Author: Sara Holland
Publisher: Orchard Books
First Published: 31 December 2018
“The time has come for our story to end.”
This is a sequel; I will try and keep my review as spoiler free as possible but just be wary if you haven’t read first book, Everless.
Jules confronts the girl who is both her oldest friend and greatest enemy in the highly anticipated sequel – and conclusion – to the Top Ten Bestseller Everless.
Jules Ember was raised hearing legends of the ancient magic of the wicked Alchemist and the good Sorceress. But she has just learned the truth: She is the Alchemist, and Caro – a woman who single-handedly murdered the Queen and Jules’s first love, Roan, in cold blood – is the Sorceress.
The whole kingdom believes that Jules is responsible for the murders, and a hefty bounty has been placed on her head. And Caro is intent on destroying Jules, who stole her heart twelve lifetimes ago. Now Jules must piece together the stories of her past lives to save the person who has captured her heart in this one.
I have no idea why I put off reading Evermore for so long. While I didn’t love the sequel as much as Everless, this was a fantastic conclusion of The Alchemist and the Sorceress’s story.
The story picks up right where the first ended; thank god for that because that was a serious cliff hanger. Jules is on the run after finding out she is the Alchemist from legend. Her new friend, Caro, has framed her from the murder of the Queen and her first love, Roan. Jules needs to piece together the stories of her past lives and end the Sorceress not only to save her own life but ultimately save the people of Semprea.
Semprea is one of the most interesting fantasy worlds I have read and has a unique twist on capitalism. The currency is time coins. Blood magic creates these coins by fusing time — whether that is an hour, month or years — to metal. There is definitely a creepy pre-French Revolution vibe to the world.
I enjoyed watching Jules learn about her past lives. You can feel her frustrating coming off the page. She has all the answers locked inside her, but she needs the keys to access it. Time is of the essence. She is on the run and doesn’t have time to sift through history books or visit every town The Alchemist might have been to in her past lives. At times, Jules is still quite naïve. It annoyed me that Jules kept doing stupid and reckless things that lead to her getting captured and needing rescuing.
There is a minor romance storyline, but it wasn’t the main focal point. Instead, the key relationships in this book centre around female friendships. The friendships are the one between Jules’ past self and Cara and between Jules and Ina. I love it when book highlight friendships since, for me, they are some of the most important relationships you can have.
I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get as much of the folklore sprinkled throughout the narrative this time around. There was a lot towards the end, but I would’ve liked more, especially since these are stories of Jules’ past life and there should be clues in there. But it was so satisfying once we finally got to uncover Jules and Caro’s childhood and see the truth behind the myths.
It’s a bittersweet feeling that this series has finished because I want to see more from this world, but at the same time I am satisfied with how it ended, there doesn’t feel like anything was missing.