Word Spelunking

Dark Fate (The Protectors Saga, #2) - P. M. Dooling P.M. Dooling has once again enchanted, enthralled and engaged me in her fantasy world. Dark Fate, the second book in The Protectors Saga, is a fast paced, cleverly written read that packs a three fisted punch full of fantasy, action, and romance. SUMMARYIn Dark Fate we find our five brave Protectors still fighting to save their new home, Orcatia, and trying to come up with a battle plan to defeat the Emperor. Avery and Jade take a short trip in order to seek the aide of the Fairies, and while there Jade must confront a love she doesn’t remember experiencing, which results in a strain in the girls’ friendship. Avery must deal with her own romantic woes as her feelings for Draven continue to confuse and frustrate her. Upon learning that the nearby town of Blackmore is in dire peril against the Emperor’s army, the Protectors head there only to offer a bit of hope and reassurance, but end up locked in a deadly battle they weren’t expecting. THE STORYDooling’s world within this book, and the series, is one that is easy to fall into and want to stay in. The fantasy elements in this book are imaginative; original; and fun to read about it, the action elements are thrilling; vivid; and spellbinding, while the emotional aspects are realistic; deep; and expertly crafted.My awe and fascination for the world Dooling has created grew and evolved, as much as the world itself, in this second book. Dooling has continued to build her much layered and well developed world, creating a freshness and newness that doesn’t necessarily rely on the first book. I really liked that this book, as a second book in a series, didn’t feel repetitive. Yet, at the same time, all the new elements and characters didn’t overwhelm me nor did they take away from all the things I loved in the first book.This book moves at a faster pace than the first one, and there is a lot of action, especially in the last few chapters. Dooling’s battle scenes are intense, realistic, and often left me breathless. I really enjoyed these scenes and I loved how descriptive and vivid these scenes are. The realistic violence and palpable emotions give this book an exciting edginess that I really liked and appreciated. CHARACTERSWe really get to know the characters better in this book, especially the five protectors. All the things I loved about them from the first book are still there, but they grow and mature a great deal in this book. The characters are even more realistic, relatable, and well developed than they were in the first book, and I still really want to hang out with and be BFF’s with these girls!What I really love is that we get to see some unexpected and surprising sides of these five girls. Avery continues to struggle with her role as the leader, but her confidence and focus really blossom throughout this book. We get to see a more conflicted, softer side of Jade, which was nice. I like how complex a character Jade is. But the most intriguing character in this book was definitely Bunny! Bunny’s transformation, or perhaps her honest unveiling, is completely compelling and gripping. My only complaint is that there wasn’t more Sasha and Skylar character development. Not that they aren’t well developed characters, because they are. I’d just really like to get to know them better on a deeper level and I’m hoping their characters are explored more in future books.The friendship between Avery and Jade continues to be a touching and realistic one. I like that Dooling isn’t afraid to add some conflict and tension into this relationship. For me, this friendship gives the book a lot of heart. ROMANCEThe complicated, but completely addictive romance between Avery and Draven continues to intensify in this second book. This romance, which is really the first real romance experienced by this young woman, is written with a great deal of care, thoughtfulness and sensitivity. I just loved every scene and moment between these two characters. The spark between the two simply jumps off the page. Yet, as much as I love Avery/Draven, I’m also intrigued by Pip’s feelings for Avery and wouldn’t mind seeing this possible romance explored…I smell a delicious love triangle ;)We don’t get to see much interaction between Jade and Eryk (I’m pretty sure there will be more of this in the next book), but the small bit that we do get has left me craving more! Eryk’s appearance has really thrown Jade for a loop and has brought out some new layers to her character.MY FINAL THOUGHTS: My love for the Protectors Saga has only grown with this second book. Dark Fate is a wonderfully crafted and executed fantasy, with a captivating story and compelling characters. This is book, and this series, is an absolute MUST read!Read the original and complete review (and many more) at Word Spelunking

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