Series or Stand Alone: The Golden Key Chronicles, book two
Release Date: December 2013
Author Site: http://ajnuest.com/
My Rating: 4/5
Source: Received for review from author/publisher
Cover: Pretty and goes well with the first book cover.
The key would unlock his future and the safety of his kingdom, but he never imagined the sorceress would unlock his heart…
Lost in a world she doesn't recognize, Rowena struggles to find her place.
Yet her abilities with a blade and the loyalty of a fierce falcon don't discourage the heated advances of the handsome Prince Caedmon, and the connection between them seems much deeper than her troubled heart can recall.
Candra’s Freedom is a tad bit shorter than Rowena’s Key, the first book in the Golden Key Chronicles, but it still packs quite a punch! Even with its minor faults it’s still a quick, satisfying and addictive read.
I’d highly recommend reading the first book before starting this one to really appreciate Rowena as a character. After Prince Caedmon reluctantly leaves her side, Rowena is left on her own with no memories of her life, who she is, or what is happening. She is pretty much forced into a fierce and independent transition in order to survive. Although she is staying at the castle, royal intrigue has kept her at arm’s length from everyone around her. It’s difficult to know who to trust and who can be turned to for help so Rowena relies on herself. In the two years since Caedmon has been gone she has furiously trained with the royal guard to become an independent, respected, and strong-willed warrior. Her only desire is to escape her confinement and live away from the scrutiny and confusion of her current life at the castle.
Prince Caedmon was whisked away shortly after the events in book one. He was actually taken captive during an important mission that involved Rowena’s move into Caedmon’s realm. I’m trying to be ridiculously vague in order to prevent any spoilers of the previous book or this one, so bear with me. With the disappearance of Rowena’s memories of everything so went her recognition and love for Caedmon. So when he finally escapes and returns to his kingdom he soon realizes that Rowena is no longer the sweet and docile woman he left. He must tread carefully in order to regain Rowena’s trust and hopefully her love. Caedmon also knows that his capture had nothing to do with chance but rather someone’s betrayal.
There was a lot of action in this installment rather than romance. With Rowena’s shift in personality comes a lot of growth in her character development. I really enjoyed the fighting scenes that show just how much Rowena has had to change in order to survive. But oh how I miss the romance… I’m excited to continue on with the series and see more of Rowena and Caedmon. I’d really like to see some more development on the magical aspect of the key and the kingdom now that it is the current setting of the story. I would have liked a more fleshed out transition in the beginning of the story since there is a significant time jump. I was also a bit confused on the title, if the name Candra was explained somewhere in the first or second book I completely missed it. Either way the change in pacing and direction of the story was very much welcomed. I can’t wait to see what book three has in store.