Untold by Sarah Rees Brennan
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It’s time to choose sides… On the surface, Sorry-in-the-Vale is a sleepy English town. But Kami Glass knows the truth. Sorry-in-the-Vale is full of magic. In the old days, the Lynburn family ruled with fear, terrifying the people into submission in order to kill for blood and power. Now the Lynburns are back, and Rob Lynburn is gathering sorcerers so that the town can return to the old ways.
But Rob and his followers aren’t the only sorcerers in town. A decision must be made: pay the blood sacrifice, or fight. For Kami, this means more than just choosing between good and evil. With her link to Jared Lynburn severed, she’s now free to love anyone she chooses. But who should that be?
This review will not contain spoilers for the book Untold. However, there will be spoilers from the first novel, Unspoken. To read the review of that novel, please click here!
I loved the first novel so much that I didn’t think it was possible in the slightest for me to like the sequel just as much, if not a bit a more.
The struggle with a first novel, and then writing a sequel, is that you have to worry about living up to what you produced in the first novel, and making it that much better. Sarah took the story she had built up so well in the first one, and really circled it around to where she wanted to be in the second novel. She took the cliffhanger she gave us in Unspoken, and left us panting through Untold as we tried to figure out what happened.
And she left us with more cliffhangers, more loose ends, and that’s a mark of a good middle book. She builds up this story in the first book, leads us down a dark and winding and confusing path of the second book, just to leave us feeling absolutely thrown off and we have to wait an entire year for the third book? How horribly delightful that is, and the mark of a good trilogy. The bad guys have to win a bit in the second novel, to make it seem like all is lost, there is no hope for a solution, for the good guys to win. She manages to do that in this novel, but in a way that you never expected. I was in shock at the end of the book, and I was also quite afraid for some particular characters because she leaves their fate hanging in the balance at the end of the novel.
This book is so much darker than the previous one, probably because it is the middle book, where things have to be at their worst. Rob Lynburn is building up his own army, in order to perform a sacrifice, and take control of Sorry-of-the-Vale. Lilian and Ash, and Jared, and Kami, and Angela and Holly are all determined to take him down, but they can’t work together. Lilian Lynburn refuses to work with anyone that she doesn’t see as having a point, anyone without magic, and Kami, Holly, and Angela are all without magic, especially Kami without her connection to Jared. Of course, that doesn’t stop Kami Glass, that determined firecracker, and she gets all the young ones, including Ash and Jared. But the two groups working separately can only make things worse, and can only end in explosion, which it kind of does.
But there is still that humor, and adventure element to the novel. You aren’t spending the entire thing, in a world of despair and hopelessness and wondering if things will EVER get better. Kami is the light in the novel, the one who can make a joke, a sarcastic remark or brighten up the hope in the room when everyone else is feeling down, or like they’re going to give up. Pair her with Jared or Angela, and you get a banter of wit and humor and you find yourself smiling even though Sorry-of-the-Vale is in a whole mess of trouble.
As an addition too, Sarah also succeeds in making me, and probably the rest of you readers, fall even more in love with Jared Lynburn that you were previously in Unspoken. I still didn’t think it was possible to adore a fictional character as make as Jace Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments series but Jared is quickly catching up.
And can I just say that the cliffhanger of THIS novel left me incredibly upset, in that wonderful way that a book can upset you? The decisions that were made by Ash and Jared and Kami and all of them, and the place that they are left in at the end were not what I expected and left me feeling hopeless and upset with all of them. I wanted to cry, no lie, because I have so much hope that things will work out the way I want them too, in the third book, but I have to wait, feeling these awful feelings for these characters that I’ve grown to love. Every time I think of them, I will think of all I left them, and it just makes me feel sad all over the again.
So I’m ready that the third novel, Sarah! And I wouldn’t say no to an advanced copy ;)
5 out of 5 stars