by Philippa Ballantine
Series: Book of the Order #2
Published on June 28, 2011 by Ace
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Steampunk
The second novel in Ballantine's series. In a realm of mystics and magic, the Order of Deacons stands between the here and now and the Otherside. Its mission is to protect the citizens of the Empire from malevolent geists--no matter where or when...
Though one of the most powerful Deacons, Sorcha Faris has a tarnished reputation to overcome, which is why she jumps at the chance to investigate a string of murders in the exotic city of Orithal. But it is there that her lover, the shapeshifting rival to the throne, is targeted by a cruel and vengeful goddess, unwittingly unleashed by the Emperor's sister.
Once again, Ballantine delivers with an exciting sequel to her Book of the Order series. First off, this swashbuckling sequel dives right into the story instead of introducing everything (as was the case with Geist). I was really glad since that was the main flaw of the first book, in my opinion. Instead, all of the background information I wanted to read about in Geist was woven into Spectyr almost seamlessly. Like book 1, this novel read almost like an urban fantasy versus an epic adventure which makes it fast-paced and full of action.
Sorcha has to be one of my favorite literary characters. She reminds me of Alanna from the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce, one of my favorite series when I was younger. Sarcasm is her second language and Sorcha isn’t afraid to be the big badass in the group. I also like the relationship between her, Raed, and Merrick. There isn’t a love triangle! SUCH a breath of fresh air. You could see a hint of this in book 1 but it definitely becomes more pronounced come book 2.
The Book of the Order series is exciting and perfect for fans of fantasy and steampunk alike. I do recommend reading the books in order as otherwise you miss a lot of the background information not shared in book 2. Spectyr was a definite improvement on Geist but I highly recommend both. If you are looking for a mix of adventure, romance, and mystery, read Spectyr.