By Cynthia Bujnicki
Rhian has claimed the throne from Tedros, with the help of the Snake at his side. Now Sophie is trapped by his side while her friends are on the run or trapped in the dungeons. However, there is more at stake than just a throne. Agatha, Sophie, and her friends must figure out a way to remove Rhian from the throne, save the Woods and the Storian from utter destruction.
What an amazing book. Chainani does it again as he follows the adventures of Agatha and Sophie as they face a whole new villain and a new set of trials. There is such a magnificent story here, and the evolution of the characters is astounding. The story here is utterly mesmerizing and present readers with such a unique and fresh fantasy that is appropriate for readers of all ages. The pace never falters as it follows these characters, going back and forth between characters to give a multifaceted view of the story and the happenings in the world. There is a richness in the storytelling here that moves the story forward in such an excellent way because of the magic, wonder, and tension of the plot. It is full of countless twists and turns that suck the reader in. There is also a somberness to the storytelling that works in perfect balance to the writing. There is humor and heart, but there is heartache as well that works to ground the story, only adding to the level of maturity this novel has risen to.
There is merely no fault in the storytelling in this story. It has matured wonderfully to keep the story fresh, working to evolve the characters through their history and present. Sophie and Agatha are as amazing as ever in this story, fighting hard to stay alive, but also to keep the other safe and alive. That is the wonder of the characters and why they are so magnificent. Everyone has a voice here, a voice that makes them unique and dazzling, Sophie and Agatha have grown so much as characters, rising to the challenges they are faced with, but their voices, how they think, that has also changed since the first novel. They have both accepted their roles as witch and princess, but they refuse to play into the tropes and the norms. They are different, and their differences, their love for one another, is what sets them apart from all the other characters. They never give up on one another, despite everything, and reading that makes it so compelling.
A Crystal of Time is a fantastic addition to an already fantastic series full of compelling storytelling and characterization. (★★★★★ | A+)