Nothing is certain and no one is safe in the second book in the highly praised Dust Lands trilogy.
It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.
What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.
I finally got around to reading Rebel Heart, and though I loved it, it could not live up to the standards set by its predecessor, Blood Red Road, though I can’t pinpoint exactly why. All I know is that I liked the first book better. I think it might have simply been the fact that the first time around, the story felt unique, and in Rebel Heart it lost that quality.
In BRR, it took me awhile to get used the the dialect, yet this time around I welcomed it and gladly raced through Saba’s familiar narration.
The characters have changed, some for the better and others for the worse. Lugh is not the same person that Saba endangered her life to save as the events that befell him, changed him. He is almost as stubborn and selfish as Saba, and both believe they are doing the right thing. Yet while Saba can understand that other people have different dreams, he can’t see past his own goals and thinks he’s responsible for Saba. It makes me wonder if that’s how their relationship always was, just that Saba never noticed before.
Emmi has really grown up; her adventures made her tougher and more knowledgeable and less of the quiet, stubborn girl that refused to leave Saba’s side. Tommo, also grows as a character we learn more about his past, though some questions do remain.
Saba. She is just as brave and stubborn as ever but the deaths she caused return to haunt her and affect her deeply. She is affected by ghosts of her not-so-distant past, the fact that her brother has changed and the mysteries surrounding Jack. Once again, I was able to relate extremely well to Saba and understood her character perfectly. More often than not, her stubbornness borders on stupidity, though she is still just as strong as ever, stronger even possibly after everything she has gone through. I hope to find out more about her destiny in the third book, as this is a concept briefly touched upon in both Rebel Heart and BRR.
I’m not sure what to make of Demalo and what he adds to the story, but I suppose I’ll have to wait to find out. He steps up in his role of the antagonist, though whether or not he may actually be good, still remains to be seen. Jack does not have a very large role in this book though the most of the plot revolves around him.
The pacing of the story was excellent, with just the right amount of action and character development to create a gripping story that I couldn’t stop reading. As expected from the first book, the characters adventures take them to a variety of places where they meet and re-unite with some interesting characters.
If you haven’t already read this series, then I highly recommend that you do!