Welcome to my stop on the Mariana’s Secret blog tour! Huge thanks to Blackberry Book Tours for giving me the opportunity to take part in this! I was provided a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.
Publication Date: 05/11/2019
Length: 273 pages
Genre: Fantasy | Middle Grade | Young Adult
Prince Kai is his own worst enemy. Nothing about his life is within his control. Although warned not to experiment with his gifts, he is determined to take control of his fate. His struggle to take matters into his own hands lands him in deep water—literally.
Choices have consequences; regrettably, his family will pay the price for his decisions. But anger is a painful emotion to manage, especially when everyone keeps secrets and tells lies. The truth behind his mother’s fate, shatters Kai’s precious relationship with Kendra. Mariana’s deepest secrets begin to fall like leaves off a tree.
Coupled with an old foe, a mysterious stranger attacks Diu and rocks the foundation of Kai’s life. Faced with a life-altering decision, Kai looks to his emerging romance with Rayna to help him take the next step.
A couple of months ago I was lucky enough to be on the blog tour for Lombardo’s The Half-Light, which is the first novel in the Katori Chronicles, so when I saw that there were blog tour spots for the rest of the series I jumped onboard immediately. Before we jump into this review, if you are interested in reading Mariana’s Secret please go back and read The Half-Light first as there are major spoilers for the first novel in the opening chapter of this one!
It was lovely to be reunited with familiar characters again. It’s been a couple of years since the events of the first novel and I liked the fact that the characters simultaneously felt the same as those we came to love in the first book but they have also begun to change as they become older. As they grow into adulthood. Kai, in particular, has grown a lot since we first met him. Not only has he been learning more about his powers as a Half-Light and excelling in his spy training but he’s also starting to understand his own emotions, especially his feelings towards Rayna.
I liked that we got to see more of characters like Rayna and Riome, and even got to meet some new Katori characters too. However, and this could just be down to my poor memory more than anything else, I did miss Shane not being as prominent in this novel as he was in the first as his friendship with Kai was one of my favourite aspects of the first novel. On the other hand, Kai is growing up now and beginning to learn a lot more about his past and the expectations on him in the future, so it is understandable why we saw more of Kai honing his skills and learning more of the Katori secrets than just hanging around with his friends.
This novel really expanded on a lot that we learned in The Half-Light. I loved how we got answers to some questions we form when reading the first novel but not all and even through the answers we do get, we end up with more. It’s this pacing and gradual reveal of information that keeps me gripped with these books and reading them so quickly. There’s such a big mystery surrounding the Katori people, as well as Kai himself, that you are desperately turning the pages hoping to find out more. As suggested by the title of the novel, we also learn a lot more about Kai’s mother, Mariana, with lots of twists and turns that were weaved nicely into the book. Without giving away any spoilers, I will say that this novel felt more of a stepping stone to the next one when it comes to particular storylines that begin in this novel but that isn’t a bad thing at all! In fact, it has me even more excited for the next installment.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and being back in the city of Diu. This novel really builds upon the first and is even more action-packed that kept me really hooked. I liked a lot of the avenues this novel opened up for the next book and it’s clear that this will be a strong series that I can’t wait to sink my teeth into!