The Sun's Rival is the fifth book of the Wilderhark Tales (1:The Swan Prince, 2: The Stone Kingdom, 3: The Seventh Spell, 4: The Song Caster). Wow, we're on book five now?! Oh my how time flies. I've been lucky enough to read Ms. Shipley's work since her debut and I feel like she only has gotten better with time! :D
I started reading this book only hoping to read a little before doing something that needed my attention. I should have known better because I was instantly hooked. I had to devour the book, and I did, in one sitting. Yeah, it was that good.
Ms. Shipley has written yet another fantastic tale of love and adventure. She has moved the story line up a bit from her previous books so we lose some of the old characters but we are introduced to a new generation of sweet and adorable characters which had been hinted at in previous books. The author has the same lyrical and engrossing writing as her previous books that leaves you craving for more as you read.
I actually found myself loving the relationships between the new Denebdeor family. All the familial relationships were fantastic but Lar and Ion were my favorite sibling relationships. They were a mix between teasing and unconditional sibling love which is something I enjoy seeing and wish we would see more in books. We don't get to see any of the old Wilderhark gang (Lute! *sobs*) but we do get to meet some amazing new characters that will leave you in awe!
I actually adored Laraspur. She is a relatable character and whose problems could be sympathized with by the reader. Her problems are more internal and emotional so it was interesting to see how she dealt with the problems. I don't think her problems were as dire as her predecessors in the earlier books but it still left the reader rooting for her. I find it adorable how she seeks love advice from her family, it's something I do and I'm not sure if it's typical behavior. lol It's good to see they have a good, strong bond to be able to share that type of information with each other.
I do feel like the love interest was a little predictable. I'm glad Lar went with who she did but I would have liked it a little more if there was more of a mystery or challenge for the characters.
So without spoiling, I love the new places that we are taken! It wouldn't be a Wilderhark tale without a little adventure, and boy do we get to go somewhere no one else has gone before! I had a great time there and wish we got to see more!
Again, I have few issues about this story. The biggest one is that it is too short, yet again. Perhaps it's my gluttony but I didn't want it to end. The conclusion is good but short. I would have liked to see more of an ending but it was pretty blunt. Once I reached the end I was stunned and had to be sure that it was the end. I wanted to see more, like the wedding with Lar or what happened to Lily and if there were any after effects.
Another minor qualm I had was that this story was less complex than the author's previous works. It's still a great story but compared to some of her other works, I felt like this story was simpler but still it is a great read and one that will grab on to you and not let you go until the end.
In essence, it is a glorious, dream-like, and delightful read! If you enjoyed Ms. Shipley's previous works, you'll definitely like this one. This story is for the romantics and adventurous, with sides of humor and overcoming self-consciousness. It is a quick read and one I highly recommend you pick up if you're interested in a heartwarming fairytalesque read.
4 out of 5 rating for me!
(An ARC was provided by the author for an honest review. I was not compensated in any other way.)
Buy the Paperback!
Buy the eBook!