The second installment of a young-adult fantasy trilogy features a powerful young girl making hard choices.
In the multiverse of Savage’s (First Timer, 2012) book, there are a few gifted people, called Transcenders, who can instantly jump from world to world. Jaden Beckett is one of them, and she wants to return to her own world, Domerica, where she is the crown princess and engaged to Ryder Blackthorn, the handsome new chief of the Unicoi people. This isn’t an easy life to choose, however; while she was absent from the country, and presumed dead—her Transcender status is a secret—her Uncle Harold, the Lord High Steward of Domerica, began scheming to take over the throne as Jaden’s mother, the queen, fought leukemia. Meanwhile, Ryder,who believed Jaden dead, took up with another woman, whose beauty Jaden finds threatening. (Perhaps the author’s best moments are Ryder and Jaden’s thwarted attempts to spend time with each other—a subtle commentary on premarital sex.) The book portrays the ins and outs of Domerican politics, including Uncle Harold’s odd insistence on using resources to build a wall around the Unicoi village instead of building houses for Ryder’s people, and Jaden finds that something mysterious is happening to the multiverse’s governing body. Jaden takes the situation in stride with a maturity beyond her years, consulting her advisers without hesitation and listening to what they have to say. Savage lets Jaden narrate this compelling story, and readers of the trilogy’s first book will find it an exceptional read. However, those dropping into the trilogy for the first time will likely want to start with the first book, which provides considerable back story. A neat twist at the end of this book will likely make readers wonder about the villain’s identity and want to see what will happen in book three.
A well-told sequel for YA fantasy fans.