Fevered Star by Rebecca Roanhorse – Review

Published: April 19, 2022

Publisher: Saga Press

Series: Between Earth and Sky #2

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 388 (Hardcover)

My Rating: 3.5/5.0

There are no tides more treacherous than those of the heart.
—Teek saying

The great city of Tova is shattered. The sun is held within the smothering grip of the Crow God’s eclipse, but a comet that marks the death of a ruler and heralds the rise of a new order is imminent.

The Meridian: a land where magic has been codified and the worship of gods suppressed. How do you live when legends come to life, and the faith you had is rewarded?

As sea captain Xiala is swept up in the chaos and currents of change, she finds an unexpected ally in the former Priest of Knives. For the Clan Matriarchs of Tova, tense alliances form as far-flung enemies gather and the war in the heavens is reflected upon the earth.

And for Serapio and Naranpa, both now living avatars, the struggle for free will and personhood in the face of destiny rages. How will Serapio stay human when he is steeped in prophecy and surrounded by those who desire only his power? Is there a future for Naranpa in a transformed Tova without her total destruction?

When I read Black Sun last year, I was thoroughly swept off my feet. It was one of the most fascinating, unputdownable books I had read that year and obviously I was dying to get my hands on the sequel. And lo’ it arrived and the audio narration in Black Sun was so good I picked up that format once again!

Fevered Star picks up almost immediately after the events of Black Sun, so of course the characters are dealing with the fallout of the slaughter at Sun Rock. Serapio was wounded and flew away with Okoa on one of the giant crows and now must meet the members of Carrion Crow. He was expecting to die at Sun Rock and now he has to play political games. Naranpa was supposed to be dead twice over – first when she was almost assassinated by members of her own faith and second when Sun Rock occurred. Now she and Serapio are both avatars of their gods walking among men and chaos is sure to follow such things. Xiala is literally just trying not to get killed and also deal with her own grief and guilt because she unintentionally caused death with her Teek song. There are numerous other side characters, each with their own motivations that really help bring the story to life and give additional perspective into the events.

I enjoyed the additional focus on Naranpa this time around, as she was probably the least fleshed out/engaging character the first time around. She just seemed so young and naive, but now she’s hardened to the realities of the world and has endured numerous trials. Serapio went from being this confident, goal oriented figure to a very uncertain man in a pit of vipers. Sure, they’re supposed to be his tribe, but he truly doesn’t know them because he was raised in a distant, secluded home. And Xiala… I loved her in the first book! She was damaged, but still a badass! This time around she lacked the agency and direction she previously had – her strings were cut and she’s just sort of going with the flow. I want a proper reunion between Xiala and Serapio!

I enjoyed Fevered Star, but not with the same fervor that I did Black Sun. This is clearly setting up the likely epic plot of the third and final book in the series and I can totally forgive that. It was still very good and the political machinations were engaging and there were some tasty morsels of action thrown in just often enough. Totally ready to see how this trilogy ends – I’m sure it will result in an epic clash of gods and magic.

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