On the continent of Innisfail, Old Gods Reign… for now.
A tyrant rises in the ashes of mighty Tairngare. Bloodthirsty raiders slaughter unwitting villagers in the Midlands. Norther nobles, stripped of their titles, wealth, and livelihood invite retribution through vendetta. Rebellious Southers, seek to oust the absentee High King through war. Crises of faith and cultural identity ravage the Milesian poor… and behind all, an unseen threat prepares the board…
As the light of the Southernmost Star wanes, Una must decide where her loyalties lie… with her estranged family or the memory of a fallen prince in a nightmare wood.
–from the blurb about The Southernmost Star (full description at end)
With turmoil brewing on the Continent, Kaer Yin is forced to choose between his honor and the fate of all Innisfail. He is to learn, sometimes, even the right choice might be wrong.
Hello, everyone! Today, I have something super exciting to share with you: My review for The Southernmost Star, the second book in The Innisfail Cycle.
In case you don’t know, I read the first book in this series, The Sons of Mil, earlier this year. And I basically just fell absolutely in love with it. So, when I got the chance to read an ARC of this, I was super excited! And I’m equally excited to be sharing my thoughts with you, now, because let me tell you; this book did not disappoint.
Overall, I really enjoyed the plot of this book. There was a great balance of everything: fighting, plotting, politics, emotion. Really, everything came together seamlessly, and it was thoroughly enjoyable.
I mentioned in my previous review for The Sons of Mil that Riviere is a master when it comes to complicated plots and political ploys, and that inarguably held true in this second book. Admittedly, I think everything was slightly less complex, simply because a lot of it came to a head in the last book, but there was still a lot happening. Plus, a lot was set up for the next installment, as well.
Additionally, this second book shone the light on some areas that didn’t get as much attention in the first one. For example, Nema had a lot more screen time; we got to find out more about her character, her machinations, her history. And as brutal and horrifying as some of those scenes were, they were also a great display of how masterful Riviere is when it comes to writing nuanced villains. The same can be said of Patrick and Damek, of course. They’re undeniably awful in so many ways, but Riviere doesn’t write them as two-dimensional whatsoever. Instead, they’re incredibly complex, both in their motivations and their characterizations.
Sticking with the characters for a moment, I loved getting to see more of all of them. Getting to see Kaer Yin in a new light was definitely interesting, and I also liked Una’s arc, in particular. No spoilers, of course, but she made a lot of realizations, and watching how her perspective and outlook changed over the course of the story was fascinating.
On a final note, because I couldn’t possibly write this review without mentioning this, the world-building in The Southernmost Star was just as excellent as it was in the previous book. Seriously, I absolutely love Innisfail and everything about it. From the magic to all the different kingdoms, I really enjoyed seeing even more of this world unfold. I especially liked the direction Riviere took things when it came to the mythological/historical source material; I won’t say anything specific, but I genuinely got so excited when certain elements came into play.
In short, I one-hundred-percent recommend reading this book; or, I recommend reading the first one if you haven’t! Fans of epic fantasy will not be disappointed, since it has everything you could ask for. The characters are brilliantly written, the world is nothing short of stunning, and the plot is top-notch.
Also, if you do choose to pick this series up, let me know what you think of it! Drop a comment down below, visit the mini-review on Instagram to share your thoughts, or start a conversation in my DMs; I love to connect about the books I love!
And of course, if you enjoyed this review for The Southernmost Star and you’re interested in more reviews of similar books, check out the recommended posts below for more content.
Pre-order on Amazon
Link to Goodreads (w/ full blurb)