Legacy of Ghosts by Alicia Wanstall Burke

Legacy of Ghosts book cover
Rating 8.5/10
Wanstall-Burke demonstrates her shrewd talent for plotting, fusing together threads of physical and emotional confrontations with the fine touch of a knifeā€™s edge.

Alicia Wanstall-Burke’s Legacy of Ghosts, the second entry in The Coraidic Sagas trilogy, is a thrilling addition to Lidan and Ran’s stories and elevates all the material that came before it. While Blood of Heirs set the table for what was to come, its sequel devours the meal and kicks the table over in style. In Legacy of Ghosts, Wanstall-Burke demonstrates her shrewd talent for plotting, fusing together threads of physical and emotional confrontations with the fine touch of a knife’s edge.

We open the story with a four-year time jump, a smart choice to catch up with the scheduled life events that Lidan follows, as well as the growth that Ranoth needs. Right away we see both characters, now 17 and 20 years old, as more confident and mature. Lidan and Ran are still under constant threat of having their lives upended at any moment and eventually such an event comes to pass. This sets off a chain of events that draws them closer together as their stories begin to intersect at a steady clip, while new threats continue to barrage them from strange new environments along with dire threats from within.

One of the book’s strongest suits is how well-developed and natural the relationships feel. There are several new friendships that have been built during the ‘off years’ in between books, and their familiar rapport is exemplified through their dialogue with ease. There’s also a burgeoning love story that earns its emotional payoffs every step of the way. On the other side of the rainbow, the familial mistrust, defiance, stubbornness, anger, loyalty, and confusion once again play crucial roles in the story. These turbulent and incisive scenes are often more damaging to our characters than any metal-clawed undead monstrosity could ever be.

There’s one particularly well-written action scene that involves a high-speed chase, kind of, and another set piece that includes an environmental obstacle with some frightening new threats. There’s a significant jump on the Excitement Meter in this entry and although it is 200 pages longer than Blood of Heirs, this book feels like it reads much faster. Once you reach the halfway point, it will be difficult to stop reading until you hit the end.

All the minor nitpicks I found in Blood of Heirs were squashed dead in Legacy of Ghosts. (Sorry, not sorry.) This sequel offers stronger relationships, heavier emotional fallouts, more powerful consequences, exciting action scenes, and perhaps most importantly, left me hankering for book three. That ending? Come on. You’re really going to drop that ending and just let us brood over it for the next two years?? Anyway. This book shows that Wanstell-Burke has worked out an intricately-plotted game plan that involves all aspects of the story from the very start of the series, and book three has some massive roles for Ran and Lidan still to play in the pages ahead.

Read this series, then go call your mom, because she can’t be any worse than Sellan.

ARC via author. On sale November 30, 2019. Preorder here.

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