Rifts by A.C. Donaubauer
Series: The Order #4
Published by Self-Published
Published on: February 27, 2017
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Right after her arrival in Takhan Eryn has to face a shocking revelation. Then there is a rather tense relationship with Ram’an as well as the tedious preparations for the last healer exam with Sarol, who considers mediocre performance a personal insult.
While Enric is getting to grips with his role as Head of House Aren and senator and Vern seems to have found in Takhan his ideal home, Eryn is still fighting to somehow cope with her anger.
This is the fourth book in The Order series. This is a series that I’ve loved since book one. I’ve really fallen in love with all the characters. There is a wide array of characters in this series. There is a large cast in Anyueel, which is also known as the Old Kingdom. Anyueel is where the series starts off. Then we learn about Eryn’s original home country of Takhan. There is a large cast of characters in Takhan also. Most of the second book takes place in Takhan. The same is true for this book. This time though, some of my favorite characters from Anyueel come with Eryn and Enric to Takhan.
So Eryn and Enric are forced back to Takhan, so that Enric can lead the House of Aren, while Eryn’s mother goes on a mission to keep Takhan from war from a country to the north. Orrin and his pregnant wife, Junar, and his teenage son, Vern, join them. The fact that Eryn’s mother, Muriel, is gone, is the only silver lining on this trip for Eryn. She and her mother don’t get along because her mother accused her of murdering her father in Anyueel. Eryn refers to her mother as “The Queen of Darkness”, which actually fits.
So as soon as Eryn arrives in Takhan, she is in for news that she is extremely unhappy about. It makes her now not only have issue with her mother, but now her uncle and adopted father, Valrad. It really makes Eryn question everything she has known her entire life. She withdraws from everyone, including Enric.
Vern does great in this new country. Everyone is in awe of his skills as an artist. He’s learning more in the healing that he’s been doing. Coming from a country that looked down on him because he wasn’t a warrior, it was great ego boost for the boy. That is until he has issues with leader of the art school, who doesn’t think Vern is a very good artist because everything he draws are replications of what is right in front of him. He wants to see more of an artist rendering, not a factual representation. This is when Vern creates an even more amazing piece that the healers are offering him an outrageous sum of money for. Vern then confronts the leader of the school, which causes a bit of a revolt.
Then some really bad things happen around the gang from Anyueel. There is an investigation. People are charged. Orrin ignores a direct order and physically attacks a high resident in Takhan. There is a lot more, but I don’t want to spoil anything.
I also have to mention Malhora. She is Eryn’s grandmother on her mother’s side. We meet her in book two, but is a minor thing. She has a much larger role in the second half of this book. Eryn doesn’t like her at the beginning, but they quickly bond over their annoyance at Muriel. They even plot against Eryn’s mother together. Nothing too bad, but just enough to drive her crazy. There is a thing about Aren women in this town. They are known for their fierceness, especially if they battle with each other.
This is a fun series, filled with really amazing characters. There are bits of humor in the story that will make you chuckle (though I wouldn’t call this a funny series, like say a Molly Harper or Eve Langlais series, but there are lots of chuckle worthy moments).
I do feel the need to warn readers of a cliffhanger at the end of this book. I need the next book, Family Bonds, like now.
Neval turned towards her and Enric. “I am so glad you have arrived. I have been sitting with the two of them for about fifteen minutes, and the only topic they seem to be able to come up with is lawyering,” he complained.
“I do not think this term actually exists, darling,” Vran’el chuckled.
“Well, consider it established now,” Neval threw back. “I define it as the lack of stimulating conversation topics due to being studied in the law and thereby having no other area of interest to fall back on, consequently being helpless to do anything other than bore to death any non-lawyers who happen to be stuck with you.”
Malhora joined them carrying a large, steaming bowl in her hands which she placed down in the centre of the table. Then she sat down and leaned back, making no movement whatsoever to serve the food.
“I cooked it, somebody else serves it. I do not care about what is polite. I am too old for that,” she said with obvious satisfaction. Then her gaze fell on Orrin and she grinned broadly. “Warrior. I see you are back on your feet. Did anybody tell you that I carried you back here over my shoulder?”
Orrin’s eyes widened and his mouth dropped open. His head snapped to Vern and he grimaced. “How could you let that happen?”
The boy bit his lip and sent his father an apologetic look. “I am sorry. I tried. But you know what? She is intimidating, and not just a little.”
Malhora winked at her granddaughter. “You see? That is how you do it.”
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