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Reviewed by Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite
Embracing the Darkness is the second novel in The Darkness trilogy by Cassie Sanchez. An epic fantasy with heavy traces of politics, the story follows Jasce Farone as he battles a larger-than-life temptation. Jasce was once an assassin, but now he is a commander of the Paladin Guard. With his fiancée, Kenz, by his side, the only dark spot in his bright future is his missing sister Jaida. He wants to find her desperately. The opportunity arises when the Queen of Pandaren Kingdom decides to host the Gathering and invites delegates from five other kingdoms. Among them is Queen Evelina Siryn who seems to know where Jaida is. She may tell Jasce where Jaida is but Jasce must do something for her. Queen Siryn wants him to get the Empower Stone. But that is a temptation that Jasce would rather stay away from. His plate is already full looking for missing Spectrals and searching for Jaida. Can Jasce do it? What if the queen has a hidden agenda?
Action-packed and passionate, Embracing the Darkness had me hooked from the moment I read the first few lines. Jasce’s character is impactful and resonates with readers really well. The world-building is phenomenal, each aspect is crafted to perfection and you can tell author Cassie Sanchez worked hard on it. I was grateful for the character list in the beginning. For someone who is not familiar with the previous novel in the series, it helped me keep track of who was who. That being said, there was hardly a time when I was confused, and considering how complex this story is, it is a huge feat for the author. The subplots complemented Jasce’s quest and allowed me to feel connected to him. Kenz and Jasce’s chemistry was off the charts, even if they did struggle with communication. I found Shade Walking to be fascinating and Jaida’s psychic abilities very intriguing. It was a pleasure watching Jasce learn to trust himself. I highly, highly recommend this series.