Thursday, March 28, 2019

Book Shelf: The Iron Flower (The Black Witch Chronicles #2) by Laurie Forest

Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs, but their actions have propelled them straight into the ranks of the realm-wide Resistance against Gardnerian encroachment. As the Resistance struggles against the harsh rulings of High Priest Marcus Vogel and the Mage Council, Elloren begins to realize that none of the people she cares about will be safe if Gardneria seizes control of the Western Realm.

With tensions heating up in Verpacia, more and more Gardnerian soldiers continue to descend upon the university…led by none other than Lukas Grey, now commander of the newly rebuilt Fourth Division base. Though Elloren tries to keep him at arm’s length, Lukas is determined to wandfast to her, convinced that she has inherited her grandmother’s magic—the prophesied power of the Black Witch. As his very nearness seems to awaken a darkness inside her, Elloren finds it more and more difficult to believe that she’s truly powerless, as her uncle always claimed.

Caught between her growing feelings for the rebellious Yvan Guriel and the seductive power offered by Lukas Grey, Elloren must find a way to stay true to what she knows is right and protect everyone she loves…even if that means protecting them from herself.

More info on Goodreads....


The Iron Flower is the explosive second novel in The Black Witch Chronicles by Laurie Forest and is a sensational follow up to her debut novel, giving its predecessor a run for its money with plenty of action, excitement and heart pounding romance.

Elloren Gardner and her friends were only seeking to right a few wrongs when they set in motion the start of a rebellion. As the High Priest Marcus Vogel and the Mage Council begin to seize control of the Western Realm, destroying and imprisoning any being not born to the Gardnerian race, the Resistance is rising up. Determined to help those who can’t help themselves, Elloren stands beside her friends to stop the cruelty and brutality her people are responsible for. As soliders descend on the University, led by Lukas Grey who is increasingly determined to fast to her, Elloren fights to keep him at arm’s length while navigating the increasing attraction she has to Yvan Guriel, a rebel whose secrets threaten to keep them apart. Torn between the darkness in Lukas that calls to her and the fire in Yvan that makes her burn, Elloren fights rumours she is the next Black Witch, knowing that her choices will impact those she loves and change their lives forever….

When I first began The Black Witch, I was in no way prepared for how much I would love the story. Laurie Forest completely sucked me into the lush and vivid fantasy world she has created and The Iron Flower only went to cement my feelings for this series—I think it’s spectacular! Largely underrated in my opinion, The Iron Flower picks up where the last novel left off and draws readers into an action packed story of danger, forbidden romance and delectable characters, set amongst a vibrant and complex fantasy world where oppression and segregation run rampant and a few dare to make a change.

The Iron Flower follows a strong and personable protagonist in Elloren Gardner. It’s really impossible not to like Elloren as far as I’m concerned; she’s a well-rounded and clear headed young woman who genuinely wants to do the right thing and stand up against the injustices of her world. Though she is one of the “pure” Gardnerian race, Elloren is a kind spirited individual and doesn’t share the beliefs many of her people do. I love that Elloren is both tenacious and willing but also natural and down to earth. Despite being a replica of her infamous grandmother in looks, Elloren is nothing like her ancestor and is instead caring, kind and just—the perfect type of heroine of these kinds of fantasy novels.

Though it is filled with fast paced chapters, shocking developments and heartbreaking moments, much of the beauty of this series comes not from the riveting storyline, but the incredible cast of characters Laurie Forest has written and the bonds they share. Alongside Elloren, Forest includes so many wonderful friends and family members in The Iron Flower. And that’s truly what they are as they stand alongside each other—a family. Yvan, Diana, Rafe, Jarrod, Trystan, Ariel, Wynter, Ashlyn, Andras, Tierney and Marina all bring so much to the story and though it may seem like there is a lot of people and personalities, the familial bonds, romances and connections they all share give the story such life and vibrancy.

Growing in intensity, The Iron Flower is a novel of revelations and developments as well as pain and loss. Secrets are revealed and loyalties put to the test as Elloren discovers new friends and new enemies in this instalment. Laurie Forest seems to include a lot of developments within the book. There is undoubtedly a lot going happening within the storyline as well as a lot of different groups of races being brought together in their shared desire to stand up to the Garderian’s (Kelts, Lupines, Amaz etc) but there is clearly a reason behind the madness as Forest moves the story forward.

Emotional and bewitching, The Iron Flower was an addictive and thoroughly enjoyable read. I adored every moment I spent with Elloren and her friends. I wasn’t prepared for it to end and I’m already dying for the next book to come out stat as I’m ready to get lost amongst this incredible world Laurie Forest has created once more!

Source: Sent for review by publisher via Netgalley (Thank you guys!)
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Format: Kindle copy via Netgalley
Release Date: September 18th 2018
Buy: Angus & Robertson | Booktopia | The Book Depository | Amazon
Final Thoughts: I LOVED this and dying for the next one to come out so I can get my hands on it straight away!

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