ARC Review: She Who Rides the Storm by Caitlin Sangster

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ARC Review: She Who Rides the Storm by Caitlin Sangster
She Who Rides the Storm
Book Info

Released: September 21 2021
Genre: Young Adult
Pages: 605

“This book is truly incredible and has all the elements to make this the next young adult fantasy sensation!”

~ Under the Covers

Recommended Read!

“‘I expect even gods die when you stab them in the heart.’”

Wow, this book is INCREDIBLE! It’s long as heck but totally worth it. How am I supposed to wait for the sequel?!

She Who Rides the Storm follows four individuals, who have more in common than they could know. Anwei and Knox are partners, thieves in the night with the goal to finally save enough money to leave the country. Knox is a runaway Devoted, yet he still has the power of the goddess Calsta flowing within him. Ever since his sister was murdered, her ghost has haunted his mind, waiting to strike. Anwei has a forbidden kind of magic that comes from the nameless god, and for seven years she has hunted the man who killed her brother. As a Devoted, Knox was tasked with hunting those with Anwei’s kind of magic – the Basists – but Anwei makes him question if Basists are truly bound to evil as the Warlord says.

Lia is a Devoted until she is forced to run away as well, losing Calsta’s power in the process. As she seeks out Knox for help, she encounters Mateo, an aukincer’s son, whose father arranges an ultimatum: Lia will marry Mateo in exchange for her safety. All comes back to the shapeshifter tomb recently discovered in the area, and the ancient sword said to lay at the bottom. As an excavation and a heist ensue, secrets are uncovered, the fabric of their truths unravel, and these four lives weave together in ways they could never have imagined.

I’m going to be entirely honest: I’m not sure that summary made any sense at all, or if it truly captured the essence of this book. This story is so intricately told, all the threads subtly weaving together until they’re suddenly a complex and detailed tapestry of backstories, secrets revealed, and questions answered. As I said before, this book is incredibly long – about six hundred pages – so I’ll admit, it would have been a near-impossible feat for this book to <i>not</i> drag a little. However, it is such a fascinating read even when it’s slow, and the world-building (while confusing at first) quickly becomes easy to understand.

The characters contribute to the complexity of this story, as well. They all have so much depth, and their conflicts (external and internal) are fleshed-out and heart-breaking; I just fell in love with all of them; even the side characters were interesting and had their own storylines influencing the novel’s entirety. There’s an extra element of the goddess Calsta interfering with human affairs, and it’s interesting how she is presented and how your perspective of her changes throughout the book.

“‘To save my sister, I have to keep my oath to love only Calsta. And every day I’m with you, I break it.’”

Last but certainly not least, there’s a little romance! You know I love that 😉. But really, the two relationships unfolding simultaneously were well-developed and sweet, and I loved all the moments they had together, along with the complexities making the relationships difficult. But neither pair gets together – they don’t even kiss! – so when can we see that sequel, Caitlin Sangster?

I one hundred percent recommend this novel, if you don’t mind lengthy and intricate fantasy stories. This book is truly incredible and has all the elements to make this the next young adult fantasy sensation!

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About Caitlin Sangster

Caitlin Sangster is the author of the Last Star Burning trilogy, She Who Rides the Storm, and A Baker's Guide to Robber Pie.

She grew up in the back woods of California and would rather go hiking, running, swimming, or general outdoorsing than just about anything else. If there aren’t any mountains, it doesn’t count as a real place. At eighteen, Caitlin moved to XinJiang, and at twenty-one it was Taiwan. She did eventually buckle down and graduate from Brigham Young University with a BA in Asian Studies and is now that person you avoid at parties because she'll probably start talking about Shang dynasty oracle bones.

She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and four children.

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