Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Size: 416 pages
Publisher: David C. Cook
Release Date: June 1, 2011
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the River of Time series
Rating: 4/5 stars
This is the second book in the River of Time Trilogy, the third book is Torrent. I didn’t like this book quite as much as Waterfall. It was still a very engaging book and made for a wonderful historical fantasy.
Gabi and Lia are back in modern times and trying to explain to their mother about the time portal and what happened. Gabi finally convinces Lia and her mother to return to 14th century Italy via the time portal. When they get there they find that weeks, not hours, have passed. Marcello is still waiting for Lia and Lia and Gabi are celebrated as heroes. The battle still rages between Florence and Siena. Gabi has a difficult question to answer, will she stay in the past and follow her heart by being with Marcello even if it means living a war torn life.
This story started a bit slow. Once they return to Siena there is a lot of lovey dovey going on between Gabi and Marcello. Marcello wants to keep Gabi safe and loves her. Gabi loves Marcello but doesn’t want to be stifled by him. They both love each other and adore each other and we hear about it constantly for quite awhile. I don’t mind the romance, it is sweet, but there was just too much gazing and longing in the first part.
After that things really pick up and the second part of the book is filled with intrigue, battles, and lots of action. This was an excellent part of the book.
You have to love the characters in this series; they are noble and good, but also have good senses of humor. I love the historical setting and enjoyed the beautiful style of writing. The book is so easy to read and moves quickly.
There is another thing about the story that bothered me. At one point the characters are exposed to the black plague and one of them actually catches it. The story makes a huge deal about this, the characters isolate themselves so as not to spread the plague etc. As the story continues and war ensues, this is brushed aside. We see the character in question later fully healed, but we don’t know how they healed. We also don’t learn if any of the other people in the party got the plague. The whole thing, which is so important for a large portion of the story, is just brushed aside with minimal resolution.
The book ends with another kind of cliffhanger. I am eager to see how all of this resolves in the third, and final, book Torrent.
Overall a good continuation of this series. Gabi and Marcello’s need to constantly profess their love bothered me in the beginning of the story and the topic of the black plague been brought up and then dropped was another issue for me. The writing style was very beautiful, the characters are engaging and have a good sense of humor, the setting is fascinating, and the action scenes are very well done. I definitely recommend this series to fans of historical fantasy with a large dash of romance.