Collapsed Cathedrals

Six months after her otherworldly experience beneath the sands of Egypt, Liz Patrona is just getting by in the normal world, seemingly abandoned by those she called friends. Without warning they come beating at her door, calling her to immediate action. Her adversary Jakeus has traveled to the mountains of an uncharted European land, back to a delicate point in time. Therein lies Rosamund, a thriving Guard civilization where Liz’s people are very much alive. Not only do Guards and Epilektoi abound, but the malevolent Loki as well, biding their time as they plan a foul revenge. At the top of their hierarchy stands Jakeus. Liz takes on Rosamund’s protection as her personal duty, enduring everything from abduction, public execution, and betrayal by those she trusts most to protect it. As the clock ticks down, she discovers the one person the Loki are convinced will lead them in their quest for Rosamund’s destruction . . .

Liz herself.

Blurb and cover from Goodreads

5 out of 5 stars

I have been waiting quite some time to read this book and I was thrilled to be asked by the author to review an ARC! Collapsed Cathedrals picks up six months after No Angels left off, with Liz floundering through life as all record and memory of her has been wiped from all ordinary humans’ minds withe the exception of Mark, her best friend. She doesn’t really know what to do with herself until Riven, Hermes, and Sophia turn up, saying that Jakeus has been seen disappearing through a portal of sorts into the past and they must travel to the 16th century if they wish to keep him from wreaking havoc on history.

The plot:
This was an extremely quick-paced read that moves along at lightspeed, slowing down ever so briefly through ever so few portions. In fact, the speed may have been one of my few problems. I did often feel that another paragraph or two of description would have made a scene or setting more clear or that another page of “suffering sequence” would have made a scene more intense. I was surprised by the twist at the end and I particularly like the Friesians in one part because, well, I fangirl over horses like nuts.

The characters:
Liz was a strong, relatable character who came across as neither snooty nor weak. I thought she showed a good balance of strength and insecurities and it was fun to watch her as she navigated her new role and new responsibilities.

Riven was less gruff and more protective (toward Liz) in this book and we actually get to see a few scenes from his perspective. I felt highly empathetic toward him when we finally understand just what Liz means to him and at the same time why he’s keeping his distance in some respects.

There was a little of the budding romance between Liz and Riven here, though I think there was less of it here than in the previous installment. All the same, there were a few “aww” moments and I do think there will be more in the next and final book in the trilogy.

Mark, who has begun to consider himself more of a third wheel, also harbors feelings for Liz, though he’s sure that Riven will win out in the end. I’m sorry, Mark, you’re really sweet, but Riven waited around for her for 2,000 years and, well… So yes, I’m Team Riven.

Jakeus, who has been our main baddie since the first book, is back bigger and badder than ever here. My absolute favorite thing about Jakeus is that the author takes the time to give him a proper backstory, in which we come to understand and even empathize with why he is doing what he is. (I have a thing for bad guys who had terrible backstories, after all, what fun is a purely evil villain?)

There are some great lines in this book and I don’t want to give spoilers, so you’ll just have to read it!

This book <i>is</i> a Christian fantasy, though there was far less religious influence in this one than the first, and I highly recommend it to fans of the genre who like nonstop action and fast-paced adventure stories!

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