October 18, 2018

Crown of Thunder Blog Tour: Review

Crown of Thunder (Beasts Made of Night #2)
Author: Tochi Onyebuchi
Genre: YA Fantasy
Release Date: October 16, 2018
Publisher: Razorbill


In the sequel to the acclaimed Beasts Made of Night, Taj has escaped Kos, but Queen Karima will go to any means necessary—including using the most deadly magic—to track him down.

Taj is headed west, but the consequences of leaving Kos behind confront him at every turn. Innocent civilians flee to refugee camps as Karima's dark magic continues to descend on the city. Taj must return, but first he needs a plan.

With Arzu's help, Taj and Aliya make it to the village of her ancestors, home of the tastahlik—sin-eaters with Taj's same ability to both battle and call forth sins. As Taj comes to terms with his new magic, he realizes there are two very different groups of tastahlik—one using their powers for good, the other for more selfish ends.

Aliya is struggling with her own unique capabilities. She's immersed in her work to uncover the secret to Karima's magic, but her health begins to mysteriously deteriorate. With the help of a local western mage, Aliya uncovers her true destiny—a future she's not sure she wants.

As Taj and Aliya explore their feelings for each other and Arzu connects with her homeland, the local westerners begin to question Taj's true identity. Karima is on his heels, sending dark warnings to the little village where he's hiding. Taj will have to go back and face her before she sends her mostly deadly weapon—Taj's former best friend, Bo.

Crown of Thunder is the fascinating and unique sequel to Beasts Made of Night. The two together create a wholly original and highly imaginative series that fans of YA fantasy are definitely going to want to pick up. I personally flew through both of these books, one right after the other, in about 2 days. From the very beginning of this beautifully told story, I was enchanted and sucked into Taj's world. The author writes with such vivid imagery and detailed descriptions that I could easily picture myself alongside Taj in this dark world he lives in. Everything came to life before my eyes, which is kind of unusual for me to get so submersed in a world that I have no sort of connection with.

I loved Taj as the main character. He grows and matures so much in the story, and it really shows at the end of the book. I thought he was brave, smart, courageous, but also had flaws that made him realistic and easy to identify with as well. The secondary characters like Aliya, Bo, Arzu, and even Queen Karima were also well rounded and complex, which made them feel realistic to me as well. The plot was intricately woven and filled with action and even a bit of romance. I couldn't help but fall inside the story and couldn't stop reading until I had finished the book. I loved the ideas of the Sin-Eaters, the inisisa, the aki and so much else was utterly fascinating to me and I greatly enjoyed learning about all of it. I could definitely read more in this series, but I'm not sure if the author is going to be doing any more installments. I very highly recommend this book to fans of YA, fantasy, paranormal, and even dystopia and romance - there's a bit of something for everyone.
Tochi Onyebuchi holds a BA from Yale, an MFA in screenwriting from Tisch, a master's degree in global economic law from L'institut d'├ętudes politiques, and a JD from Columbia Law School. His writing has appeared in Asimov's Science Fiction and Ideomancer, among other places. Tochi resides in Connecticut, where he works in the tech industry.

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