Hot Best Seller

Endless Water, Starless Sky

Availability: Ready to download

In the last days of the world, the walls of Viyara are still falling, and the dead are rising faster than ever. Juliet is trapped—ordered by Lord Ineo of the Mahyanai to sacrifice the remaining members of her family, the Catresou, to stave off the end of the world. Though they’re certain his plan is useless, Juliet and her former friend Runajo must comply with Lord Ineo’s w In the last days of the world, the walls of Viyara are still falling, and the dead are rising faster than ever. Juliet is trapped—ordered by Lord Ineo of the Mahyanai to sacrifice the remaining members of her family, the Catresou, to stave off the end of the world. Though they’re certain his plan is useless, Juliet and her former friend Runajo must comply with Lord Ineo’s wishes—unless they can discover a different, darker path to protecting Viyara. Romeo is tortured: finally aware that his true love is alive, he is at once elated and devastated, for his actions led directly to the destruction of her clan. The only way to redemption is to offer his life to the Catresou to protect and support them . . . even if it means dying to do so. When Romeo’s and Juliet’s paths converge once again, only a journey into Death will offer answers and the key to saving them all—but is it a journey either of them will survive?


Compare

In the last days of the world, the walls of Viyara are still falling, and the dead are rising faster than ever. Juliet is trapped—ordered by Lord Ineo of the Mahyanai to sacrifice the remaining members of her family, the Catresou, to stave off the end of the world. Though they’re certain his plan is useless, Juliet and her former friend Runajo must comply with Lord Ineo’s w In the last days of the world, the walls of Viyara are still falling, and the dead are rising faster than ever. Juliet is trapped—ordered by Lord Ineo of the Mahyanai to sacrifice the remaining members of her family, the Catresou, to stave off the end of the world. Though they’re certain his plan is useless, Juliet and her former friend Runajo must comply with Lord Ineo’s wishes—unless they can discover a different, darker path to protecting Viyara. Romeo is tortured: finally aware that his true love is alive, he is at once elated and devastated, for his actions led directly to the destruction of her clan. The only way to redemption is to offer his life to the Catresou to protect and support them . . . even if it means dying to do so. When Romeo’s and Juliet’s paths converge once again, only a journey into Death will offer answers and the key to saving them all—but is it a journey either of them will survive?

30 review for Endless Water, Starless Sky

  1. 3 out of 5

    Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)

    Top Five Reasons Endless Water, Starless Sky is For You: 1. You love a good YA fantasy riddled with treachery and darkness 2. You love a retelling with so many twists it is almost unrecognizable 3. Zombies! Or are they? 4. Beautiful almost lyrical writing that will suck you in 5. You love to expect the unexpected

  2. 3 out of 5

    CatholicBibliophagist

    I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Endless Water, Starless Sky, the second half of the story begun in Rosamund Hodge's previous novel, Bright Smoke, Cold Fire. And after practically swallowing it whole, I can report that it does not disappoint. It is, however, very hard to discuss without giving away spoilers to anyone who hasn't read the first book. Therefore, my remarks will be general. As usual, Hodge's prose is beautifully written, and her background in mythology and folklore continues I've been eagerly awaiting the release of Endless Water, Starless Sky, the second half of the story begun in Rosamund Hodge's previous novel, Bright Smoke, Cold Fire. And after practically swallowing it whole, I can report that it does not disappoint. It is, however, very hard to discuss without giving away spoilers to anyone who hasn't read the first book. Therefore, my remarks will be general. As usual, Hodge's prose is beautifully written, and her background in mythology and folklore continues to inform her work. (view spoiler)[ Which is the best way I know to add verisimilitude to such elements as a journey through the underworld. (hide spoiler)] As always, she brings to her Y.A. novel a level of complexity and depth which I appreciate and do not always find in this genre. If you love fantasy world building, true love against all odds, swordplay, zombies, romance, loyalty, and friendship, (not to mention humor despite grim circumstances) Endless Water, Starless Sky will meet or exceed your expectations. But if you also want something more, you'll find that too. One element which particularly struck me was the importance of individual choices even when you cannot see how anything you can do will make any difference. Another was the validity of beauty, even when everything seems meaningless. I was also interested in seeing how the four protagonists confronted the religious or philosophical assumptions which they had absorbed from their individual clans or prior experiences. Can I also say that I really loved Paris? And by the end of the book, I was even fond of Romeo.

  3. 3 out of 5

    Dazz Ross

    6/17/16 (Before Reading) The ending for the first one pained me. And it's going to be a long wait until this one comes out (or if I get an ARC of this, then maybe not so long). But I want to know what happens with the characters. They're getting into some deep treachery now, and I don't want it to end. I HAVE A MIGHTY NEED! http://38.media.tumblr.com/2056a650ae...

  4. 3 out of 5

    Julie Davis

    Romeo had looked at a Catresou girl and loved her. He had believed that Juliet was more than a weapon, and that it was worthwhile to love her, however little time they might have. He had died believing it. Juliet had believed that once too. She couldn't free her people. She couldn't free herself. And she couldn't save the city from its doom. But she could be like Romeo, and learn to love her enemies. She could protect these people around her for whatever time they had left. It wasn't exactly hope, Romeo had looked at a Catresou girl and loved her. He had believed that Juliet was more than a weapon, and that it was worthwhile to love her, however little time they might have. He had died believing it. Juliet had believed that once too. She couldn't free her people. She couldn't free herself. And she couldn't save the city from its doom. But she could be like Romeo, and learn to love her enemies. She could protect these people around her for whatever time they had left. It wasn't exactly hope, but maybe it could be enough. This is the second half of the tale begun in Bright Smoke, Cold Fire which I enjoyed a lot. The city walls are not holding despite increasingly large blood sacrifices. The dead continue to rise, mindlessly hungry. (Yep. Zombies and the end of the world.) The Juliet has been trapped into protecting Romeo's family at great cost to her own. Meanwhile, Romeo is attempting redemption by protecting Juliet's family. (Oh the irony! And the romantic gestures!) Paris is still dead but alive enough to obey the necromancer's spell. Runajo is still trying to find a way to protect her city while tortured by her betrayal of her friend Juliet. So we've got the perfect setup for the conclusion of Rosamund Hodge's riff on Shakespeare. The story is complex enough that I'd forgotten important details from the first part and had to reread it before I could launch properly into Endless Water, Starless Sky. We still have all the big themes and literary devices that gave the first part depth and complexity. Here the story has everyone running as fast as they can to try to avert disaster, both of civilization and of their personal lives. There is a lot of fighting and a lot of talking in the first half — we did mention this is a riff on Romeo and Juliet, right? But it all works. As engrossing as most of the book was, it really entered new territory in the last fourth where it becomes an otherworldly, Dante-esque journey. This part was wildly inventive and yet delicately balanced to guide the reader to the ultimately satisfying conclusion. I really loved it and will definitely be rereading it, sooner rather than later. If you liked the first half, you'll like this. If you haven't read either, then you've got a treat in store.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Suzannah

    This is the followup to Hodge's previous book Bright Smoke, Cold Fire. To recap: Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet is a clan assassin in a last city beseiged by zombies and protected only by the blood sacrifices of a creepy sisterhood. Also, there are necromancers, and Paris and Rosaline Runajo are viewpoint characters, and however you think this book is going to go, you're probably wrong (unless you guessed that it would turn into a surreal and totally evocative fairytale reminiscent of Dante's In This is the followup to Hodge's previous book Bright Smoke, Cold Fire. To recap: Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet is a clan assassin in a last city beseiged by zombies and protected only by the blood sacrifices of a creepy sisterhood. Also, there are necromancers, and Paris and Rosaline Runajo are viewpoint characters, and however you think this book is going to go, you're probably wrong (unless you guessed that it would turn into a surreal and totally evocative fairytale reminiscent of Dante's Inferno and CS Lewis's The Great Divorce, but from a woman's point of view, in which case I take my hat off to you and would like to consult you about the stockmarket). This duology hasn't been my favourite Hodge story (that would be Crimson Bound), but Endless Water, Starless Sky delivers an ending that is deeply satisfying while still being equal parts weird and profound. It didn't deliver some of the things I would have expected to get from a story like this, but it did provide some things I didn't expect at all. Beyond the final quarter of the book, which I loved, there's also the character of Juliet herself. With her intense sense of justice and righteousness, with her persistent attempts to reconcile the duty and obedience she believes in with the fact that her authorities are morally bankrupt, self-interested murderers, Juliet is a YA heroine with a difference. In a genre populated by predictably edgy rebels, Juliet is an unpredictably edgy loyalist. And she is awesome at it. Endless Water, Starless Sky is a YA novel with all the action, suspense, and romance you're looking for, featuring a Romeo and Juliet who are just as keen on getting themselves killed for each other as you would hope for, plus plenty of deeper meaning to keep you thinking long after finishing the story. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can't wait to see what Rosamund Hodge writes next! (I received an advance review copy of this book under no obligation to write a positive review. Endless Water, Starless Sky is on preorder right now at Amazon!)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Scott

    This book finishes the latest duology by author Rosamund Hodge. On the surface, this duology could be described in the briefest sense as "Romeo and Juliet with zombies in a fantasy universe", but that description does no justice to the complex and interesting world of the novels. It would tempt comparisons with such recent works as "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" which was a funny mashup of a classic with the recent zombie fad. Hodge's book is nothing of the sort. It isn't funny, and unlike P& This book finishes the latest duology by author Rosamund Hodge. On the surface, this duology could be described in the briefest sense as "Romeo and Juliet with zombies in a fantasy universe", but that description does no justice to the complex and interesting world of the novels. It would tempt comparisons with such recent works as "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" which was a funny mashup of a classic with the recent zombie fad. Hodge's book is nothing of the sort. It isn't funny, and unlike P&P&Z, her book is entirely original. The characters and parts of the plot from Shakespeare are certainly referenced, but what she has done with them stands on its own. As the city of Viyara struggles to keep a remnant of humanity alive in the face of a terrible curse, the main characters' struggle to save the city leads them to ask hard questions about the course of their lives, their identities, and that ultimate question, meaning. Endless Water, Starless Sky pursues these questions relentlessly, not shirking, even when they lead the characters to face danger and death. This book remains true to the dark fairytale style that Hodge has become known for, and the cleverness of her narrative. EWSS surprised me throughout, with unexpected plot turns and an ending I didn't expect. I need to read this again! Highly recommend.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

    Undoubtedly a step up from Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, Endless Water, Starless Sky still suffers by being bogged down by the factors that made the first instalment a weak read, but it also delivers with beautiful worldbuilding, a dark and rich atmosphere and ornate prose. These are the redeeming factors, undoubtedly, and things that Hodge has always impressed me with. On the flip-side, I struggled with staying invested. Whilst the second half of the book is better than the first, the slower pacing Undoubtedly a step up from Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, Endless Water, Starless Sky still suffers by being bogged down by the factors that made the first instalment a weak read, but it also delivers with beautiful worldbuilding, a dark and rich atmosphere and ornate prose. These are the redeeming factors, undoubtedly, and things that Hodge has always impressed me with. On the flip-side, I struggled with staying invested. Whilst the second half of the book is better than the first, the slower pacing did have me listlessly flicking through chapters like it was a chore. I was also never overly attached to the characters, though I can't pin-point why, because they were substantially built. All in all, the fact that this duology was a let-down is just a small annoyance, but I still have faith in Rosamund Hodge as a writer and I'm SO hyped for her next book WHAT MONSTROUS GODS which has heretic sorcerer ghosts. Which sounds lit.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Brendan Hodge

    As the second half of a duology, it's harder to review this one by describing the plot, because Endless Water, Starless Sky really does follow so tightly upon Bright Smoke, Cold Fire. If you haven't read the first half, go read it right now and be glad that you haven't been like the rest of us waiting for more than a year to find out how the cliff hanger would resolve! Overall, the duolgy re-imagines the story of Romeo & Juliet in a fantasy world which has been reduced to one city by the Ruin As the second half of a duology, it's harder to review this one by describing the plot, because Endless Water, Starless Sky really does follow so tightly upon Bright Smoke, Cold Fire. If you haven't read the first half, go read it right now and be glad that you haven't been like the rest of us waiting for more than a year to find out how the cliff hanger would resolve! Overall, the duolgy re-imagines the story of Romeo & Juliet in a fantasy world which has been reduced to one city by the Ruining, a magical catastrophe which drove warring clans into the blood-protected walls of an ancient citadel which remains as the one hold out against the undead Revenants. I never thought I was a big fan of Romeo & Juliette, because it's usually presented as a romance, and I don't think much of the relationship between the two teens in the original play. However, this book sets the key stakes around loyalty to clan, and the necessity of ending the war between clans which is destroying the city, and also around the deep friendship and loyalty between the four main characters. Hodge balances those four main characters well, and in this second half they go to strange and deeply evocative lengths to save each other and their world, culminating in a terrible and beautiful journey through the underworld.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher via Edelweiss *Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* Endless Water, Starless Sky is the second and apparent finale to author Rosamund Hodge's Bright Smoke, Cold Fire duology. With its heartbreaking and shocking finale, Bright Smoke, Cold Fire left readers wanting more—and anxiously awaiting the release of this conclusion to the series. This is Romeo & Juliet like you’ve never seen it before. This new series reimagines Shakespeare’s story of feuding families and *Source* Publisher via Edelweiss *Genre* Young Adult / Fantasy *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* Endless Water, Starless Sky is the second and apparent finale to author Rosamund Hodge's Bright Smoke, Cold Fire duology. With its heartbreaking and shocking finale, Bright Smoke, Cold Fire left readers wanting more—and anxiously awaiting the release of this conclusion to the series. This is Romeo & Juliet like you’ve never seen it before. This new series reimagines Shakespeare’s story of feuding families and doomed lovers in a city threatened by necromancers and protected by “the Juliet,” a girl born in every generation with powerful magic. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* http://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/201...

  10. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Endless Water Starless Sky is the sequel to Rosamund Hodge’s Bright Smoke Cold Fire. This duology (I hate that term, but there’s not a great word for a pair of books) is a sort of postapocalyptic adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. The world is broken, and has been for a hundred years since the “Ruining”. The city of Viayara is a small island in a sea of death and to leave the city’s walls is to be killed by either the white fog or the “revenants”, the zombie living dead. The city’s walls, which alo Endless Water Starless Sky is the sequel to Rosamund Hodge’s Bright Smoke Cold Fire. This duology (I hate that term, but there’s not a great word for a pair of books) is a sort of postapocalyptic adaptation of Romeo and Juliet. The world is broken, and has been for a hundred years since the “Ruining”. The city of Viayara is a small island in a sea of death and to leave the city’s walls is to be killed by either the white fog or the “revenants”, the zombie living dead. The city’s walls, which alone keep the populace alive, can only be maintained by blood sacrifice. Some of the blood is willingly shed by the family of the Exaulted, the Old Viayarans who believe themselves to be the descendants of the gods, and some by the Sisterhood of Thorn, who spin the spells which maintain the walls. But that blood is not enough. There must also be human sacrifice, “willing” victims who give their life so that others must live. And the walls are failing, the magic is fading, sacrifices are required more and more often. Runajo, one of the novel’s protagonists, knows that eventually the monstrous sacrifices will be almost continuous and then they will not be enough and everyone will die. Against this backdrop plays out the story of the two feuding households, the star-crossed lovers, who will perhaps have to die to save the world. It’s loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, but take heart those who do not love the play, there is probably something for you here after all. Do not despair, those who love Shakespeare, there is also something for you. The novel uses the play as a launching point, but then takes off for a strange new world where the stakes are much, much higher than those in Shakespeare’s Verona. The first novel was very dark, but rich and beautiful as well. It ended on a very dark note with many threads left loose. When I closed the cover I had no idea how the second half of the novel could possible resolve everything satisfactorily. And yet the sequel was more than satisfactory. “You live in a charnel house, and you’re all guilty and dripping red.” In this second novel things go from bad to worse to horrifically worse. Murder, betrayal, necromancy, sacrilege, death, all the dark elements that are present in the first volume are there in the second but more so. But so are friendships, love, courage, honor, and hope. And one of the things I appreciate the most is that there are characters who are able to see clearly the horrors that everyone else in their world take for granted and who identify them as evil and resolve to try to set things right. What I love about Endless Water Starless Sky is that is portrays a broken world, a world whose foundational reality is horror, and characters who realize they probably do not have the power to set everything right and yet do their utmost to try to at least make better the small things that they can. “It was monstrous to cut down an unarmed woman, no matter how desperate you were. It was monstrous to order an entire clan destroyed, just because the leaser had been practicing necromancy in secret, against the laws of the clan itself. It was monstrous to live in a city whose walls were maintained by human sacrifice. ” One of my favorite sequences of the novel is right at the middle when Runajo finally admits that she has been wrong, that she has made terrible choices and betrayed her friend. She is almost crushed when she realizes that she cannot make it right. She is powerless to fix it. But then she has a moment of grace. She steps outside into the garden and sees something beautiful, a dragonfly. And the simple beauty of it takes her back to a similar moment long ago when she had a sort of revelation of beauty. 
 “Something fathomless and inexhaustible welled up through the cracks of the world, drenching it with glory and making it more than she could ever destroy or create or even, perhaps, comprehend. She could believe that any least, little thing she might do to amend the breaking was worth it.” She determines that even if she is powerless to fix the brokenness of her world, she will at least do what she can to do the right thing now, even if it means her own destruction: she will try her best to make at least one thing right.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Anna Mussmann

    Plunging back into the world of this duology required a little will-power. After all, part one had ended not just with tragedy all around but with darkness and a stench of blood that made me cringe. I had forgotten much of the plot, and at first I struggled to reconnect with the characters. Then Hodge’s Romeo walked across the page, and I was in. I cared. Naturally, everything got even worse. Naturally, everything was a overwrought and melodramatic--this is Romeo and Juliet with zombies, after a Plunging back into the world of this duology required a little will-power. After all, part one had ended not just with tragedy all around but with darkness and a stench of blood that made me cringe. I had forgotten much of the plot, and at first I struggled to reconnect with the characters. Then Hodge’s Romeo walked across the page, and I was in. I cared. Naturally, everything got even worse. Naturally, everything was a overwrought and melodramatic--this is Romeo and Juliet with zombies, after all. Furthermore, it is an unflinching portrayal of the hopelessness of a world bereft of hope, grace, and the bare concept of divine mercy. I know Ms. Hodge’s worldview is different from that of the bloodbathed city she created, and I found myself wondering how she could possibly end this story properly. The ostensibly obvious solution--bringing in some kind of Christ-figure whose sacrifice would redeem the world--wouldn’t work. The point was clearly made that no one was righteous. No one was innocent. Not even the good characters. When the ending finally came, it involved scenes I will remember for a long time. I’m still thinking about them. Do I recommend this book? In order to be appreciated, it must be looked at in its overall context. Ms. Hodge has a habit of taking YA conventions that are annoying or even unhealthy and then subverting them. They become a vehicle for a story that acknowledges the brokenness of the world and offers hope. It’s quite a remarkable thing to accomplish and I will absolutely be picking up her next title. If you aren’t quite ready for a bunch of pagan human sacrifice, though, start with Crimson Bound, my favorite Hodge title, instead.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Bethany Powell

    MINOR SPOILERS kinda. At last! The previous book left off at a bleak place--friends turned against each other, and terrible things done for seemingly good reasons. I was curious how it could possibly be turned around, and whether it was in the cards to get a happy-ever-after.... I'm happy to say this story picks up with all our beloved characters and gives them the chance they're looking for to make things right. More in-depth review to come after I re-read!

  13. 3 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for a chance to review this title. I apologize for the late review as I just read the first installment of the Bright Smoke, Cold Fire series. Endless Water, Starless Sky so I could read this one. This book was amazing, just as the first and I could not put it down. Every character had heart and I felt for them. This book actually made me cry a little! This would be awesome or the teens to read and anyone looking for fantasy lovers. Five stars!!

  14. 3 out of 5

    Meghan

    I received this book as an advanced readers copy and have read the first installment of the Bright Smoke, Cold Fire series. Endless Water, Star less Sky is a continuation of the adventure of Romeo and Juliet and how they found eachother. This book was filled with adventure and suspense that all you want to do is read on. The introduction to the supporting characters in each chapter had an easy transition for the reader to follow and relate to the story. This would be wonderful for the teens to r I received this book as an advanced readers copy and have read the first installment of the Bright Smoke, Cold Fire series. Endless Water, Star less Sky is a continuation of the adventure of Romeo and Juliet and how they found eachother. This book was filled with adventure and suspense that all you want to do is read on. The introduction to the supporting characters in each chapter had an easy transition for the reader to follow and relate to the story. This would be wonderful for the teens to read because of the wordplay and the use of sophisticated vocabulary . 5 stars!

  15. 3 out of 5

    Ali

    Edit 21/6/17 Endless Water, Starless Sky is the new title of the book and I am LOVING IT!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Teresa Mary Rose

    More Reviews Here: Readers Live A Thousand Lives With the ending to Bright Smoke, Cold Fire I had been dying to get my hands on this one and this turned out to be a solid conclusion. This book has a great cast of characters with so many intertwined relationships. The angst in this book is real! Romeo and Juliet are both fighting on opposite sides of a war and neither ever seems to realize what the other is up to. Waiting for them to run into one another was torture. But I kinda loved that push and More Reviews Here: Readers Live A Thousand Lives With the ending to Bright Smoke, Cold Fire I had been dying to get my hands on this one and this turned out to be a solid conclusion. This book has a great cast of characters with so many intertwined relationships. The angst in this book is real! Romeo and Juliet are both fighting on opposite sides of a war and neither ever seems to realize what the other is up to. Waiting for them to run into one another was torture. But I kinda loved that push and pull. I also love how complicated and intertwined the relationships are and that the friendships are just as important (if not more so) than the romantic ones. Nothing is ever easy and things always have to be earned. It would help if they would work together instead of constantly trying to protect one another, but at the same time you can really see how much these characters care for one another. My favorite of them all is definitely Juliet. She is so strong and determined and she will protect those she cares for at all costs. She’s also willing to sacrifice a lot to save those she cares for. I also love that she can be a bit unlikable at times. Her flaws make her great. Honestly every single character in this book is flawed and I love them all more because of that. Rosamund Hodge really knows how to take a story we know and add that fantasy twist. She creates a bloody world here but the writing is so good and immerses you in their weird and bloody world. This book is definitely a slow build, but it builds to something great. All in all, this was a good conclusion to Bright Smoke, Cold Fire and even though it took me a while to get through, I really savored this one.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Roki

    I've been waiting for this since "Bright Smoke, Cold Fire" - Hodge set up a masterful cliffhanger in the first volume of this series! - and was not disappointed. The story picks up immediately, with a reimagined Romeo and Juliet both trying to find a way to be together without killing each other or their families, all while striving to save their post-apocalyptic city from a Master Necromancer and from the Realm of Death itself. I was caught up in the surprising yet authentic development of each I've been waiting for this since "Bright Smoke, Cold Fire" - Hodge set up a masterful cliffhanger in the first volume of this series! - and was not disappointed. The story picks up immediately, with a reimagined Romeo and Juliet both trying to find a way to be together without killing each other or their families, all while striving to save their post-apocalyptic city from a Master Necromancer and from the Realm of Death itself. I was caught up in the surprising yet authentic development of each character and each relationship - and I loved that the supporting characters felt as real as the main ones. The vivid expansion of the world and cultures in it captivated me. I especially loved the climactic sequence, a dream-like journey, especially built on foundations ranging from Homer to C.S. Lewis to Blue Oyster Cult, but in unexpected and profound ways. Loved it!

  18. 3 out of 5

    Ruthsic

    This sequel raises the stakes in a world built on bloodshed and death, and if you think things were dire at the end of Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, well, this one is going to hit you hard. So, at the end of book 1, Runajo had parted with the Sisters to save Juliet from execution, Paris was killed by the Master Necromancer (who was also revealed, but I can't discuss it here because !spoilers!), Romeo is a fugitive, and the Catresou were implicated in having necromancers in their clan. This book start This sequel raises the stakes in a world built on bloodshed and death, and if you think things were dire at the end of Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, well, this one is going to hit you hard. So, at the end of book 1, Runajo had parted with the Sisters to save Juliet from execution, Paris was killed by the Master Necromancer (who was also revealed, but I can't discuss it here because !spoilers!), Romeo is a fugitive, and the Catresou were implicated in having necromancers in their clan. This book starts off with an upheaval in the city's delicate balance - Lord Ineo, now having the Juliet in his custody, uses her to gain power, which comes at the cost of Catresou lives and Romeo - earnest, guilty Romeo - helps Juliet's and Paris' clansmen. But aside from all this infighting, the city is on the brink on collapse thanks to necromancers loosening the barriers that keep the living out, so Runajo also has to figure out how to save maximum lives, while also having to end the Ruining (which was her original goal). In this book, we get additional character POV from Romeo and Juliet; we already had Runajo and Paris from book 1. It then became an exploration of which character could suffer most. Runajo, to save Juliet, has made terrible bargains - with Ineo, with the Sisters, with Inyaan - and the weight of all that responsibility is wearing her thin. Her saving Juliet meant also condemning her to commit murders that Juliet blames her for, which is why their relationship is at a breaking point (turns out making your friend into an assassin slave is not the best way to keep her as a friend, who knew?) and you know, I feel for Runajo but GDI girl, how could you do that to Juliet? Her role gets progressively lesser towards the end, as Juliet's character gains a prominent arc - for a third of the book, she doesn't even know Romeo is alive, so she has been trying to make the best of a bad situation with the Mahyanai (who are also incidentally her masters and her in-laws, yikes!) while grieving over having to kill her own kinsmen. She hates the city and the laws of their world, but also wants to save it. Her journey to bargain with Death is an emotional one - she has to overcome all the guilt placed on her, all the blood she has shed, and finally claim what she wants. On the boys' side, Romeo is sad over Paris' death but when he finds him as a puppet revenant, he keeps trying to save him. It isn't immediately apparent, but he loves Paris as much as he loves Juliet, even if the type of love for both may not be the same. Paris' POV is mostly him trying to surface from under the compulsion he is under - he can feel Something around Romeo, but he doesn't know why. Meanwhile, we get the Master Necromancer's story, as well as the whole deal around the Little Lady, and it calls back somewhat to the original tale too, with a little twist. Even after he is defeated, the bigger problem is the Ruining, and his story arc is mostly to resolve that problem, and parts of the clues lie with Romeo-Paris and parts with Runajo-Juliet, which is why it takes some time for the story and the solution to come together. While this story mainly is about survival in another apocalyptic scenario, the days counting down until life will be difficult within Viyara, the acceleration of sacrificial schedules and the increased tensions among the families, it is also very much a story about how much could and should be forgiven for survival. Juliet, especially, has no reason to love Viyara, or her kinsmen, but she chooses to. Runajo could let the whole world collapse, but no matter how much she thinks her heart is stone, she won't let life collapse. Romeo will even ally and charm with his enemies to save lives. Whatever they do, they know the toll of it, they know not everything is right - it is a question of finding good in a bad situation, but also realizing when the bad has outweighed the good. On an emotional level, also, this story is about friendship and found families, and recognizing that love as equal to romantic love. Romeo in book 1 was a lovesick fool, and he remains a fool in this book 2, but he also gains a family, fights for things other than Juliet. Heck, for most of this series, they aren't even together! There are some epic scenes between the two, though which are again too spoilery to discuss here. Finally, I just wanna scream about this quartet of love - who would do anything, pay any price for each other. There were certain things that I do not know what to think of - like Vai's entire development, which on the reread of the first book had me a bit on the fence about its depiction of trans identity, if that is what it is. (Vai is a girl, but has to live as a boy because of family stuff, and she identifies as both on different occasions, but it is not clear if she's genderfluid, and it is more of a choice than what she is, so I am not really sure of anything regarding Vai at this point and it's not my lane anyway) Another thing about the whole 'bargain with Death' has me questioning why she accepts Juliet's bargain but not any from the Sisters (remember that they too offered life), and the whole nature of that land from the two viewpoints of Juliet and Romeo make me think the experience is subjective but also not? It is confusing. The ending, however, is satisfactory enough and a good conclusion to the series. Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review from Balzer & Bray, via Edelweiss.

  19. 3 out of 5

    Megan

    There are some books, that while I enjoy them, I have no issue putting them aside to go and do other things. This book made me late for work one morning; and it made me about 15 minutes late coming back from lunch because I was nearly done and I knew that I would not be able to face the afternoon without knowing what happened. It is beautiful and harrowing ending to the first book of the duology, Bright Smoke, Cold Fire.

  20. 3 out of 5

    Laura

    3,5/5 "Once they were both alive, and then only one of them was." This was an enjoyable reading. Surprisingly. I wasn’t a big fan of the first book because I guess I wasn’t really into it. However, I admire Rosamund Hodge because I feel that it’s not easy to rewrite such classical story. I haven’t read many rewritings of Romeo and Juliet. I was happy to be back in the story even though I had prejudices. I was really drawn into the relationships between the characters. It was nice to read that ev 3,5/5 "Once they were both alive, and then only one of them was." This was an enjoyable reading. Surprisingly. I wasn’t a big fan of the first book because I guess I wasn’t really into it. However, I admire Rosamund Hodge because I feel that it’s not easy to rewrite such classical story. I haven’t read many rewritings of Romeo and Juliet. I was happy to be back in the story even though I had prejudices. I was really drawn into the relationships between the characters. It was nice to read that even though the characters care about each other, some things can’t be forgiven. Family and duty are two strong themes, blood doesn’t do all. Female characters have also a weighty job which was really nice to read about. Juliet is strong and is not afraid to do what she wants even though Runajo is her gardian and must be obeyed. I was slightly disturbed by the fact that some people just came back from the dead like this. Mind me, I was glad to read that some did because you know… ships, love and stuff. Paris is a wonderful character but I was disappointed not to read more about him along his lady. (view spoiler)[ I really appreciate the end for Romeo and Juliet. In a way, the author kept the tragic ending because of Romeo’s shortened life. You can’t help but feel sad for Juliet who will have to live without him in the future and, I guess, won’t think about suicide. (hide spoiler)] Overall, a nice reading that leads me to think I should give another chance to Shakespeare’s famous classic.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Nara

    After the ending of Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, I was very curious as to what direction Rosamund Hodge would be taking the sequel. I felt that initially events crawled at a snail's pace overall, meaning there were unfortunately a lot of points, at least in the first half, where I felt quite bored. However, Hodge really turns it around in the latter half, with a lot of major events occurring quite early and then snowballing forward into subsequent rather unexpected events. Her writing is still as gorg After the ending of Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, I was very curious as to what direction Rosamund Hodge would be taking the sequel. I felt that initially events crawled at a snail's pace overall, meaning there were unfortunately a lot of points, at least in the first half, where I felt quite bored. However, Hodge really turns it around in the latter half, with a lot of major events occurring quite early and then snowballing forward into subsequent rather unexpected events. Her writing is still as gorgeous as ever, really giving the novel that fairy tale feel. There was a section where lots of small short stories were included, which I really enjoyed reading. Hodge's short stories/novellas are definitely one of her strengths, and if you enjoy her writing I would say that you should definitely seek out some of the ones she's written (they're free online). Overall, a solid conclusion to the duology. I still think that the Cruel Beauty duology was probably better, but I would recommend this series too. Ratings Overall: 8/10 Plot: 3.5/5 Romance: 2.5/5 Writing: 4/5 World Building: 3/5 Characters: 4/5 Cover: 4/5

  22. 5 out of 5

    Garrett Olinde

    Grimdark, but good. Only passing resemblance to Romeo and Juliet.

  23. 3 out of 5

    Louisa

    Oh, man, this book was so fantastic! Such a great sequel, so much happened, so many heart-pounding moments, and was just so great to read! Very satisfying ending!

  24. 3 out of 5

    Juliet-Camille

    Ooohhhhh that summary You had me at Romeo and Juliet

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lenna • Sugar Dusted Pages

    What a weird, weird book . . . 3.5 RTC

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lucy

    A fast-paced but ultimately disappointing sequel. When I read Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, I was instantly enchanted. It had a brilliantly original premise - Romeo and Juliet set in a Sabriel-esque high fantasy world of magic, necromancy and political intrigue. I also loved Hodge’s protagonists, Paris and Runajo, and the slow-burning development of their friendships with Romeo and Juliet. Endless Water, Starless Sky is a let-down on both these fronts - the plot seemed clumsily strung together and th A fast-paced but ultimately disappointing sequel. When I read Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, I was instantly enchanted. It had a brilliantly original premise - Romeo and Juliet set in a Sabriel-esque high fantasy world of magic, necromancy and political intrigue. I also loved Hodge’s protagonists, Paris and Runajo, and the slow-burning development of their friendships with Romeo and Juliet. Endless Water, Starless Sky is a let-down on both these fronts - the plot seemed clumsily strung together and the bulk of the novel was told from Romeo and Juliet’s perspectives - two characters who were much more likeable when they were side characters to Paris and Runajo. When the Romeo and Juliet characters of your Romeo and Juliet retelling aren’t compelling enough to hold the reader’s interest, you know something’s wrong. Honestly, if Endless Water, Starless Sky had been told through Paris and Runajo’s perspectives I’m sure I would have enjoyed it much more. There are some high points - Hodge’s writing is, as always, lyrical and beautiful, and the final scenes of the novel, which take place in the land of the dead, are fantastically weird. Hodge’s descriptions of the lush, wild underworld make trudging through the rest of the book worthwhile, although we’re not in the underword long before the central conflict of the duology is disappointingly resolved with a deus ex machina ending. As a fan of Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, I expected to love this one. But it was a struggle to read, and at around the halfway mark I realised I was only carrying on to find out how it ended - not because I was invested in the characters or the plot. Many thanks to Balzer + Bray for providing a copy of Endless Water, Starless Sky. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. Endless Water, Starless Sky will be released on July 24th. Publisher: Balzer + Bray Rating: 2 stars | ★★✰✰✰ Review cross-posted to Paperback'd Reviews

  27. 3 out of 5

    Allison Ruvidich

    Thank you, Balzer + Bray, for the ARC! This was a mixed bag for me. I've been a fan of Rosamund Hodge since she wrote Cruel Beauty. The element which draws me back to Hodge time and again-- her ability to recreate the atmosphere of myth and folklore, combined with her lyrical prose-- is still present here. It's hidden, however, by the heavy-handedness of the Romeo and Juliet retelling. I don't understand why she chose to emphasize this so heavily. Had she chosen to use it as a framework for her ori Thank you, Balzer + Bray, for the ARC! This was a mixed bag for me. I've been a fan of Rosamund Hodge since she wrote Cruel Beauty. The element which draws me back to Hodge time and again-- her ability to recreate the atmosphere of myth and folklore, combined with her lyrical prose-- is still present here. It's hidden, however, by the heavy-handedness of the Romeo and Juliet retelling. I don't understand why she chose to emphasize this so heavily. Had she chosen to use it as a framework for her original narrative, it would have been fine, but I felt like the characters just shared names with Shakespeare's characters and nothing else. Last, and most importantly, I think it's important to mention that the Bright Smoke, Cold Fire duology is transphobic. As a fellow Catholic, I am aware that my church promotes transphobia, however much I love it. I would have loved to see work by a Catholic author sensitively validate trans identity, but it is not this book. As a cis person, I cannot meaningfully deconstruct why this representation is problematic, but Hodge definitely fails to validate trans identity and actively undermines it. If you're interested in some #ownvoices novels by authors who identify as trans, please check out this Guardian list of children's books with trans characters.

  28. 3 out of 5

    Alianoraree

    This book may be my favorite of the four of Hodge's I've read. The others have all had a couple bumps and seams in the story fabric, but Endless Water, Starless Sky… this book was one long theme park ride, full of swerves, fear, and exhilaration all the way to the end. (view spoiler)[An end which, thankfully, was not depressing the way I'd feared, but still avoided the "And they all lived happily ever after" which would have rung false after the rest of the story. (hide spoiler)] As always, thoug This book may be my favorite of the four of Hodge's I've read. The others have all had a couple bumps and seams in the story fabric, but Endless Water, Starless Sky… this book was one long theme park ride, full of swerves, fear, and exhilaration all the way to the end. (view spoiler)[An end which, thankfully, was not depressing the way I'd feared, but still avoided the "And they all lived happily ever after" which would have rung false after the rest of the story. (hide spoiler)] As always, though, Hodge doesn't just tell a good story, she gives it a chance to be great. In this duology, she passionately asks: How much should you sacrifice for one person? Or for the whole world? Is there a difference between sacrificing what is yours, and sacrificing what is freely given? What if it wasn't given freely? Is caring for someone else worth the cost? When do relationships make us stronger? When do they destroy? Can a prisoner make meaningful choices? Can you choose to act with love when also being forced to do evil? … I am so very glad I don't pick books solely by Goodreads rating.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Caitlyn

    "Journeys end in lovers' meeting— / Every wise man's son doth know" — Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene III. This was a mess of a book, so this will be a mess of a review: Unpleasantly distant characters who are broken—yet their brokenness is not elucidated, or unraveled, but assumed and devoid of baroque, sympathy-eliciting complexity. A grisly fête, a monstrous oddity, an existentialist, purgatorial excrescence of a world on the lipless maw of apocalypse (I've never been fond of the dreadful parano "Journeys end in lovers' meeting— / Every wise man's son doth know" — Twelfth Night, Act II, Scene III. This was a mess of a book, so this will be a mess of a review: Unpleasantly distant characters who are broken—yet their brokenness is not elucidated, or unraveled, but assumed and devoid of baroque, sympathy-eliciting complexity. A grisly fête, a monstrous oddity, an existentialist, purgatorial excrescence of a world on the lipless maw of apocalypse (I've never been fond of the dreadful paranoia of apocalyptic settings). And an unspooling plot convoluted in its over-drama. I'm immensely disappointed as I adored Hodge's previous two fairytale retellings. It's like she skipped over the explanations and launched straight into a semi-illogical, even stranger world and plot? But I can say I appreciated that Romeo is a soft, dramatic boy fond of florid poetry and martyrdom (not often do authors allow their male leads to be so foolishly soft).

  30. 3 out of 5

    Victoria M

    I am a huge fan of Rosamund Hodge and her retellings of classic fairy tales. This sequel was interesting but I felt there was some parts that went back and forth for too long. I did find myself confused by a lot of this. The characters were a bit harder to like this time. I loved the journeys in the land of the dead and I found the ending to be really fascinating. I would recommend these books as great reads for fantasy lovers. Thank you to Edelweiss+ for this advanced copy in exchange for an ho I am a huge fan of Rosamund Hodge and her retellings of classic fairy tales. This sequel was interesting but I felt there was some parts that went back and forth for too long. I did find myself confused by a lot of this. The characters were a bit harder to like this time. I loved the journeys in the land of the dead and I found the ending to be really fascinating. I would recommend these books as great reads for fantasy lovers. Thank you to Edelweiss+ for this advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.