Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How the Guardians Came to Be

Rift: A Nightshade Novel
In the Nightshade series, Andrea Cremer gave us the Guardians, humans with wolf spirits who can shift into wolf form to protect against unnatural evil beings. But how were the Guardians created? If you ever asked yourself that question, I think you are going to like this new prequel series that starts with Rift

Ember is being collected to pay a debt that was owed for her very life to begin. In order to save her and her mother, her father made a deal for a special healer to send his daughter for service to a secretive sect of the church. When they come to collect, her father is distraught (having better plans to marry her off for his own political influence), but Ember is actually excited to leave the future life of a wife and a mother. She knows there is more out there for her. When she arrives, she is shocked to learn just how much is out there... but not surprised enough to leave.

After the initiation where Ember chooses her path as a hunter, it is the prey that changes her life. Horrible supernatural creatures threaten innocent people, and they are responsible for keeping innocents safe. When her mentor is chosen, she is first nervous then excited to learn it is to be Barrow, a man whose mere presence leaves her longing. But it is his expertise and strength on the battlefield that has her excited to train with him. What none of them expected, however, is the horrible evil that is brewing right under their noses. And the worst part of that evil is its ability to corrupt good hunters with warped ideas of how the means can justify the ends. Now the hunters who refuse to ever side with evil may be hunted themselves, by the very people they trust the most.

This was a phenomenal prequel, and I have to say I think it was even better than the first series! I always loved the pack dynamic and how the wolf side played into everyone's lives, but this connection to the Knights Templar and the hunting of so many kinds of evil is just too interesting! I think it adds this additional layer of intrigue that makes me appreciate the original series even more. I know there is a second book out there to this prequel series, but I hope Cremer will keep going with it! It reminds me of Sarwat Chadda's Devil's Kiss, especially with the strong female hunter role who struggles to balance being a woman, being a hunter, and how that job is societally unacceptable for women. It makes for one heck of a leading lady!

Having read about this history behind the Guardians, the Searchers, and the Keepers, I now wonder how I read that original series without knowing this information. It seems so vital to the story! In fact, I think I would suggest someone to read this series before Nightshade if they haven't already read those books. I think this story is really exciting and will help your understanding of the Guardians even more. Although, maybe it will reveal TOO much from the original series? I guess it is your call! But whatever you do, don't skip any of Cremer's books!

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