book reviews

REVIEW! Phoenix Flame by Sara Holland

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for gifting me an e-arc of this book. This review will have spoilers for the first book, Havenfall, but if you want to see my review for that book, you can find my spoiler free review here.

Rating: ★★★★

The blurb for this book (taken from Goodreads) is:
Maddie thought her problems were over. She saved the Inn at Havenfall—a sanctuary between magical worlds—from the evil Silver Prince. Her uncle the Innkeeper is recovering from a mysterious spell that left him not quite human. And there are still a few weeks of summer left to spend with her more-than-friend Brekken.
But there’s more work to be done to protect the Inn—Maddie must put an end to the black-market trading of magical objects and open the Inn’s doors to the once feared land of shapeshifters.
As she tries to accomplish both seemingly impossible tasks, Maddie uncovers secrets that could change everything. What if saving everyone means destroying the only home she’s known?

The first book in this series, Havenfall, was my favourite book that I read in 2020 so I had pretty high expectations for this book, and whilst Phoenix Flame won’t make my top 10 books this year, I did, for the most part, really enjoy it.

The pacing was much better in this as the first book had already laid the groundwork for the worldbuilding, so while we actually got to see glimpses of those other worlds this time, we already had enough of a knowledge that the focus could sway more towards plot. I really liked seeing how Maddie had to deal with juggling with helping Marcus while he recovers from the coma like state he was in during the first book, looking into how they can stop the silver trade, trying to get the delegates to sign the new treaty which includes Solarians and come to terms with things around her mum’s jail sentence… all while being alert for any news on the Silver Prince. I think she handles it all pretty well, especially considering she’s still only a teenager herself.

I really liked the reveals and introduction to new characters as well as old ones, I thought the ending of this and the resolution to the plot involving the Silver Prince was really well done. However, I also did have an issue with the ending; I did originally give this 5 stars and was already searching for when book three was due to be released, and this is where I have an issue because it turns out this is only a duology and there are no plans for a third book. So while I did love the resolution to the main plot, there were so many other things left open, there’s no closure on the love triangle and there’s an additional chapter at the end from a different character’s POV which feels like it’s setting the story for a next book. But there is no next book, and it’s kind of disappointed me because it definitely does not feel like a final book in a series.

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