The Quicksilver Court (Rooks and Ruin #2) by Melissa Caruso

My Five Word TL:DR Review : Oh What a Tangled Web

QuicksilverCourt

The Quicksilver Court is the second book in the Rooks and Ruin series by Melissa Caruso and was another entertaining instalment that managed to balance both light and dark elements at the same time as packing an emotional gut punch.

Before starting this review I would say that this will contain spoilers for book 1 so if you haven’t yet read The Obsidian Tower then you might want to make a hasty departure right about now. This is not a drill people – get out of here!  Also, this is not a series that you can jump in part way through.  Reading the first book is essential in my opinion if you’re to have any chance of understanding the dynamics at play here.

So, The Quicksilver Court picks up almost immediately after the conclusion of book 1 and shoots straight out of the gate with impressive pacing.  The Rookery sets off on a journey to the Loreician court, on the face of it they’re searching for a missing demon (Hunger) who may well be infiltrating the Summer Palace, in reality they’re in search of a missing artifact, basically a weapon of mass destruction, politics being as they are though, this is all wrapped up with court etiquette, scheming and guarded conversation – well at least it’s all sugar coated for a little while, until everything goes swiftly downhill.

To be honest, the winning element of both books in this series so far is the characters (in fact the plot plays second fiddle to the characters imo) and in this particular instalment we’re due to learn a heck of a lot more about all of them.  Be prepared.  Caruso manages to include plenty of food for thought here particularly with the inclusion of demons that are not totally bad and humans that are certainly not totally good.  All the Rookery are back, a number of demons that escaped that I won’t name here, other than Hunger of course who we met in No.1.  Severin once again plays a key role and the relationship that started to develop with Ryx gathers pace in a beautifully measured way.  And, Whisper, the enigmatic more-than-a-cat and Ryx’s grandmother, The Lady of Owls.  To be honest there’s such a lot to like here that it would be difficult to pin down a favourite.  Of course Ryx and Severin stand out and the Lady of Owls steals the show a little every time she makes an appearance.

On top of these already familiar characters we have the Queen and her advisor, I don’t want to say too much at this point but expect the unexpected.   Finally, the Zenith Society who have teamed up with Hunger/Aurelio.  The Zenith Society are already known to the Rookery and in fact this particular thread leads to a number of reveals that shine a new light on this previously happy-go-lucky team.

The setting.  Well, we’ve moved to the Summer Palace – I couldn’t help think of the elaborately decorated Palace of Versailles with it’s ostentatious rooms dripping with gilt work and ornamentation.  The setting couldn’t be more different than the Obsidian Tower.  Where Gloamingard is all about the twisted passages and dark mystery the Summer Palace is a place of extreme beauty (although of course it’s about to play host to some despicable beings undertaking despicable acts). I’m going to confess that the setting is one of the elements of this instalment that gave me slightly mixed feelings.  In one respect the setting was well drawn and easy to envisage and in fact really adds an extra layer of creativity to the events that take place BUT – and this is a slight spoiler, this story is contained, or restricted to the one setting (not so much locked room as locked palace). Okay, this is a Palace with extensive grounds but it started to feel slightly repetitive and perhaps even a little incredible in terms of the good guys escaping notice and avoiding trouble in such an enclosed space.

Slight hesitation aside.  What I also really enjoyed here, apart from the characters, twists and turns and the emotional rollercoaster that followed is the strange mix of dark and light -not just in terms of the characters as outlined above but more the jump from humour to horror and back again.  Ryx is a great character to follow.  She isn’t all kickass, unbeatable ‘here I come to save the day’ so much as flying by the seat of her pants, improvising all the way barely staying alive by the skin of her teeth.  What also makes her really good is the real sense of vulnerability that is on display.  She now has friends, and potentially a romantic love interest and whilst this makes her ridiculously happy (when she’s not simply trying to stay alive)  it also places her in the position of having things that she can now lose.

In terms of criticisms.  Apart from the ‘locked palace’ element. This ends on a cliffhanger.  Personally I don’t mind a good cliffhanger although they do make me very anxious to have the next book in my grabby little hands.

I received a copy through Netgalley, courtesy of the publisher, for which my thanks.  The above is my own opinion.

My rating 4 of 5 stars

Can’t Wait Wednesday : The Quicksilver Court (Rooks and Ruin #2) by Melissa Caruso

Can't Wait Wednesday

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme that was originally created by Breaking the Spine.  Unfortunately Breaking the Spine are no longer hosting so I’m now linking my posts up to Wishful Endings Can’t Wait Wednesday. Don’t forget to stop over, link up and check out what books everyone else is waiting for.  If you want to take part, basically, every Wednesday, we highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  This week my book is : The Quicksilver Court (Rooks and Ruin #2) by Melissa Caruso – because I really enjoyed the Obsidian Tower.  Here’s the description:

QuicksilverCourtThe Quicksilver Court continues the wildly original epic fantasy series bursting with intrigue and ambition, questioned loyalties, and broken magic that began with The Obsidian Tower.
 
Ryxander, Warden of Gloamingard, has failed. Unsealed by her blood, the Door hidden within the black tower has opened. Now, for the first time since the age of the Graces, demons walk the world.
 
As tensions grow between nations, all eyes-and daggers are set on Morgrain, fallen under the Demon of Discord’s control. In an attempt to save her home from destruction, Ryx and the Rookery set out to find a powerful artifact. But powerful enemies are on the hunt and they’re closing in fast.

Expected publication : October 2021