King of the Rising: What Could Have Been, But Wasn't.
Let me start by saying that there are things to love and enjoy about this book. The fact that Callender was able to centre islanders and their struggle for freedom and begin with a narrative that has not been done before (correct me if I'm wrong) with Sigourney's storyline is an achievement.
With this second instalment I loved the incorporation of keeping ancestral practices alive, of looking to both the young and old for strength in facing adversities, and of course never giving up. We see the indoctrination that serves as a block to achieving true freedom; the shifting waves upon which power bobs and weaves affecting allegiances; the sly obfuscation of a shadowy figure that looms over the main storyline were all instances that had the reader asking questions and relating to a shared history.
However what was supposed to have been the linchpin in this arc was severely underutilized and was at the heart of my frustrations with this novel and hampered what could have been a marvelously executed follow-up. The incessant overthinking of extending mercy to those who may or not deserve it and the missed opportunity to delve further into the use and development of kraft also impacted the story for me. This book seemed to suffer from a host of editing mishaps and that I believe is the true tragedy here.
But do read this book so we can get a conversation started.