Review: “Snakeroot (Nightshade Legacy #1/Nightshade #4)” by Andrea Cremer

17372472Title: “Snakeroot (Nightshade Legacy #1/Nightshade #4)”

Author: Andrea Cremer

Genre: Fantasy, YA, PNR

Publication Date:  December 10, 2013

Source:  Publisher-provided ARC

Synopsis: Fans asked for it, and now they’ve got it!

Andrea Cremer is continuing the story she began in in her internationally bestselling trilogy: Nightshade, Wolfsbane and Bloodrose.

Bosque Mar haunts the dreams of both Adne and Logan, trying to escape for the Nether, where Calla, Shay and the other Guardians trapped him in the final battle in the War of All Against All…

Will he turn Adne to the dark side? Will Logan reclaim his birthright? And will darkness take over our world?

☆: 4/5 stars – Will definitely satisfy hardcore fans of the series!

Review: Fair warning here, folks: this review is going to have a lot of spoilers for the “Nightshade” trilogy (and its novellas/prequels). I thought and thought on how to do a review for this book without spoilers and then realized that it just wasn’t going to happen. So, fair warning, folks. “Snakeroot” is apart of the new “Nightshade Legacy” continuation series (not sure if “Captive”, “Rise”, and “Rift” are in this continuation/expansion but I’ll throw them in there anyway), not focusing on the main characters of our trilogy, but instead on the fringe characters we met throughout the journey of the trilogy. While “Snakeroot” definitely satisfies, it leaves us on a cliffhanger with no definitive promise that this series will continue. And I sincerely hope it will.

The negative points in this book are mostly bound to the single fact that in order to really understand everything that’s going on in this book, the reader will have had to have read not only the entire “Nightshade” trilogy, but the prequels “Rift” and “Rise” as well. There are a LOT of flashbacks to moments from “Rift” and “Rise”, and the book’s world is structured very heavily under the premise that the reader already knows what’s gone down in the world of “Nightshade”, and kind of jumps off from there. We do get a few summaries about the original trilogy here and there, but not for the prequels, which are a larger piece of the general plot of this book with Adne and Bosque Mar in play.

In nearly all technical areas with the sole exception of sensory imagery and language, Cremer relies a little too heavily on the rest of her series, where she could have instead just started something new with the previous books as a general part of the worldbuilding/backstory in a lighter form. This, for me, was the only really caveat to this new book.

That being said, I do love that Adne finally gets a bit more of the spotlight – she was definitely one of my favorite more minor players within the series. And I love that Bosque Mar is a bad guy that just won’t quit. I also love that we get more of Eira and Mar’s relationship (Eira, one of the protags from the “Rift”/”Rise” prequel duology), and how far that’s extended into things happening now within the circle of Keepers, Searchers, and Guardians – especially now that the War is over. We get a lot more fleshing out of pretty much everyone within the three groups formerly of Conatus that we saw in early books, and I really liked that (though I was getting sick of Connor – he got the least development but a lot of screentime, which was disappointing). The sensory imagery was excellent, and we get so much more of the world post-death for all of the characters that are Searchers, Keepers, or Guardians, too. Basically, we get ALL the things, and it still left me wanting more.

Final verdict? If you’re a fan, you’ll probably love this newest installment in the series – but if you’re new, you might want to start with the original trilogy and prequels before you tackle this book. “Snakeroot” is out now from Penguin in North America, so be sure to check it out when you get the chance! It was definitely one of the more fun sequels of 2013 for me.

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