Dark Heir (Dark Rise, 2)

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Dark Heir (Dark Rise, 2)
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
November 14, 2023
ISBN
978-0062946171
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In this riveting sequel to the New York Times bestselling novel Dark Rise, Will and his allies have survived the Dark’s first assault, but at a terrible cost.
A new threat from the past is rising, and only a handful of heroes remain to fight. Pursued by dark forces, Will and his allies must leave the safety of the Hall and travel to the heart of the ancient world, making new and dangerous alliances, and revealing the shocking secrets of the past.

But Will is carrying a dark secret of his own—his true identity. Drawn to the beautiful and deadly James St. Clair, Will is pulled ever deeper into the web of the past, and finds himself tempted by the darkness within. As the ancient world threatens to return, can Will and his friends fight their fate? Or will the truths they learn tear their world apart?

Dark Heir is the explosive and highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestselling Dark Rise,from global phenomenon C. S. Pacat.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
The Perfect Book to End the Series
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
This is a fast-paced story that’s full of action. In addition to the overarching good vs. evil plot, there are numerous subplots that keep readers engaged and intrigued. There’s a found family dynamic that changes throughout the story, slow-burn queer romance that sizzles off the pages but isn’t graphic, and other characters also go through their own personal journeys that I couldn’t help but be invested in. It takes a lot to change my mind when I start with negative feelings about a character, but C.S. Pacat really showcased her talent when she managed to shift my perspective completely about one of the characters over the course of the series.

Overall, I loved everything about this book. It was the perfect ending to the series, and snuck in the perfect amount of romance amidst an incredible amount of world-building existing side-by-side with a historical version of our own world. The romance never overshadows the action or the fantasy elements of the story. Pacat builds an amazing story, and although I though the last book couldn’t be beat, she proved me wrong with this one.
Good Points
-Queer representation
-Found family dynamic
-Great character arcs
-Underdog situation
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The world is on a Precipice
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot
 
5.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
At the end of book one, Will Kempen realizes he is not the hero, but the reborn Dark King. He finally has friends and knows there is no way he can tell them his identity and keep from becoming a target. His struggle to stay in the light when his flashbacks of the past and his abilities make it almost inevitable that he will be evil. All this makes him a wonderfully morally ambiguous character.

As a reader my mind was churning with the following questions: Can he break the cycle of evil? Will he want to once his powers are unlocked? If his friends work against him, can he resist the pull of his dark knowledge? Everyone says the dark king’s greatest power is that he is a liar and makes you believe in him. So, as a reader, I am not even sure that we can trust Will’s actions and stated intentions. Will it be revealed that we are being lied to? This question made the entire read suspenseful but, in a dread,-filled way, because I wanted Will to be redeemable and I couldn’t predict what would happen next.

His chemistry with James is perfection. It is a slow burn and not graphic but every interaction is so intense that it feels like it might melt the page. Will resists at every opportunity from imprisoning James’ affections when James doesn’t know his true identity. In the crowning moment when he believes James knows him fully and freely chooses him the full horror of his past deeds comes back.

The setting of the book is completely enthralling. I questioned in the first book why it was an alternate Earth instead of a made-up fantasy world. Yet, in this book, there is enough of a familiar setting and the way humans would react to make the revelations and the danger that much more intense and believable.

Visander as the Queen’s reborn champion makes for a fascinating character. He is reborn into Katherine’s body and married off to Simon’s younger brother, Philip, almost before he’s coherent. His hate for the Dark King due to the wrong done to him in his past life makes him perfectly qualified to be Will’s adversary.
The ending of this book was like a symphony ending on a cymbal crashing. The world and our character's next actions are all balancing on the precipice. I look forward anxiously to the third book to have my questions answered. I highly recommend this book to fans of epic fantasies.
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