Holy Ancient Ones, my fellow book nerds. What a sequel! I absolutely loved The Black Witch and was not disappointed with this book. What a whirl of emotions with everything that is going on! I am so thankful to have been provided a review copy for YABC from the publishers so make sure you head over to their site to check out the book!
Please note that this is the second book in The Black Witch Chronicles which means if you didn’t read book one there will be spoilers. The review itself is spoiler free for The Iron Flower.
Read my review of the first book, The Black Witch Here
The Iron Flower
5 out of 5 stars
Taken from Goodreads
Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs, but their actions have propelled them straight into the ranks of the realm-wide Resistance against Gardnerian encroachment. As the Resistance struggles against the harsh rulings of High Priest Marcus Vogel and the Mage Council, Elloren begins to realize that none of the people she cares about will be safe if Gardneria seizes control of the Western Realm.
With tensions heating up in Verpacia, more and more Gardnerian soldiers continue to descend upon the university…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the newly rebuilt Fourth Division base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm’s length, Lukas is determined to wandfast to her, convinced that she has inherited her grandmother’s magic—the prophesied power of the Black Witch. As his very nearness seems to awaken a darkness inside her, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe that she’s truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.
Caught between her growing feelings for the rebellious Yvan Guriel and the seductive power offered by Lukas Grey, Elloren must find a way to stay true to what she knows is right and protect everyone she loves…even if that means protecting them from herself.
Welcome to the resistance. What a sequel! This book was just as dense as the first book but in a completely different way. Upon finally realizing how wrong the Gardnerian faith is, Elloren has decided that something needs to change. Since she doesn’t have the magic necessary to fight Vogel and most of the Gardnerians, she has to do things differently. Since Vogel is now in charge there has been many changes, mostly banning or killing anything that would oppose the Gardnerian’s beliefs. This book definitely had a darker tone than the first book. While Elloren moved past the prejudices set over the other races, her world is changing for the worst. I really liked how much more action was taken place in this book. I realized that the first book was more character and world building, which was done very well, but this book was more about action. There was a lot more depth to the changing world and you could feel the pressure that Elloren and her friends were under. Since they had to turn to others for help, we really get a bigger understanding of the other races in the book. I really enjoyed this aspect because it brought more depth to the story. One of the aspects I was a little disappointed with though was the lack of learning at the university. While Elloren and her friends were still at school, they weren’t attending classes? I say this as a question because I only remember one scene where they are doing schoolwork. They were basically taking these trips to other places in the world without being noticed that they weren’t present for classes. Besides this, I really enjoyed the build-up to the ending. I really did not see that coming and it is going to make an interesting third book.
Elloren was still amazing. Her character had definitely grown a lot from book one. She is no longer immune to the prejudices that her people had put on other races but realizes that they have been wrong about how they treat others. The friendships formed in this book was amazing. I loved how they all banned together and support each other no matter how they were raised. My favorite scene was in the woods, right before everything went horribly wrong – of course. Their friendship really showed how much they enjoy each other’s company and took time to teach everyone a part of their own culture. I did think that the Elloren, Lukas, and Yvon triangle was a little dragged out. Forest tries to show a connection between Elloren and Lukas but it seems too forced. The attempt to be a love triangle was never felt concrete because of the true attraction between Elloren and Yvon and the lackluster connection with Lukas. I am excited to see how each character grows more in book three and how they will affect the war to come.
Overall, The Iron Flower by Laurie Forest was an amazing second installment to the series. There was still more world building as we were introduced thoroughly to some of the other races in the book, which was great. I really love the characters with how strong and close they are all becoming. The next book is definitely going to be epic and I cannot wait to continue the story. I highly recommend this book if you liked The Black Witch and enjoy dark fantasy.
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