New York Times bestselling author Amanda Hocking returns to the magical world of the Trylle with The Morning Flower, the second book in the Omte Origins arc. Welcome back to the kingdom of the Omte―a forest realm where secrets and danger, human nature and ancient mythology collide. Where truth is stranger than fiction. Searching for answers to her own shrouded origins, Ulla Tulin’s journey of exploration takes a sudden turn when Eliana is kidnapped. Turning toward the Omte capital instead of the institute where she hoped to learn the truth about her identity, Ulla must put Eliana’s welfare before her own―a sacrifice that will present all new dangers to them both. When history is still unwritten. Ulla never expected that once she arrived she’d discover the identity of a Skojare man who crossed paths with her mother―a man who could very well be her father. Given the man’s connections to the Älvolk, a secret society tasked with protecting the location of the First City, Ulla is soon dispatched to Sweden to find him. One woman will dare to go wherever fate will take her… Now Ulla, along with her maybe boyfriend Pan, finds herself on a desperate race against time to locate her kin―who could very well pose a danger to her kingdom. Nobody and nothing is as it seems as she penetrates the dark heart of the Älvolk…all the way to the secret Lost Bridge to the First City, where an unknown future awaits for Ulla and her kind.
The Morning Flower (The Omte Origins, #2)Featured
As the story builds, we do learn more about the mythology and the connections between the characters, as well as Ulla's own ancestry. That being said, the book does have the feel of an in-between book with plenty of running around and a cliffhanger ending.
What I loved: This book moves at a good pace, and it is easy to read within a day, without any sections that are weak-links in terms of pacing. The mythology and history of trolls is really interesting, and I really enjoyed the inclusion of the children's fairytale books. The world is fleshed out even further, and it's woven within our own. This is highly readable and character focused without a ton of action, so it feels more like talking to a friend, which has its own appeal.
What left me wanting more: I did like the building romance that was fleshed out a bit more in this one, though it still takes a backseat to everything else and felt a bit take-it-or-leave-it as it was not a big part of the plot. There are a few strings similar to the romance that feel like paths we wander on without resolution, but I am hoping that this will all come together in the next. Some characters who were major in the first book are pretty much left out of this one, so I will be curious to see their potential involvement in the next (as I missed them).
Final verdict: Overall, this is an engaging sequel that continues Ulla's story with a YA fantasy that builds an intriguing world. While the first book provides a foundation for the characters and place, this one continues to build on that with new mythology and lessons learned.