Wrath of the Talon (Talons, #2)

Wrath of the Talon (Talons, #2)
Age Range
Release Date
April 02, 2024
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The sequel to the “bloodthirsty, addictive, and searingly romantic”* debut from Sophie Kim is an unflinching roller coaster ride of action, romance, and intricate fantasy lore.
*Quote from Axie Oh, NYT bestselling author

Everyone thinks the Reaper of Sunpo—eighteen-year-old assassin Shin Lina—is dead. The only ones who know the truth are her cherished little sister and Haneul Rui, the icily gorgeous Dokkaebi Emperor, who she was sent to kill…and kissed instead.

Now, with the potent Imugi venom surging in her veins, Lina’s returned to right all wrongs. Already her body is changing, growing stronger, stealthier, and more agile, with serpentine scales she can call at will. She is living vengeance, seeking retribution for the massacre of the Talons. She’ll become the sword who cuts down the rival Blackbloods gang, along with their ruthless crime-lord leader. And when she is through, she will take the kingdom as her own.

But there is a mysterious side to Lina’s growing power, a dark voice inside her that whispers and guides her as she slips through the shadows of Sunpo’s streets. One that warns her not to trust the Dokkaebi, especially Rui.

Because if her destiny isn’t to love him…it must be to destroy him.

The Talons series is best enjoyed in order.
Reading Order:
Book #1 Last of the Talons
Book #2 Wrath of the Talon

Editor review

1 review
consuming dark YA fantasy
Overall rating
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WRATH OF THE TALON is a dark and twisty YA fantasy sequel. The story picks up after the first book with Lina returning to Sunpo with a mission of revenge, leaving Rui behind in his realm with a ring that can call him to her and a promise from him that he will leave the innocents alone. Lina is exacting her revenge on the Blackbloods slowly as she gathers allies to her cause. All the while, she is learning more about her gained abilities and fighting off a Voice that is growing stronger in her head.

Lina and Rui are caught in the threads of fate and destiny, but their path is not yet clear. As Lina works towards her revenge, she encounters unexpected twists of fate that have the potential to alter her future path forever.

What I loved: This was an even darker and more twisty book than the first. Negative emotions are running high with anger, betrayal, distrust, revenge, anxiety, regret, and failure, all having a massive impact on decision-making and the paths of fate. These emotions are easy for the characters to sink into and alter their feelings of control and destiny, demonstrating their power and magnitude. The ways that these negative emotions are felt and dealt with (or not) played out in questionable and sometimes dangerous decisions, making this a critical theme to the story.

This sequel deals with some big and complicated themes. It is a much heavier read than the first, and as such, left me with quite the book hangover (in the best way)! Lina and Rui are becoming even more complex with secrets building a wall between them. Their pasts are catching up with them in new ways and driving their decisions forward. Their deepest desires are playing out amidst the powers and creatures around them. Lina's desire for connection and family is leading her down dangerous paths, while Rui's fears around love and the safety of his people are playing out in new ways with Lina in the mix.

Themes around family, connections, survival, fate/destiny, betrayal, punishments (self-inflicted or imposed), prophecy, and human nature are really thought-provoking and without easy answers. Beyond Lina and Rui, there are other secondary characters that the reader gets to know during the course of the book that also play into these themes. In particular, I found Iseul extremely compelling, and she is a character whose path I am eager to follow in future books as well.

There are many new twists in this book and a bit of a cliffhanger as readers eagerly await the next installment. This book will work best for older YA readers due to explicit intimate scenes and gruesome death/murders along with a major character death (that will leave readers reeling).

Final verdict: Dark, twisty, and deeply compelling, WRATH OF THE TALON is an explosive YA fantasy sequel that will enchant readers. I cannot wait to see where this story will go!
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