I was lucky enough to get to beta read this story for H.B. Reneau, offering thoughts and feedback as she was tying everything together. Not only was it exciting to see my name listed in the acknowledgment section (thanks, H.B.!), but I also loved watching how the story evolved from its early draft to its final version. Happily, I had forgotten several of the twists that occur within the story, so reading it again was even more fun.
Before you go any further, if you haven’t read book one yet, do that before going on in this blog in case there’s something here you don’t want to know in advance! There are no overt spoilers, but as you can imagine, events from book one directly impact those in book two.
This is the second in the Legion of Pneumos series, following on the heels of the first book, Chaos Looming. Keira Altman is feeling lost and alone, hiding from the world among the Bellatorio in the Southern Shield where she is attempting to feel useful. Her healing pneumonancy is coming in handy, but there are lines she is uncomfortable crossing that limit her potential. When Cyrus Flavius arrives and asks Keira to return with him to the capital, she ultimately agrees when she considers the education she could obtain while there. Facing the effects of political upheaval around the kingdom, Keira discovers her own internal strength and learns the importance of including others in her life. Please see my full review here.
This book introduces readers to a host of new characters, each one distinct and memorable as they become valuable additions to Keira’s story. Though Keira begins as a distraught, independent soldier, she slowly lets down her guard and begins to see what life can be like if she allows others to enter her emotional space. The blinders of tragic loss can be extremely limiting, and it takes a special set of circumstances for others to see past them to the wounded soul inside. As Keira stumbles through her life, her mistakes help her to grow into a leader who will be a boon for her world and its future.
I enjoyed the time travel component of this story as well as the approach of multiple perspectives, especially as each initially disparate detail winds itself into the story as the book progresses. H.B. Reneau’s writing is easy to fall into, often feeling like scenes in a movie that are unfolding in your mind’s eye. She uses her military and medical knowledge to paint vivid pictures within the narrative, adding to its believability. Like any good fantasy, the world building is pretty intense, but the length of the books are just right for the goal each one is trying to accomplish.
If you enjoy fantasy stories with heart, I highly recommend this series. You can read more about the other books through my blog here.
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