The Warrior Moon by K. Arsenault Rivera (Ascendant #3)
Reviewed by Sam!
What I drank prior: been at a work happy hour that was open bar. While I was trying to schmooze, I had 3 glasses of wine and then I had another two when I got home.
The Warrior Moon , the sequel to The Phoenix Empress and striking conclusion to K Arsenault Rivera’s wildly buzzed about epic fantasy, which began with The Tiger’s Daughter
Barsalayaa Shefali, famed Qorin adventurer, and the spoiled divine warrior empress, O-Shizuka, have survived fights with demon armies, garnered infamy, and ruled an empire. Raised together since birth, then forced into exile after their wedding, and reunited amidst a poisonous invasion—these bold warrior women have faced monumental adventures and catastrophic battles.
As they come closest to fulfilling the prophecy of generations—Shefali and Shizuka will face a their greatest test yet.
“The Phoenix Empress expands and deepens the mysteries of this intricate and fully-realized fantasy world. I’m riveted by this story and can’t wait for the next volume.”–Martha Wells, author of the Murderbot Diaries series
“Rich, expansive, and grounded in human truth…simply exquisite.” –V. E. Schwab, New York Times bestselling author of the Shades of Magic series
Drunk Overview: ok so if you haven’t read the first two, I’d get out cause this whole thing is complicated and I can’t do it without spoiling….
So. After book 2, Shizuka is basically the sun and also the sun with PTSD. They’ve gotta come after this king guy that’s making everyone the dark version of white walkers. They go in to “the beyond” to do it, leaving behind Shizuka’s niece as heir just in case. Time is weird in the beyond. Physical space is weird in the beyond. And all our faves including Shefali’s mama are there. And… basically this is the end to Shefali and Shizuka’s epic love story and ascension.
Spoiler-free Thoughts: continuing my journey to catch up on series. I think this one was the one I was most terrified of because I loved the first two so much. This one was good but not great.
Characters: ok. So. I love these two so much. Suzuka is so broken but like, in the fiercest way. It makes her stronger. She’s got a job to do. And then you’ve got Shefali. Shefali is my actual favorite. She’s sos sweet and also a literal wolf and only wants to be with her wife and I just fucking love her. The sacrifices she makes are amazing. Our side characters are amazing too( we get new perspectives in this one which sorta slows us down but also helps round out what’s going on.
Plot: unfortunately, this is where this book falls short. I feel a little bad saying this, but this 650 page book could have been 500 and have been the same. The parts that hit, though… boy did they hit. I got v upset there a few times.
Writing Style: this author is so lyrical. Just so so lyrical.
World Building: what I love most about this story is that it is literal world building. Literally. It’s great.
What to pair it with: a full bodied red wine, like a Bordeaux.
Rating: 3/5 shots
Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,