Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Me on The Conjurer's Riddle

Title: The Conjurer's Riddle
Author: Andrea Cremer
Release Date: November 3, 2015
Publisher: Philomel Books (Penguin imprint)

Charlotte leads her group of exiles west, plunging into a wild world of shady merchants and surly rivermen on the way to New Orleans. But as Charlotte learns more about the revolution she has championed, she wonders if she's on the right side after all. Charlotte and her friends get to know the mystical New Orleans bayou and deep into the shadowy tunnels below the city–the den of criminals, assassins and pirates–Charlotte must decide if the revolution's goals justify their means, or if some things, like the lives of her friends, are too sacred to sacrifice.

The Conjurer's Riddle is a look into revolution and rebellion, the secret-gathering and the spying, the hard journeys and the dangers. The heavy cost.

Charlotte is driven, soft-hearted, and passionate about her chose cause, about saving her friends. But doubt lingers, as it always does. Things aren't the same as they were in the Catacombs or in the Floating City. On their journey west, in New Orleans, Charlotte learns how different things are. How duplicitous and two-faced. How her ideas and reasons for fighting back might differ from other members of the resistance.

In terms of the romance, I still feel that Jack is the only option for Charlotte. I still don't understand why a love triangle was added in the first book why Coe suddenly went from person Charlotte barely knew to romantic entanglement. Charlotte is still drawn to Jack, still attracted to him, still hating him and worrying about him, while Coe just seems there. But there wasn't much time for Charlotte to worry about her feelings for most of the book. She was far too busy travelling, learning secrets, or trying to stay hidden and alive. The romance takes a back seat to Charlotte's journey and the still hidden mysteries of Grave. So hidden, so mysterious.

The Resistance is still fighting back against the Empire, fighting to be free from an oppressive ruler from across an ocean. When you fight back as part of a rebellion, you fight for your beliefs, your friends and family. But at what cost? Destruction of property? Injury? Death? Is revolution the only answer? This book, this series, will always scream America to me. Their idea that freedom is a right, that no one can take it from you, but if it ever is taken you can fight to regain it. Is violence ever the only answer? As a Canadian, it feels so American to go in guns blazing to fight for freedom. It feels like it's all they have, like their identity as American is based on freedom and without it they're nothing.

I'm still intrigued by this world, I think the building of it is creative. To speculate on what a country would look like had a major event in its history not happened, if someone else was still in control. If it was a mixture of colonies and disputed territories. It's a dangerous world Charlotte's in, one filled with deception and the impossible. I want to know more. What is the Resistance's endgame plan? What are Grave's secrets, the ones that even he doesn't know? What else is out there for Charlotte to discover? A great follow-up to the first book.

(I received an advance copy of this title from Penguin Random House Canada.)

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