I've followed Andrea Cremer's Nightshade Series from the beginning, so when I first hear about Rift - the prequel to Nightshade, I knew I wanted to read it. I adore everything about Andrea's work, her style of writing, her unique storyline's and I love that she's not afraid to take risks with her stories too. And if I sum Rift up into one word it would be, FANTASTIC!
Ember Morrows is a sixteen-year old girl who is suffocated by her father's rules to be married off at a young age. So when she's called to fulfil a family obligation to join the Conatus Guard, she is more than thrilled to be away from her father's strict rules. Once there, Ember is trained as a guard to help fight the evil in the world, but when one of her leaders starts dabbling in dark magic Ember must choose which side she's on.
While diving into Rift I have to admit, I knew it would be good but I didn't know what to expect. With story pre-dating Nightshade, it's based in the early fifteenth century so it did take a few chapters to get into this new world and the style of writing, but once I got past them first few chapters it became a great read. I really enjoyed that this was a historical paranormal read but there are only a hint of paranormal through-out the book, mainly because to start with, the story focuses on Ember's journey and her discovery of this new world. It was quite slow paced but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. The real excitement comes near the end because we start it see the paranormal aspect in full force and with the return of Bosque Mar; well you can only imagine what he's been getting up too.
The characters of completely different to those who are in Nightshade and as much as I loved them characters, it was nice for Andrea to create a whole new set of characters that were just as unique and made them stand out on their own.
Ember is a strong, determined and a courageous young girl, she wants to throw herself into the firing line and help stop the evil of the world. She isn't what her father wants her to be and her boyish qualities are frown upon by him. But with the guard, she can be who she wants to be and take charge of her future.
Barrow is the strong silence type, broody and always tries to do right, he helps Ember become the guard she needs to be. He fights his attraction to her for many reasons but love over rules all, and he's soon falling for her. I loved that he was willing to protect Ember from the start, even though she is capable of looking after herself, he still wants to be there for her. Their relationship isn't a key role in this book, it's not until the end that we see it so I'm hoping with Rise; book two, we will see more of it.
The secondary characters were also great. There are many laughs with them which brings the humour into the story. Some of them like Sorcha and Lucasz quick became my favourites.
Andrea Cremer has done a fantastic job creating a whole new setting for Rift and not only that but writing this book really shows the talent's she has as an author. Rift is not a book without detail and Andrea really captures the setting well. I can't wait to see what she with next.