Tears of Winter (Light from Aphelion #2)
by Martine Carlsson
Paradise is an illusion, and the progressive, experimental city of Nysa Serin was living on borrowed time. The winter festivities that should have warmed everyone’s heart take the contorted face of a feast of fools. Despite their knowledge, Selen, Louis, and Lissandro are swamped by events. Falling one after the other, the sick litter the streets of Nysa Serin. A natural pestilence? The vengeful hand of the gods? Turned to ashes, Louis’s dreams slip through his fingers like a shattered cathedral of sand.
Jeopardizing its fragile stranglehold on the crown, the royal couple leaves for a desperate mission while, trapped inside the walls, the citizens strive to survive. Though the clock ticks on, in sickness and fear, the tensions surface and friendships are tested.
The line is thin between cowards and heroes. Should the rescuing party even make it back, the capital will never be the same again and neither will their lives. Therefore, why not haste into darkness… till death do us part?
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Tears of Winter on Goodreads
*I received this novel for free in exchange for an honest review*
Rating: 5 stars
Tears of Winter is the second instalment of the Light from Aphelion series. After the events of book 1, Louis and Selen have begun making Louis’s visions for Nysa Serin a reality. All children have a right to access an education, city infrastructure is vastly improved and all citizens are treated equally and fairly. However the society is built on the fragilities of the system before it and an epidemic of plague threatens to destroy all that they have accomplished so far. Louis, Selen, Lissandro and their allies set off to find a cure whilst desperately hoping that not only is their mission is successful, that they make it back to the city in time.
Book two is a lot darker in tone than the first novel in the series, which really fits giving the setting and just what is at stake. I very much enjoyed seeing more of the Kingdom and also the addition of new characters, all of whom have their own motivations for joining the heroes on their mission. The description is as rich as ever and so immersive that you are immediately pulled into the world. There is no lag and plenty of action to keep you turning to the next page. However my favourite aspect of Tears of Winter has to be the characters.
On their quest Louis and Selen find themselves tested in ways that they could never imagine and even the bond between them is stretched to almost breaking point. When Selen voices a desire for something that is seemingly impossible as well as something that Louis would never contemplate, it creates a rift between them at a time when they need to be united more than ever. I really felt for both characters in these moments. I could see where they were both coming from and whilst neither of them were really at fault, it took them a long time to reconcile and come to an understanding. This rift really shows how they have both developed, but despite wanting something different their love for each other means that they can find a way to resolve this. The character development was especially great to see in Selen as I was worried that he would become more of a supporting character, but he just goes from strength to strength in Tears of Winter. He complements the head-strong, and at times reckless, Louis perfectly.
You also learn more about Lissandro’s character and the truth about who he really is. I had suspected in book 1 and I was thrilled to have my suspicions confirmed. It makes a very interesting twist and one that I hope is expanded on further in book 3.
Tears of Winter is the perfect follow up to Rising from Dust and if you haven’t checked the series out yet then I definitely recommend that you do so!