Van is a different girl than the one we met in Shock of Fate. The events of that book took her innocence and navieté. She is harden and attempts to be unfeeling. Van believes that feeling emotions is a weakness, one she cannot afford if she is to be the warrior her people need her to be. It’s heartbreaking to read.
Paley is the same girl. I don’t think she’s changed at all! She is very human and wears her feelings on her sleeve. This is challenging for Van who is trying to feel nothing. Her best friend forces her to confront the things she fears and grieves. I had to cheer Paley on a little for that. However at times, I found Paley annoying. How can you be a good friend and call yourself a best friend when you are jealous of and undermining said friend?! It makes zero sense to me.
The book opens as the alignment draws near. This is the only month of the year that Van can travel to the Living World without facing the Quasher (big, evil death monster). Van’s assignment for this alignment comes when a sickness is tearing through the island. This sickness has a demon origin and has breached into the Living World. Van and her team which consists of Paley, Brux, and Pernilla are charged with checking the second seal (the seals are what keep the Living and Earth worlds separate). This adventure is unlike the first. There is more of the Living World explored: more people, more creatures, more places. I loved it! The author created a fantastic world in Shock of Fate and expands on it here. I got lost in the pages and loved every minute of it.
Now I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Van’s ulterior motives on this adventure. She plans to follow Uxa’s orders to a T, but also has her own missions. First she wants to learn more about Ferox, the last living prince of the Balish people. She needs to be sure that he is not like his sister Solana and his light is pure. Van’s other mission is to find an end to the Anchoress curse. Both lead her right to the Balish and Ferox. The only thing I personally didn’t care for in this book is the love triangle that has been set up among Van, Brux, and Ferox. Obviously Brux who I love can’t be with Van. He’s her assigned protector. Ferox is also not the best choice, he’s the leader of her enemies. Personally I’d choose Brux, but that’s me.
Overall, Plague of Death is a thrill ride, blending fantasy and adventure til you believe the Living World and its creatures truly exist. Van is not the spoiled girl from book one, and my heart ached for her as I read. She has a lot on her plate at such a young age. The only downside for me (and this is purely my own opinion) is the love triangle. I could have done without that. However the character growth and the world-building more than make up for that. If you enjoy fantasy adventure, then this is the book for you!
- Perfect blend of fantasy and adventure
- Amazing world-building