The Quicksilver Court
- Author: Melissa Caruso
- Genre: Fantasy
- Publication Date: October 12, 2021
- Publisher: Orbit
- Series: Rooks and Ruin #2
Thank you to Orbit Books and Angela Man for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
CONTENT WARNING: violence, murder, blood, torture, gore
Ryxander, Warden of Gloamingard, has failed. Unsealed by her blood, the Door hidden within the Black Tower has opened. Now, for the first time since the age of the Graces, demons walk the world.
As tensions grow between nations, all eyes—and daggers—are set on Morgrain, which has fallen under the Demon of Discord’s control. When an artifact with the power to wipe out all life in a domain is stolen, Ryx will do whatever it takes to save her home from disaster. But success may demand a larger sacrifice from Ryx than she could have imagined.
The Quicksilver Court continues Rooks and Ruin, a wildly original epic fantasy series bursting with intrigue and ambition, questionable loyalties, and broken magic.
After finishing book 1, I couldn’t help but be glad that I had the next two books sitting on my shelf waiting to be read. Because there’s no way that I couldn’t jump directly into the next one. Caruso has built a fantastic group of characters, in a uniquely intriguing world, and they’re all dealing with a complex web of plot lines. And in this book, all of the plot lines get even more complicated.
I can’t really discuss much about the plot without giving anything away, so I’m just going to gloss over that part and leave it to the summary. Instead, I am going to say that while the characters are confined to one location for the duration of the story, it doesn’t inhibit the pace or the action in any way. There’s still so much tension that just grows throughout so much of the book, and I was slammed with so many plot twists, the majority of which I did not see coming at all. It was an exciting read from start to finish.
Caruso has a tendency in this series to provide a grand reveal relatively early in the read, and then devote significant energy to managing the fallout from this information. In this book, Ryx learns something devastating, and we really get to see her grow as an individual. For the first time in her life, she’s made friends and been able to get close to people aside from her grandmother, and this new information threatens those relationships.
“When I was alone, and standing still, everything threatened to catch up to me; I had to keep moving to stay ahead of the heavy tight feeling that kept trying to close like a claw around my middle, squeezing the breath from me.”
As Ryx learns to process all of this, she naturally turns to the other member of the Rookery who is on the outskirts—Severin. I loved seeing the two of them get closer, and the sexual tension between them building a bit as well. However, I also enjoyed getting to know Severin himself. He’s spent his whole life in the shadow of his father and then his brother, and is only now starting to become his own person, reckoning with his fears, difficulty processing emotion, and self-worth. However, he’s also willing to go to extreme ends to protect the people he values. We also get to see his sense of humor, and I couldn’t help but laugh at this part:
“‘I’ve never made a chimera before, but I’m going to figure out how to make spiders more venomous just so I can murder them one by one with tiny assassins they can’t see coming. And I’m going to send birds to shit in their coffee, because my rage is both vast and petty.’”
Even as Ryx and Severin are dealing with their own issues, the rest of the Rookery are facing their own reckonings. We get to know each of the other members in greater depth, and I loved all of them. Kessa, Ashe, Bastian, and Foxglove all grew on me so much, and I enjoyed learning more about who they were and the factors that shaped their pasts to make them who they are today, as well as how they cope when everything falls apart.
This book left me even more excited to read the third book in the trilogy, and see where it’s going. It’s full of complex politics, and dark, exciting magic, and complicated characters who are trying their best to hold it together as their world is literally crumbling around them and their pasts are coming back to try to tear them apart. It felt as though this really set the stage for the final showdown in the last book, even though there was also plenty of excitement in this book, and I never felt bored while reading. Caruso has some serious talent, and after this I’ll definitely be going back and reading her other series.
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: 19
Categories: Book Review
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