By joining a special unit of the kingdom's army, Ember Morrow managed to escape her unhappy life as a nobleman's daughter. Although she was one of the few women in the army, Ember had gained respect and was quite adapt at her new role as a soldier-in-training. Ember has even found herself a love interest. Just as she begins to get comfortable, an attack happens and she is forced to flee for her life with several comrades in Rift.
As they attempt to flee the enemy, the team ends up losing several people in their already small resistance force. The enemy is moving quickly, especially after teaming up with otherworldy dark forces. Now Ember and her allies must bring this battle to its conclusion in their Rise to rebellion, in order to take back the kingdom.
By using the affections of a friend to her advantage, Ember infiltrates the castle and provides valuable information. In order to gain his full trust, though, Ember reluctantly agrees to marry her childhood friend. Will Ember be strong enough to bring the ceremony to a close in order to provide her allies the opportunity to attack, or will she be overcome by the dark forces at work, just like her sister?
This prequel series stands well on its own, and only ties in at the end to tell the origin of the werewolves in the original Nightshade trilogy. The story moves at a steady pace with danger chasing the party the entire time. I was a bit disappointed, as I felt Cremer didn't provide enough character or relationship development between the characters in comparison to the first book. This was still a fun and imaginative read filled with adventure, magic, and bravery.
Books in the series:
The Iron Thorn by Caitlin Kittredge
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Norse Code by Greg Van Eekhort