Book Review

Fevered Star

Fevered Star

  • Author: Rebecca Roanhorse
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Publication Date: April 19, 2022 
  • Publisher: Saga Press
  • Series: Between Earth and Sky #2

Thank you to NetGalley and Saga Press for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

CONTENT WARNING: violence, blood, gore, self-harm, misogyny

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Return to The Meridian with New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Roanhorse’s sequel to the most critically hailed epic fantasy of 2020 Black Sun—finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, Lambda, and Locus awards.

There are no tides more treacherous than those of the heart. —Teek saying

The great city of Tova is shattered. The sun is held within the smothering grip of the Crow God’s eclipse, but a comet that marks the death of a ruler and heralds the rise of a new order is imminent.

The Meridian: a land where magic has been codified and the worship of gods suppressed. How do you live when legends come to life, and the faith you had is rewarded?

As sea captain Xiala is swept up in the chaos and currents of change, she finds an unexpected ally in the former Priest of Knives. For the Clan Matriarchs of Tova, tense alliances form as far-flung enemies gather and the war in the heavens is reflected upon the earth.

And for Serapio and Naranpa, both now living avatars, the struggle for free will and personhood in the face of destiny rages. How will Serapio stay human when he is steeped in prophecy and surrounded by those who desire only his power? Is there a future for Naranpa in a transformed Tova without her total destruction?

Welcome back to the fantasy series of the decade in Fevered Star—book two of Between Earth and Sky.

I have been waiting to read this book since I finished the first one in this series, Black Sun. I was thrilled to reimmerse myself in this gorgeous and unique Mesoamerican-inspired fantasy world, and Roanhorse certainly didn’t let me down.

This book picks up right where the last one left off, and I got to find out what happens to all of the characters in the aftermath of the Convergence. Chapters are still from the POV of Serapio, Naranpa, Xiala, and Okoa, but we also get a new POV — Lord Balam, which was interesting. 

I enjoyed getting to know the characters — basically everyone in this story is morally gray, although they have strongly held beliefs that they are doing the right thing. However, for some, they are working to do the right thing for their people, while others are doing things that are right for only themselves. It was intriguing to follow each of their different journeys, and how they all react to the massive changes that are happening in the Meridian. We learn more about Xiala, especially, while the rest of the characters are focused more on the future.

Now that everything has pretty much gone to shit, following the devastating events of the Convergence, each of our MCs are working to adjust to changes. With the Watchers out of commission, it’s like a free-for-all in Tova. The clans are all maneuvering, and so are the Seven Lords in Cuecola. A lot of this book revealed the inner workings of Meridian society as they seem to be inevitably heading towards a war. It’s a little slower-paced than the last one, and felt like there was a lot more build-up for the next book, but there was still plenty of action and some surprising plot twists that I didn’t see coming. 

It took me longer to read this book than I usually take, but part of that was because I was enjoying it so much that I kept stopping to slow myself down. It was a struggle not to fly through it. The evocative writing made it so easy to picture everything in my head, and empathize with each of the characters in turn. There are definitely some characters that I liked better than others, but each of them is facing a difficult situation. And while I included self-harm in my content warnings, this is more of an aspect of magic and societal rules, rather than traditional self-harm. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable sequel, and I loved every second of reading. It never got boring or confusing, and the world-building was stunning — we got to see more of the Meridian, and I was fascinated by how incredible this world is. There isn’t an outright war in this story, but I’m on edge waiting to see what happens. The tension in Tova is felt throughout the story, and while the end left me with a sense of completion, I’m definitely going to be waiting impatiently for the next book.

People who have sat around with me while I’m reading, especially when there’s a surprising reveal, a shocking plot twist, or an unexpected event often look up in alarm when I gasp audibly. The gasp factor is directly related to the number of times I audibly gasp during a reading, and there isn’t an upper limit.

Gasp Factor: 7

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