Holy moly when I tell you this book was a wild ride. Here’s the thing about second books, I find in so many cases they don’t QUITE live up to the first book when it’s one that I find incredible. This is a typical occurrence, otherwise known as second book syndrome. Blood Solace by Vela Roth did not suffer from this affliction. I loved it just as much as the first and never felt like it lacked.
I’m surprised this was genuinely the case, because I didn’t know how much I would like the fact that Lio and Cassia spend a portion of the book not even together as per the ending of Blood Mercy. In fact, it’s about halfway through the book before they actually cross paths again. But the time apart actually benefitted both of their characters and made for a uniquely interesting story to be told of their time apart. I feel it gave the opportunity for both characters to grow on their own and figure out some things on their own, and really made their uniting again even more meaningful. For Cassia, it gave her a chance to grow as her own person, and show her strength in uniting a rebellion against her feather, the King, while trying to keep her role hidden so he wouldn’t find out and have her killed. With Lio, you see his strength and resolve grow as he learns truths about his situation and how to cope with it, while growing more into his position as Ambassador with his growing desire to unite the Hesperines with the mortals.
What I loved about this book, was that a good chunk of it took place in the Hesperine territory this time, so we got to see how they live and get more in depth knowledge about the Hesperines. I found this very interesting as I have wanted to know more about them and their way of life so I loved that the negotiations got brought to their land this time around. As with the first book there is plenty of politics abound in the sequel and it is just as intriguing as in the previous book. I also have to say that I most definitely love the forbidden romance trope because I lived for Cassia and Lio sneaking around once again.
To summarize, Blood Solace is such an incredible sequel and stands on its own as far as keeping the story going and being just as engaging as Blood Mercy. I honestly cannot wait to dive into the next book because this series has me absolutely hooked and has become my newest obsession.