I am so excited that I can finally share how hyped I am about this book with you guys!! I was lucky enough to be a part of the #ATourOfRageAndSorrow hosted by Shealea over at @CaffeineBookTours so my review for A House of Rage & Sorrow will be formatted slightly different compared to my usual reviews! I’ve also sprinkled some of my favorite quotes from the book as well as a playlist of songs that really made me feel fully enveloped in this world (listen to it while reading this for a full experience haha)! Hopefully by the end of this review it will convince you guys to grab this series as fast as you can 😉
A House of Rage and Sorrow (Book #2 in the Celestial Trilogy) by Sangu Mandanna
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Publish date: September 3, 2019 by Sky Pony Press
Rating: 4/5 stars
Synopsis: Esmae once wanted nothing more than to help her golden brother win the crown of Kali but that dream died with her best friend. Alexi broke her heart, and she vowed to destroy him for it. And with her sentient warship Titania beside her, how can she possibly fail?
As gods, beasts, and kingdoms choose sides, Alexi seeks out a weapon more devastating than even Titania. Past lives threaten the present. Old enemies claim their due. And Esmae cannot outrun the ghosts and the questions that haunt her. What really happened to her father? What was the third boon her mother asked of Amba? For in the shadows, lurking in wait, are secrets that will swallow her whole.
The House of Rey is at war. And the entire galaxy will bleed before the end.
Review: *I received an e-arc from Sky Pony Express in exchange for an honest review*
“Maybe it’s time the great House of Rey came to an end. After all, what are we now? Just a house of rage and sorrow.”
I’ll be honest with y’all and say that I don’t know how I am supposed to survive another yeAR before the last book comes out!! When I read the first book (you can find my review here), I did not expect to like it as much as I did because I don’t normally gravitate towards sci-fi storylines. However, I was constantly kept on my toes by the intertwining threads of deceptions and loyalties woven throughout the book and was honestly so invested in the story and characters that I literally couldn’t put it down for a second. My expectations for the sequel was so high after reading the first book, so I was worried that the sequel wouldn’t live up to the first book and fall under the “second book syndrome” curse that often happens nowadays. But, I can confidently say that Sangu definitely delivered a sequel worthy of this amazing series.
“I trusted in the gods for most of my life, but then I saw with my own eyes how fickle they are. How they bestow and withhold their favor on a whim. Our worship of them is not faith, Princess, it’s fear. And the saddest thing is that we don’t even need to fear them. They cannot lay a hand on us without losing their precious immortality, so why do we still bow? The gods may have tricks, but they have no teeth.”
“Every battle is a scream. Every strategy is a scream. I hear myself inside my own head. I never, ever stop screaming. Every single breath I take is a scream, building and building until one day it will reach such ruin that my brother will shatter into a thousand pieces.”
One of the themes in the first book which I was so glad played an equally significant role throughout the sequel was that of betrayal and deception. That was what really drew me in and kept me guessing until the last page and I really think made this story stand out amongst others in the sci-fi genre. Sangu was able to successfully create intricate facades woven throughout the plot that weren’t obvious enough for readers to catch onto until the last second.
“I’m just like them. I can’t walk away from an end of my own making. My choices, my mistakes, my consequences.”
“I may have become a monster, but I’m a monster who does her own dirty work.”
“Girls are too easily broken. Are we? Or is it that more people want to break us?”
To follow through with that last point, I truly believe that was another way that I felt so invested in the characters and felt their trials and tribulations to the highest degree, as if I was dealing with these conflicts alongside them. I really appreciated and found it very interesting to see Esmae’s character change/development progress throughout the story in a significant way while still showing the girl she used to be because we get to see how she’s trying to balance the person she was vs the person she is now as a result of the experiences she has faced thus far. The major driving point of the first book was Esmae trying to gain the love of her family that she had dreamed of since she was a child, something she so desperately wanted and needed. With the ultimate betrayal of her beloved brother and loss of her best friend, we witness and experience firsthand how much the loss of trust and love can change someone for the worse. We can also see this in her relationships with the other characters as well as how the other characters were affected by the actions of deeds past.
“They were my beginning and they’ll be my end.”
I really hope that this review helped to convince you to pick up this series and if it did, please don’t forget to pick up A House of Rage and Sorrow when it’s released on September 3rd!
~playlist to set the mood~
About the Author:
Sangu Mandanna was four years old when an elephant chased her down a forest roadand she decided to write her first story about it. Seventeen years and many, many manuscripts later, she signed her first book deal. Sangu now lives in Norwich, a city in the east of England, with her husband and kids.
(Be sure to catch up on the other tour stops of the blog tour here!! )