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Check out my review of the first book, ALL THAT GLOWS!
Keep reading for your chance to win an autographed copy of ALL THAT BURNS!
Ryan Graudin is doing a preorder special through her local indie Blue Bicycle Books.
You can pre-order a signed copy of ALL THAT BURNS and get a free ALL THAT BURNS tea (a ginger plum flavored black tea). Don’t miss this special offer!
Click here to pre-order a signed copy of ALL THAT BURNS!
(They'll probably also let you order a signed copy of ALL THAT GLOWS, but double-check! You won't get the special tea, but you WILL get a signed book!)
Without a doubt, Ryan Graudin has stepped it up a notch with her latest novel ALL THAT BURNS, the thrilling sequel to ALL THAT GLOWS. The book moves much faster than its predecessor, and I read it in one sitting. It cleared up everything I hoped it would and added more depth to the story. There was also a lot more action and adventure center around mythology and the return of dangerous magic, which really intrigued me.
The following summary has spoilers for Book I:
Emrys has made her decision and giving up immortality to stand at King Richard's side. Together, the two are working to bring mortals and the fae together. There are a lot of plans in place such as Lights-down to reduce reliance on technology and become more harmonious with the fae. But there are a lot of mortals uneasy with this decision who think the fae are monsters and want to wipe them out. When an ancient fae prisoner breaks free and goes missing, a dangerous game of cat and mouse begins. King Richard is kidnapped and his naysayers are quick to rise to power and shun the fae. Has Emrys given up her magic and immortality just to die now without accomplishing anything and receiving her Happily Ever After?
Okay, you're leaving the spoiler zone now! ^.~
I loved the way Arthurian legend played into ALL THAT BURNS. One of my issues--which I knew would be an issue going into the first book--is that I don't read many novels featuring fae. But myths and retellings? You know that's where my heart lies! I really liked the way the past wove itself into the present and came together. The mystery and intrigue kept me changing pages and wanting to know more. There's also the introduction of the Ad-hene, which, after a quick Google search, aren't original creations, but I'd never heard of them before and thought they were original and added intrigue to the plot. I also liked exploring the concept of faagailagh, the state Emrys is now in after giving up her immortality for Richard, comparable to Guinevere of legend, who became faagailagh for Richard. There were so many interesting elements that wove the story together and made it intriguing to me.
One of my issues with the first book was all the insta-love. ALL THAT BURNS takes place a while after ALL THAT GLOWS, so Richard and Emrys have had a chance to get to know each other better. They know what they're fighting for. Richard is kidnapped early on in the novel and isn't present much, so rather than a lot of lovey-dovey moments, readers have the chance to finally explore Emrys' mind. They see her rationale behind what she gave up, what she wants, how much she cares for Richard, her struggle with her decision. With Richard out of the picture for so much of the novel, there's also a large focus on Emrys and Richard's sister Princess Anabelle to save Richard, uncover dangerous plots, and be heroines. I loved seeing these two females take the spotlight.
I didn't find as many metaphors in ALL THAT GLOWS, which is an issue many readers have had with her books in the past. Her writing is tighter and Emrys is so much less whiny this time around. I really found myself connecting with her and blew through the novel much faster than I thought I would. ALL THAT BURNS was originally a stand-alone, but open-ended enough to leave room for a sequel. ALL THAT BURNS ends on the same note. There are a couple of threads that could be tugged open for a new story, but it's ended in a satisfying way. While with ALL THAT GLOWS, I wasn't immediately eager to move on to another book, I fell much harder for the world of ALL THAT BURNS, and if Graudin comes out with a third book in the series, I'll definitely be interested in reading it.
Read the first 82 pages of Book One, ALL THAT BURNS,
ALL THAT BURNS PLAYLIST:
ALL THAT BURNS PLAYLIST:
My writing has since improved, though my obsession with wolves has remained relatively the same (I even own a wolf-hybrid pup.) My childhood was a happy, sunny thing. I grew up on a steady diet of fairytales, salt-marshes, music and brothers who would re-enact Redwall battles with me in the back yard. I went to an artsy sort of high-school that allowed cello recitals in the hallways and impromptu poetry slams in the cafeteria. It was there I decided that writing was what I wanted to do more than anything.
I'm officially a grownup now (I suppose one must admit that once they turn 26). My diet still includes fairytales, salt-marshes and art, but there are a few new loves thrown in. A big one is travel. Pieces of my heart are scattered like breadcrumbs all over the globe--I've bartered them off for writing inspiration, so I suppose it's a fair trade.
When I'm not cramming my earthly belongings into a backpack and waiting in airport security lines, I'm doing one of the following: Writing YA novels, Photographing weddings with my husband, Making our little white cottage more homey, Playing with my wolf pup, Trying out Korean récipes, Haunting local coffee shops with my friends.
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