Quelling (The Purification Era #2) by Angie Grigaliunas (2018)
YA Fiction | Fantasy Dystopia
“Stay low, act loyal, and don’t drawn attention.
For years, Rabreah has longed to overthrow the power-abusing Hulcondans who control her city. Yet in the wake of an unauthorized rebel attack, Lord Masrekah takes over the hunt for the “terrorists” – and it’s only a matter of time until he figures out her secret. If he hasn’t already. And while Rabreah finds relief in Sorek’s return, his easy infiltration of the enemy ushers in questions of where exactly his loyalties lie.
Unaware of her sister’s double life, Ariliah continues to support the Hulcondans. But as the city spirals into violence, everything she’s ever believed starts unraveling. Afraid to confront her doubts, she clings to her splintering trust and a dangerous new connection.
Yet the more the Hulcondans bear down on the resistance and its allies, the clearer the truth becomes: there aren’t just two sides, the greatest enemies may lurk inside the city, and even the most faithful supporter has a breaking point.”
Book One: SOWING
pooled ink Review
Okay…the beginning was a wee bit slow for me but that didn’t last long before I was whisked away and by the end it had me pumped and desperate to read what happens next!
This series from the very start sucked me in and I fell immediately under its spell. Sometimes I enjoy a book but if I wait too long to read the sequel I lose interest and never get around to it, however that was not the case with this series and I’m so upset that I have no idea how long I’ll have to wait to read what happens next!!
So, I mentioned that I felt that the beginning was a bit slow for me. I was thrilled to be back in this world with these characters and was sucked into the story just as I was with the first but I think I was used to books that take off at breakneck speed and this one, well, didn’t. Not at first anyway. Sowing left off with a big shock of sorts and so I expected this book to really start gaining speed towards figuring out who these terrorists are and how the rebels will overthrow the regime and even if Ariliah will find love and with whom, but instead it continued to take its time, not rushing relationships or revelations. But this worked!! It took me a moment to adjust, I admit, but then I stopped breathing and was totally invested just like before.
I think I just had to let my mindset shift gears with this series. I’m used to reading many different types of books but most are the action-packed, romance-centered melodramas pushed onto the shelves because they “sell”. This series however is more like a very well crafted and methodical TV series. You can’t rush it or all excellence will falter. Each book could be a season of a show. SO much happens, each chapter has its own revelations and choices and consequences. I fell in love with the captivating world-building at once and the intriguing characters kept me hungry to learn more, and once I allowed myself to have a bit of faith in the pacing and the story I realized just how much I thoroughly enjoyed reading these books because as anxious as I am to know answers and receive resolution I felt so captivated by the world and its characters that I could read on for ages. Nothing was rushed, nothing was overlooked, nothing was nothing. It keeps you on your toes haha.
This book was incredible and everything I wanted book two to be. And now I’m rolling around on the floor desperate to read what follows. (Don’t laugh I’m actually half serious 😜)
One of the strongest aspects to this series is the characters. The author has a definite talent for writing characters and relationships. There is turmoil growing in the city but we get to view it from different perspectives and it makes it so much less black-and-white and infinitely more intriguing/entertaining. Definitely a strong point for this series!
My only teensy negative is while Rabreah’s trauma is understandable and I really appreciate how the author doesn’t give her an instant cure or make anyone an immediate exception or something ridiculous like that, it did get just a tad bit tiresome for her to constantly see all men as evil, to constantly doubt Sorek, to constantly insist no woman could possibly be in love with a Hulcondan. It made her often lose sight of the bigger picture because of her fears and doubts and while I get it, it also became a touch irritating at times. That being said I wouldn’t change it because it’s who she is, she needs time to heal and to learn, and I still love her as a character.
As far as Ariliah goes however she resumes making small steps towards confidence and freedom. In fact I really looked forward to her chapters. Her storyline is definitely my favorite at the moment. Her character goes through a lot in this book and I’m bursting with the desire to know what the future holds in store for her. (This is one of those times I wish I wrote spoilers in my reviews just so I could discuss her storyline more!)
In this book we finally get to learn more about the Itzalin, the supposed monsters terrorizing their cities. We get to learn more about what they look like, how they behave, how they speak, and who they are. Alongside this we get to spend much more time with the rebels (even if it makes Rabreah’s palms sweat). The true rebels, Sorek’s rebels, are about a world of unity and we get to see this on display. But not only is Rabreah confronted with the thought that enemy lines cannot be so simply drawn, but Ariliah as well. The Itzalin, the Hulcondans, everything they so adamantly believed in begins blurring. But while Rabreah places her faith and judgment within labels, Ariliah makes her choices based on character and actions.
My favorite storyline/POV is Ariliah’s at the moment (she’s just such a lovable snowflake! haha) but my favorite characters are Sorek and Masrekah because they’re such enigmas and I’m constantly collecting any clue or attribute to reveal the true depth of their complex characters, motivations, and pasts. I’m telling you this book gets so good! And brace yourself for some serious twists that I totally did not see coming!
We also get some more romance in this sequel which I’m so very happy and hopeful about. Please, dear author, don’t break our hearts! haha
This series is clearly becoming a new favorite and I am so so happy that the author reached out to me about her books or I might never have known about them! If you love fantasy, dystopia, rebels, characters with so many secrets you can never rest on assumptions, sisterhood that is stronger than anything, and a world that becomes more complex with each chapter and propaganda proved false, then definitely check this series out. I’m serious, it’s excellent!
Quelling is the thrilling sequel to an epic dystopian fantasy series that puts its competitors to shame. With careful, methodical plotting, and characters that will cause endless turmoil and intrigue, prepare to find yourself submerged in a world of blurred alliances and a deep fire threatening to destroy it all. Riveting, complex, and pricked with soft smiles amidst the bloodshed, this is definitely a series worth investing in.
Purchase Here: Quelling
Check out the rest of the series! Sowing (Book 1)