I’m back and yes, I have another book review.
I have been working on little bits and pieces of my own work, but at the moment I’m loving bringing these reviews to you.
So let’s dive in.
The Throne of Cerecia is book four of The Edge of the Sword series by Amber Gabriel. And this one is the most complex yet! The storyline effectively splits in four, following Stelan, Talia, Bashalis, and Eemya.
As usual, I won’t go too much into the plot (there be spoilers), but let me share some more general comments on the story before I get into arguably the best parts – the characters.
The Throne of Cerecia is Gabriel’s most complicated book in terms of viewpoint and plotlines thus far. However, the story seems to switch between plot lines and perspectives seamlessly – crossing back and forth across Lyliana, Berush, and Cerecia to keep each element of the story moving forward. I was never bored by a storyline, and the pacing felt smooth and steady the whole way through – while slowly but surely building up the anticipation and drama!
Having Cerecia built up across the past few books, it truly was fascinating to get a closer look at Bashalis and Chysh. I know their story continues in the next book, but being able to glimpse their relationship at this crucial moment is so interesting.
As is what I consider standard for Gabriel, her worldbuilding is solid and real, her writing style seamless and compelling, and the plot both well-constructed and page turning!
But now, I’m keen to share my thoughts on the characters!
Bashalis is a character I swiftly grew to love in this book. I already admired her from what we learned from In Search of Magic Fire, but this story truly kicked it up a notch. Bashalis comes from a life of forcing herself to pretend, to not react at the most dramatic of stunts – all just to survive. Dealing with a *slightly* insane brother who seems to attempt to threaten and bully her at every opportunity (to say the least), Bashalis has learned exactly how to counter, how to ease, how to provoke him. I love her understated intelligence and wisdom. Meanwhile, her love of music is incredibly humanising, and an important part of her character.
As Bashalis begins to take a stand against her brother, I couldn’t help but just swell is pride as this awesome young woman took matters into her own hands. The people she meets along the way (without spoilers) are a true highlight of the book.
Talia and Stelan
I remember reading the ‘deleted scene’ at the end of In Search of Magic Fire, when Gabriel considered killing off Talia. In that scene, she ‘told’ Stelan he would be better off without Talia, and heartache would come of it, but Stelan didn’t care.
Here is where I think we see Gabriel get her say on the matter, as a romance forged in drama and near-death experiences is forced to deal with the day-to-day – and becomes strained as a result. I really love this for the couple, and it shows an important glimpse into continuing to learn and grow with your spouse even after marriage – regardless of how good or bad the match might be considered. As Talia sets off for Berush at Stelan’s urging, Stelan himself is ‘called out’ by a Cerecian spy. The situation provides some truly excellent suspense – we know Chysh means business, and we see his influence extending far beyond his own borders. It makes for an extra sense of fear and foreboding, not knowing if one of our beloved characters will be the next one to fall. Meanwhile, for Talia, she faces not only the same predicament as her husband, but more complications than she anticipated erupt in her homeland.
Eemya, Cyrus, Sashia, and Halem
While a smaller role, it’s wonderful to get a look in on Eemya as she deals with the threat in Lyliana, and what it means for her family. It made me so, so happy to get to see a glimpse of Cyrus and Sashia again, it put a smile on my face for sure.
I also wanted to mention Halem. We’ve seen him before in A Crack in the Rock, and while he only has a small role in this book, we get a few instances of his perspective. I know the latest book in the series delves deep into Halem, and what we see here is an excellent set up for what is to follow!
Overall The Throne of Cerecia is another excellent dive into the world of The Edge of the Sword. Themes of relational strain – both marital and familial, are woven through the narrative, along with the struggle of dealing with PTSD after incredible trauma. One thing I love about Gabriel’s writing is that there’s always layers of theme and story which create a far more complex and deep tale than what one might just see at the surface.
Have you read The Throne of Cerecia? How about other books in The Edge of the Sword series?
Let me know!