabulous giveaway here.

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