Reviewed by: Chelsea
Rating (out of 5): 4.5 Stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free, it assumes you’re familiar with the characters and the story up to this point. If you haven’t dived into the Arcana Chronicles, we highly recommend it. Start with the VBC review of Poison Princess.
It has been a long time since a book made me cry.
Arcana Rising made me cry, guys.
Like ugly cry.
I’m not complaining though. Over the course of four novels, Kresley Cole has invested me in every single character’s story within the Arcana Chronicles. So after the catastrophe at the end of Dead of Winter, we knew things were going to be super happy in the next volume.
Arcana Rising is a novel about loss. It’s also a novel about the way we must carry on after loss, and it’s in that concept that it becomes emotionally gripping. The emotional peaks and valleys of this book are never quite what you expect, but balanced to perfection. The aching loss is parried with pure joy. The hope of finding loved ones, and the beauty of finding strength in those around us are both paramount in this novel that opens with Evie at her absolute lowest so far… and proceeds to crush and smash her plans.
We meet new Arcana along the way. New allies are found. New friends betray us. Even Evie dabbles in black-hat moves in the name of the greater good. We discover more about the previous games. More about what the Empress was like. We understand why other Arcana are especially distrusting of her.
I’m not talking about Jack or Aric. Why? Because I’m not about to spoil this sucker for you. I’ll say no matter which side you’re backing, it’s going to hurt and it’s going to be beautiful. While other entries in this series have focused on teamwork between the growing alliances, Arcana Rising requires Evie to ally with the Red Witch, with the Empress.
Arcana Rising is a captivating, deep dive into grief and self-discovery with powerful pops of pure joy. It’s an absolute must read for Kresley Cole fan. The end leaves more questions, and makes me want to set a timer to countdown to the release of book five.
Sexual content: Sex