Phoenix Flame by Sara Holland (Havenfall #2)

Hey guys!
I read Havenfall earlier this years and tremendously enjoyed the book. You can imagine how excited I was to pick up the sequel. Let’s see if it holds up what I was led to expect after book #1!

The Plot (according to Goodreads):

Maddie thought her problems were over. She saved the Inn at Havenfall—a sanctuary between magical worlds—from the evil Silver Prince. Her uncle the Innkeeper is recovering from a mysterious spell that left him not quite human. And there are still a few weeks of summer left to spend with her more-than-friend Brekken.
But there’s more work to be done to protect the Inn—Maddie must put an end to the black-market trading of magical objects and open the Inn’s doors to the once feared land of shapeshifters.

As she tries to accomplish both seemingly impossible tasks, Maddie uncovers secrets that could change everything. What if saving everyone means destroying the only home she’s known?

The Rating:

I wanted to love this. So much. I tried really hard. But this sequel has a great number of flaws that disappointed me a lot. The first novel was brilliant but Phoenix flame doesn’t really deliver on anything set up in Havenfall.

First of all, we need to talk about Maddie. She’s the main charactera and she’s annoying af. I was prepared to overlook it in the first novels as the book simply had so many strenght it easily managed to tide you over. She makes nothing but rash decisions, there never seem to be any reprecussions or punishment. Somehow she manages to cruise through this book weathering all the challenges despite zero knowledge or expertise. This girl is surviving on sheer dumb luck alone.

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Havenfall by Sara Holland

Hey guys!
Havenfall was a super quick read for me as I just couldn’t put this beauty of a novel down. Let’s delve a little deeper into the whys behind that!

The Plot (as found on Goodreads):

A safe haven between four realms and the girl sworn to protect it—at any cost.

Hidden deep in the mountains of Colorado lies the Inn at Havenfall, a sanctuary that connects ancient worlds—each with its own magic. For generations, the inn has protected all who seek refuge within its walls, and any who disrupt the peace can never return.

For Maddie Morrow, summers at the inn are more than a chance to experience this magic firsthand. Havenfall is an escape from reality, where her mother sits on death row accused of murdering Maddie’s brother. It’s where Maddie fell in love with handsome Fiorden soldier Brekken. And it’s where one day she hopes to inherit the role of Innkeeper from her beloved uncle.

But this summer, the impossible happens—a dead body is found, shattering everything the inn stands for. With Brekken missing, her uncle gravely injured, and a dangerous creature on the loose, Maddie suddenly finds herself responsible for the safety of everyone in Havenfall. She’ll do anything to uncover the truth, even if it means working together with an alluring new staffer, Taya, who seems to know more than she’s letting on. As dark secrets are revealed about the inn itself, one thing becomes clear to Maddie—no one can be trusted, and no one is safe…

The Rating:

Guys. GUYS! This was so cool. This book probably features one of my all-time favorite world-building ideas. It’s just so a brilliant concept and the execution is also freaking neat! I like the promise of other worlds and magic out there, yet still, we only get a glimpse of it. Everything that is alluded to here promises such a rich history and fascinating different concepts of magic and just simply life for each of those worlds, I love it so, so much.

Holland treads a fine line of giving us bits of those worlds while still keeping so much a secret. We know enough to understand a little but are also left speculating and wondering. Sometimes, I feel like that’s because authors didn’t fully think things through, but here the reader gets to feel exactly like the human characters in the book. Well done!

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