Scarlet Reign

Call for Independence

Young Adult - Mystery
379 Pages
Reviewed on 08/18/2020
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite

In the dark ages, the reign of Black was usurped by the sacrifice of thirteen scarlet-robed women. However, ending the terrifying Black reign in exchange for peace is not without grave consequences. A dying witch's final warning echoes, "the renewed reign of black will be far worse than this." Scarlet Reign, Book Two: Call for Independence by R.D. Crist focuses on the present time. Natalie tries to navigate through her life in the Order of Sisterhood and decipher her mentor's confusing will. Despite her brave actions that saved the Sisterhood before, she is still looked down upon by its council. But with war looming on the horizon, tough decisions need to be made and she fights to make her opinions known for the benefit of their Sisterhood. Natalie's friends are willing to support her but with constant battles breaking out, no one is left unscathed. Will Natalie be able to save what is important?

R.D. Crist's Scarlet Reign is filled with interpersonal conflict and battles. It is unique, adventurous, and the clues left for Natalie to follow are clever and interesting to solve. There are also many valuable lessons to be learned. One of my favorites is with the conflict between Sophia and the other girls. Devia really emphasizes the importance of taking care of their own. She sums up the Sisterhood well and imparts a valuable lesson to the girls. Devia made them understand the consequences of their actions. Many phrases melted my heart and endeared me even more to this book. The characters are varied and fascinating. The battles they experienced changed them and forced them to mature even faster and learn the hard lessons of life early on. Watching their progress and reading about their losses had me blinking back tears. Natalie, as the protagonist, does not disappoint. She pushes forward in the face of danger and hesitation. She takes a gamble on what she believes in and is ready to shoulder the consequences for her decisions. Though she is not without faults, her recklessness constantly endangers herself and others despite her good intentions, but that is what makes her more relatable as a character. Her flaws and her determination to be better is what makes her captivating. Overall, an engaging story with a distinctive plot and unforgettable characters. Brilliant work!

Trisha Dawn

R.D. Crist's Scarlet Reign: Call for Independence continues with the life of the teen leader and den mother, Natalie. After losing important people during a battle with the dark witch not too long ago, Natalie welcomed a new chapter of her life in the Sisterhood. Once again, she is faced with the responsibility of saving their Order as war threatens to put their lives in danger. Natalie struggled to put into use everything she learned and gained from her late mentor, Ms. Haggles, and her precious friend, Melissa. However, after suffering a heavy loss from unforeseen events and being belittled by the Council, Natalie wished she could just escape it all. Will Natalie give in to her desire and leave the sisterhood behind or will she fight with everything she has left and stay?

Scarlet Reign: Call for Independence by R.D. Crist is a brilliant, emotional, and well-written piece. I was pulled in by the rampant emotions and the difficult situations that Natalie faced, especially during their battles with other witches. The author wonderfully put into words the characters' emotions during their dire situations. I could feel their frustration coming from the pages of the book during their toughest times. It was also filled with lessons that made me love this story even more. The characters played their part well and their characterization really brought the whole story together. Natalie's character especially made quite an impact on me. She showed great leadership and bravery but she also displayed flaws that a normal teenage girl would have. I don't think I could have done better if I were in her shoes. Overall, this book is a breathtaking and engaging piece. Words aren't enough to express my appreciation and amazement for Scarlet Reign: Call for Independence.

Ruffina Oserio

Call for Independence is the second book in the Scarlet Reign Series by R. D. Crist, a compelling fantasy that follows an unusual protagonist in a world of magic, where evil lurks in the shadows and where dark ambitions threaten to destroy the Sisterhood, the only home the young orphan has ever known. Natalie had once saved the Sisterhood, and everyone hopes she’ll do so again. The protector of the Sisterhood has been taken by the dark witch, and as war looms ahead, it is all too evident that the Sisterhood might fall. But Natalie has plans of her own, powerful and daring: she plans to leave the Order completely. It is a decision that can bring devastating consequences. To protect the choice she is about to make, she needs to master the skills she’s learned from her mentor and unleash the power of her magic. Does she have enough time to prepare for this?

R. D. Crist’s fantasy series has the potential to transport fans into the imaginary world of magic where conflicts are strong and where a young female protagonist must protect the only home she’s known. The characters are well-developed, from villainous witches to ordinary characters who fit perfectly into the world of the story. The prose is beautiful and I enjoyed the strong imagery and the author’s gift for character. Natalie is a character who evolves through new challenges and I loved to see her vulnerability and as she struggles to perfect her gifts. Her developmental arc makes her a believable character. Call for Independence is well-plotted, deftly written, and balanced.

K.C. Finn

Scarlet Reign: Call for Independence is a work of fiction in the fantasy, mystery and dramatic sub-genres, and was penned by author R.D. Crist. Written for young adult audiences, the work does contain some mild fantasy violence but is generally suitable for the reading age group and beyond. The novel follows Malice of the Dark Witch in the Scarlet Reign series, and in this adventure, we see Natalie under pressure to once again save the Sisterhood as war looms on the horizon. As she meets old flames and discovers new talents, Natalie’s adventure takes her to important questions of loyalty versus independence and doing what is right.

Author R.D. Crist has crafted a great fantasy novel that encompasses a fantastic hero’s journey for its young protagonist. The trope of teens thrust into fantasy worlds and asked to save them is transformed into a realistic coming of age story here, with Natalie centered in the action and genuinely struggling to utilize her powers in time. This gives a dramatic impetus to the story and helps us to really empathize with the central character. The expanded plot and cast around Natalie serve the story well, taking us on new twists and sub-plots that feed in nicely to the series as a whole. I also found the worldbuilding to be very impressive, with a good set of social structures and magical lore that makes sense and was very effective. Overall, I would certainly recommend Scarlet Reign: Call for Independence to all fantasy fans who want a realistic teen hero with plenty of action.

Jose Cornelio

Call for Independence is the second book in the Scarlet Reign series by R. D. Crist, a fantasy tale that follows the protagonist from book one. Natalie’s destiny and mission were forged in the orphanage that houses witches. It was here that she learned to be strong against adversity and it was also here that she embraced the Order of the Sisterhood. Now the conflict among the orders is growing stronger and stronger and there are impending threats of war. With the notorious protector gone, Natalie becomes the only hope for the sisterhood. While they wait, they can be attacked at any time, but will declaring independence give them time to prepare for what lies ahead and can Natalie master her skills in time for the ultimate fight?

There is a lot to love in R. D. Crist’s writing, and for me, the world-building was just wonderful. The descriptions of the world in which the story takes place together with the Orders and the Council are elements that give readers a strong idea of place, time, and culture. The relationships between Natalie and her companions and friends, especially Marissa, are brilliantly handled. I loved characters like Devia, Josephine, and Mara, who are well-written and I particularly enjoyed how the author writes motivation into these characters. The writing is strong and is littered with well-crafted dialogues. The crisp writing with the author’s ability to explore strong emotions in the characters are among the qualities that I loved in the book. Call for Independence is a novel for readers who enjoy magic and books with strong characters and a powerful conflict. The aspect of magic being represented by color is one of the unique angles of this book. Overall, it is an intriguing, spellbinding read.