The final battle where all is at risk... Realms of Light by Sandra Fernandez Rhoads (Review & #Giveaway) #yalit #yafantasy #christianfantasy #thecollidingline @Celebrate_Lit @EnclaveBooks

Welcome to my tour stop! Check out my review and enter the tour giveaway below...

Realms of Light
(The Colliding Line #2)
By Sandra Fernandez Rhoads
Christian YA Contemporary Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Hardcover, Audiobook & ebook, 320 Pages
April 13, 2021 by Enclave Escape


From the Ashes, Spring Will Rise

On the run from the brutal Sage and his army of Legions and Cormorants, seventeen-year-old Cera Marlowe knows the only place strong enough to protect her is the Alliance Council Estate.

Cera’s introduction to the Estate is far from welcoming. As a Blight, her dueling powers of light and darkness make her a half-breed threat to the Alliance’s sacred powers. Cera’s ability to decipher hidden messages in classical artwork buys her shelter temporarily, but the clock is ticking as she’s faced with a daunting choice that could cost her everything.

My Review

REALMS OF LIGHT is an intense sequel where the characters are tested with challenge after challenge as the story builds to a final battle. Fans of the first book will enjoy being with these characters again and journeying with them to this dramatic conclusion. YA fantasy readers will find a unique world and likable characters to cheer on.

I wish the author would have had a bit more of a recap worked into the beginning of the story. I remembered pieces of the first book, but could have used a few reminders. It took me a bit to remember who Cera's love interest was and why she was going to the Estate in the first place, as well as other key figures. Not that I didn't understand this story, but it took a bit to find my footing. Definitely read the first book before this one, if you haven't.

I still loved Maddox and Cera as well as a bunch of the side characters. There's a lot that they've had to face in the past and that they had to face during this second installment. It felt like there were a lot of power plays going on. You have Sage who wants the power from his realm, the Alliance with their stance on blights and fighting (or not) Sage, and then different characters who have their own power plays, like Gray and others. In the middle of it all are Cera, Maddox and Cole who only want to help. I also loved some additional characters who are introduced in this book, like Cole. I again liked that the author has created this unique world and plot that is different from any previous series I've read. I knew what would happen in the end, but not how anything would play out and the intensity definitely ramps up in this book, especially to a very climatic end. I also liked that the book doesn't actually have religious elements, so even though it's a fight between good and evil, any YA fantasy fan can read it. The ending was adorably sweet and left me with a smile.

I also had a lot of issues with this story. First off, the drama was off the charts. There was a lot of it and it was a pretty consistent part of the story. Cera is constantly trying to be sacrificial and then trying to survive, sometimes in the same paragraph. It frustrated me quite a bit. She literally was like, kill me right now and then in the next breath saying she'd do anything to live. She also was at one turn weak and the next strong, or in love with a guy and then believing she had somehow influenced his feelings. She believes lies and some truths, but never really decides to actually figure things out. She's told to look for clues, but doesn't really trust in anything. I just wanted her to pick something and go with it instead of the constant back and forth with all the full-throttle emotions. After chapters of this, I literally could not help rolling my eyes, so it made the impact of things unimpactful and meaningless. Sometimes less really is more. I also had issues with the first meeting with Gray and with the Alliance. Like just murdering a girl and it being no big deal. Or constantly telling lies when their supposed to be the good guys. That didn't sit well with me at all. I think if it would have been just one person that wasn't quite good or a segment, but to have the whole group pretty much be that way felt a bit unrealistic. The battle also really dragged on for me. If the story would have had a lot less drama, making room for more development and for me to connect better with the characters and story, I would have enjoyed it a whole lot more.

In the end, was it what I wished for? Overall, I had issues with the drama and some other aspects of this story, but I still needed to find out how things would turn out. It's a very intense read as the level of danger grows from start to finish with a climatic end. If you enjoyed the first book, you're sure to enjoy this one.

Content: Some violence and innuendo.
Source: I received a complimentary copy through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

Other Books in the Series

(Linked to my review.)

About the Author

Sandra Fernandez Rhoads is the author of Mortal Sight. She is a Cuban-Colombian living in Dallas, Texas with her husband and four children. She has a deep love for the artist community, and is an active part of Art House Dallas and the Fort Worth Writer’s group. She holds an M.A. in English with a focus on John Milton and has an insatiable love for coffee, laughter, and adventure. And dinosaurs.

More from Sandra

What if there was an unseen war affecting our everyday world, but only a few could see the battle? And what if the secrets to this other realm and winning the war were embedded in classical art and literature?

These questions led me to the ideas that formed the Colliding Line duology, and final installment in the series, Realms of Light—the story about a select group of emerging artists called the Awakened that are given unique powers to help combat the forces of evil.

The protagonist, a young girl named Cera Marlowe, quickly took the lead in the first draft of the story. On a quest for her identity, she steps into her destiny by joining a community of unlikely warriors who would need to overcome great odds, learn to work together, and battle their past in order to defeat the enemy.

The story took more than five years to write and the first draft was over 180k words. The use of classical art emerged slowly over that time. But the verses from John Milton’s Paradise Lost fit seamlessly from the start, paralleling the fight for truth, identity, and war in our fallen world.

At its core, the story is about embracing the past to help shape our future. My hope is that readers see classical art and literature in a new way, and find their own creativity as a much-needed gift to the world.

Tour Schedule

Rebecca Tews, April 29

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Sandra is giving away the grand prize package of $40 gift card, custom Bookmark, custom signed bookplate, custom Realms of Light notebook, and library book pattern book / tablet sleeve!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Have you read this series? Will you be?

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