She Who Rides the Storm Series: The Gods-Touched #1
Published by Simon and Schuster on September 21, 2021
Source: Library book
Genres: Juvenile Fiction / Action & Adventure / General, Juvenile Fiction / Fantasy & Magic, Juvenile Fiction / Love & Romance, Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction / Social Themes / Emotions & Feelings, Young Adult Fiction / Thrillers & Suspense / General
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In this atmospheric YA fantasy that is Wicked Saints meets There Will Come a Darkness, four teens are drawn into a high-stakes heist in the perilous tomb of an ancient shapeshifter king.
Long ago, shapeshifting monsters ruled the Commonwealth using blasphemous magic that fed on the souls of their subjects. Now, hundreds of years later, a new tomb has been uncovered, and despite the legends that disturbing a shapeshifter’s final resting place will wake them once again, the Warlord is determined to dig it up.
But it isn’t just the Warlord who means to brave the traps and pitfalls guarding the crypt.
A healer obsessed with tracking down the man who murdered her twin brother.
A runaway member of the Warlord’s Devoted order, haunted by his sister’s ghost.
A snotty archaeologist bent on finding the cure to his magical wasting disease.
A girl desperate to escape the cloistered life she didn’t choose.
All four are out to steal the same cursed sword rumored to be at the very bottom of the tomb. But of course, some treasures should never see the light of day, and some secrets are best left buried…
She Who Rides the Storm is a captivity fantasy novel in Chaol. Among the Commonwealth, there are people, the devoted, blessed with powers from Calista goddess of sun and storm, and those that follow the nameless god the Bassists, who are natural-born witches/healers. The story follows four main characters, two devoted and two bassists, who are all on a quest to find the legendary ancient and cursed sword of the Shapeshifter king located in his tomb.
It took me a while to get into the grove of the story and figure out the main back story for each character; we are told a little about each one in the blurb but not the names. The history of the two groups is covered extensively in this book as a setup for the next book. The groundwork is laid out in this book, and the characters learn a lot, and they are tested to decide if they believe what they know is accurate and true. The ending is a major cliffhanger, so if you are not a fan of that, maybe wait to tell both books are out. It was a captivating story and, at times, heartbreaking to read. The novel plots along at a slower pace than I thought it would, and at times, I did feel it got repetitive in spots as the characters muddle through, accepting what they learn. I am eagerly anticipating the sequel.