Title: Vine Gate
Author: Kay L. Moody
Series: The Elements of Kamdaria (#7)
Page Length: 194
Publication Date: May 12, 2020
Synopsis: Talise’s spiritual journey is complete, but the enemy is more powerful than ever.
Rivers have been drained and forests burned to the ground, all in the name of change. Despite her own desire for change, the current destruction could wipe out entire cities if it continues. To stop it, she must steal a priceless artifact.
But with such a powerful enemy, even a simple heist could end in death. She must hide her soldiers. She must ask for help from someone who might hate her. She must train like she’s never trained before. Even then, she knows she’s walking into a trap.
If she succeeds, Kamdaria will be safe again. And if she fails, her life won’t be the only one that is lost.
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Now that the Kessoku has possession of the amulet, Talise must find a way to steal it back. When news of the Kessoku leader’s death and upcoming elections surface, she sees a perfect distraction to retrieve the amulet. However, with a risky plan and little time to prepare, can Talise and her followers find the amulet without getting caught? It’s a race against time to save Kamdaria and all that Talise holds dear.
Talise hears of the chaos erupting in Kamdaria. Civil strife, violent battles, fires, and more plague Kamdaria, which devastates Talise. Her efforts to improve Kamdaria have mixed results, and Talise realizes that there is no easy fix to the deep problems that riddle her world. I found this delve into the socio-economic system and the inner workings of Kamdaria very interesting. Talise witnesses a complex ripple effect, as a result of her benevolent actions, that has benefits and disadvantages. I have a feeling that this experience will help her become a better leader, as she will be better able to predict smart and appropriate ways to help the people. Of course, first, she has to get that amulet, defeat the Kessoku, and usurp her father.
I love that this story included fast-paced and nail-biting action, especially when Talise and her team infiltrate the enemies and try to retrieve the amulet. As the previous story was more about Talise’s spiritual journey, this is more of a physical one. Talise is emotionally stronger which empowers her to act. Her surety, as well as the support of her friends, also gives her the strength to confront her feelings for Aaden.
In Vine Gate, Talise and Aaden finally reunite, though only briefly. I thought these were important scenes for both characters. Talise still misses and is confused by Aaden, and she needs closure. Their lives are complicated and headed in different directions, and they needed some finality before they could fully move forward. I have a feeling that their paths will cross again, but Talise has finally realized who she can depend on.
This is the first book where Talise makes a concerted effort to trust her friends. She is slowly learning that keeping secrets and trying to do everything alone is not always the best way to succeed. Wendy and Claye, in particular, have proven trustworthy, intelligent, and loyal to a fault. I like that Talise is listening to, learning from, and trusting in them.
There is also a bit of a romance developing, which I like. Talise won’t give her heart too easily now, but I have a feeling her love interest is willing to wait. This seems like it’s going to be a slow-burning, slow-developing, deeply loving relationship (or, at least, that’s what I’m hoping!), not a relationship built on mistrust, secrets, and competitive pressure.
This is an excellent continuation of The Elements of Kamdaria series. Thanks so much to the author for a copy of the story in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
- Claye’s family. They are fun, loving, and welcoming!
- Talise’s continuing maturation. She has grown so much since the start of the series!
- The budding romance. It is sweet and new and promising.
As this is the 7th story in the series, I recommend reading the first six books. If you like young adult fantasy with a bit of romance and a lot of magic, you will love this series!!