Blurb: The Secret Keeper is on the run, but does she know the secret she keeps?
Ayianna is a cursed half-elf betrothed to Desmond, but her heart belongs Kael. After discovering the cure for the Sorceress’s curse, she and her companions embark on a dangerous quest to retrieve the ingredients.
When dragons descend upon their party, Ayianna realizes the Sorceress is searching not just for the corrupted dagger, but a human sacrifice that will open a portal to the underworld. Battling deadly creatures and natural disasters, Ayianna is forced to confront her insecurities and conflicted heart. She must decide whether to be true to her family or true to herself.
As the nations rally for war, betrayal threatens to destroy them all, and it’s a race against time to return before the curse destroys the plains people.
Darkened Hope is book 2 in the Hidden Dagger series by J.L. Mwebe. I read it just as quickly as I did the first volume and I liked it more. The story picks up immediately after the first volume as our heroine and her companions continue their quest. The world is huge and fascinating. The races and creatures are interesting and obviously deeply understood by the author though I found the amount of them overwhelming and sometimes difficult to keep straight. Past events were referenced a lot but not very explained so it was sometimes confusing (and I read part one 6 months ago so you’d think it’d be slightly less confusing, for me at least). After finishing, I’m still not clear when or how certain events happened. But I was so wrapped up in the story I didn’t really care.
There was a lot of introspection but actions didn’t always correlate so I found Alya and Kael frustrating to understand. They’d decide one thing and then do something else and then change their minds just as quickly. But it was two steps forward, one step back so I was happy that things progressed at least. And I was much happier with the romance this time around – there may have been a happy squee or two. 😉
My personal opinion is there is a great story here but I still feel it would only improve with a bit more refining. I am really looking forward to reading the last one when it comes out.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I won a copy of this book in a giveaway. I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.