Title: Eyes of Ember
Author: Rebecca Ethington
Series: Imdalind, book 2
Joclyn is in hiding, hunted by the man she still desperately loves. Ryland is gone, his mind erased; no memory of Joclyn remains, but Joclyn’s heart desperately begs her to hold out hope. Meanwhile the black-eyed monster that possesses him attempts to kill her over and over again.
If it wasn’t for Ilyan, Joclyn would be dead by now.
Ilyan, the man who once stalked her, is now Joclyn’s protector, the only person she has left. He protects Joclyn from the men who seek to end her life, and all the while, she is haunted by dreams where Ryland begs her to break the bond between them.
Ilyan is there. Always there.
Ilyan trains and prepares her, teaching her everything she needs to know in the hope that one day she can avenge Ryland, if not protect herself from him.
And then, there is her father.
The man who has never been there is suddenly responsible for everything. And who he is has made Joclyn into something she never wanted to be:
Magic: I like the use of magic in this series. Ilyan, for example, can heal, grow plants, move objects, make objects appear out of air, but he can also attack, and kill. I like the fact that a character can use his/her magic to do different things; they have more than just one ability. I know in some books, a character has only one type of magic (e.g. healing), while another has a different type (e.g. water), and they’re limited to that specific ability. In this series magic is not like that; it is a little bi more complex.
General Thoughts+Summary: The book starts right where the first one ended; maybe after 1 or 2 days. Eyes of Ember is focused more on Joclyn, and Ilyan. We do get some scenes with Ryland, but unlike the first book, he is just a secondary character. Towards the end of the first book, Ryland completed the bond between him and Joclyn. Since their minds are now connected, and Joclyn also has the necklace Ryland gave it to her for her birthday (it contains parts of Ryland’s soul: his heart), Ryland can easily find her. The problem is, Edmund managed to gain control over Ryland completely; he controls his mind, therefore he also controls his body. Ryland’s father wants to find Joclyn and Ilyan, and kill them, so the duo has no choice but to lay low, and hide.
In the beginning there is a problem with Joclyn. Since she is bonded with Ryland, and she cannot visit the Tȍuha, her body starts to shut down. Ilayn thinks that Edmund broke the bond, and that’s why Joclyn’s magic starts to go away. For a few days, Joclyn gets worse and worse, while Ilyan is right there with her healing her, comforting her, and singing a song to her (usually when she goes to sleep/she’s scared). Since Joclyn cannot leave the bed, Ilyan is teaching her about magic, and self-defense only in theory: how to heal, how to block an attack etc. I like the fact that even though she is sick, Joclyn tries her best to learn more about her magic, and how to use it.
After they find a way to heal Joclyn, the real training starts. Since both of them are in hiding, and cannot go anywhere without Edmund tracking them down, they spent months in a one bedroom flat. And what else can they do in there, besides training? We see Joclyn developing her magic, and learning new things ( how to defend herself using her magic etc. ). Ilyan also teaches her how to fight using different weapons. In this novel, Joclyn finally embraces who she is, and her magic. We see her grow, and develop as a character, which is great.
Ilyan and Joclyn become more comfortable with each other, and they grow pretty close. They have moments when they argue, when they laugh, and when they’re sad.
There is a lot going in this novel. They do go out of the apartment at one point, only to be forced to find a new hiding place. However, soon after, Ryland finds them again, and Ilyan is forced to “teleport”, and go all the way to Europe. Ilyan brings them to his brother’s (Thom) hiding place. They are somewhere into the Alps mountains, and they stay inside a cave. Here, we get to meet not only Thom, but also Joclyn’s uncle (his father’s side). Since he used so much magic to transport him and Joclyn, Ilyan gets into a magic coma. Ilyan is out for days, and Joclyn learns more about her father, and herself. We also get to know more about Ilyan, and his story, since Joclyn learns more about him. Joclyn does not stop training. She keeps practicing her magic, and she starts make real progress. I like this about her. There is also a big reveal about Joclyn, but I will not mention it here. I think I wrote enough spoilers.
While there are some fighting scenes, the book is focused more on the character development, and their history. We get to know more about them, and start to feel more connected to them.
I like this book a lot, and I think the series goes into the right direction. I really am curious how will all end.
Romance: This book does not have any romantic moments/scenes. Sure, Joclyn is thinking about Ryland once in a while, and she is determined to help him, but there are no romantic moments between them; or any other characters for that matter. Joclyn starts to have some feeling for Ilyan, but she is still very much in love with Ryland.
The bond and mate thingy is explain in this book. A person can have more than one mate (not at the same time), and she/he can decide to not perform the bonding ritual, but if they do, and the bond is being broken, there will be some problems. When two people perform the bonding ritual, their magic is the one that bonds, and it becomes one (half from one person+half from the other person). When a bond is broken, both persons are loosing half of their magic. Since the magic is in their blood, and part of their being, that causes problems for them, and they become sick. There are a few ways around a broken bond; for example, they can bond with another person, and they will start to heal. When someones dies, part of their magic gets transferred to their mate, and makes the magic in the living person whole again. The surviving mate can bond later on with another person. In other words, while there are mates and bonds, there can be more than one mate in someone’s life. I’m not sure if I explained it very well. The explanation is clearer in the book.
Back to Joclyn. We find out that Joclyn can bond with two people: Ryland, and Ilyan. In this book, she is still bonded with Ryland, but they don’t really have a relationship. Ilyan is very powerful, and it was hard for him to find a women who can “take” his magic during the ritual. Therefore, he spent centuries by himself. He found out from Joclyn’s father, that in future times, there will be a girl who can bond with him; that girl is Joclyn. However, Ilyan also knows that Joclyn loves Ryland, and not him. He made peace with it, and now he’s trying his best to protect her, and to guide her.
As I said before, this series’ main plot is not about love; it’s about Ilyan and Joclyn protecting the source of magic, and trying to defeat Edmund.
Characters: Most of the character are special in their own way, not just Joclyn. Ilyan is wise and powerful, Wynn is fierce and powerful, Ryland is lost and powerful, Talon is a good soldier and powerful, and so on. It is not just Joclyn who is the powerful one, while the others are just helping her here and there. Together they make a powerful whole, even though each one of them has different strengths and weaknesses. Dramin and Thom are interesting as well, even though they’re new to the story. I guess their characters will be developed further into the next books (I hope). I like it when more than one character is important.
Joclyn. I like her more in this book. She tries her best to become better, by practicing again and again. She seems stronger now, and she is determined to save Ryland, and defeat Edmund. I like the fact that she embraces who she is, and her magic. I also like that she realizes she cannot defeat Edmund by herself, and that she does need her friends, especially Ilyan. Yes, she is powerful, but she does not need to carry the weight of the world by herself. Also, when Joclyn realized that Ilyan loves her, she does not take advantage of him. On the contrary, she tells him that she does love him as a friend, but she’s in love with Ryland. She tries her best to tell him her feelings without hurting him. Joclyn also promises that Ilyan will never be alone again, since she intends to be there for him for better or worse.
Joclyn is kind, selfless, strong, and sometimes immature. In general, she is a likable character.
Ilyan. I love him, but not because he is described as handsome. He is kind, selfless, loyal, mature, and a good person in general. Ilyan knows that Joclyn loves Ryland, and he does not take advantage of the fact that Ryland is controlled by Edmund, or that he spent months with Joclyn. On the contrary, he wants to help her save Ryland, so the two of them can be together, and be happy. Ilyan loves Joclyn, and he also loves his brother, Ryland. It is very obvious that Ilyan is a few centuries old, not a young adult.
“I meant every word,” he whispered. “I will always love you, but I will never force you to be with me. I will never stop you from being with Ryland. He is your mate, Joclyn. I will always respect that.”
Ethington, Rebecca (2013-04-04). Eyes of Ember (Imdalind Series #2) (p. 290). Impalind Press. Kindle Edition.
And yes, he does have some flaws. In my opinion, Ilyan trusts too easily; he wants to help his siblings, and he gives them chances after chances, even though they always betray him. Sometimes he is kinda cranky, especially when he wakes up, but in a way that makes him funny. Ilyan is also known to have a temper; he gets very angry sometimes, and he needs a few moments to cool off. At least, he goes away to calm down, and then he comes back to talk.
Ryland. In this novel Ryland is not Ryland. He is under Edmund’s control. I do feel pity for him though. To read that Ryland’s own father forces him to kill his best friend and his first love heartbreaking.
Wynn. Like Ryland, she is not that present in this book. We do get to hear certain conversation between her, and Joclyn, but that’s about it. I really do want to know more about her. Her story seems to be very interesting. Wynn is with Talon, in Imdalind, trying to protect it from Edmund.
Edmund. The bad guy. I like the fact that there are some reasons for him being bad. I mean, he is not described as evil, doing bad stuff just because he’s so evil, and that’s it. There is a little bit more to him. Apparently, he used to be a great father, king and husband. However, at some point someone convinced him that power is everything, and he [Edmund] can have it. In time, he becomes more evil, because he becomes more powerful. Edmund wants absolute power, and control. He will do anything in order to get it, even killing his own children. Edmund is an example of how power and greed can change people.
Thomas. Ilyan’s brother. He used to be loyal to Edmund, but something happened and he changed sides. We don’t get too many details about his past. Thom has trust issues, and he is not a warm person. He is also described as being very wise, and he gives good advice. Joclyn realizes something very important with his help. Thom also knows Wynn, and from his reactions, I think he loves her. I like Thom, and some of his remarks are very funny. I hope will get to know more about him as well.
Dramin. Joclyn’s uncle, her father’s son. He has a different kind of magic. While he can do magic like Joclyn, it is weaker. He has the ability to see the future, like all Draks. From this novel, we learn that a Drak’s prophecy is absolute; however, a prophecy only says what will happen, not how. Dramin seems to be like a father figure for Joclyn. He is warm, and kind towards her. Joclyn finds out from him that her own father is a Drak; not just any Drak, but the very first one. Joclyn is also a Drak, but since she was Kissed, she also has Ilyan’s type of magic. She also learn that her own father made a prophecy about her: she will help Ilyan defeat Edmund, and she will die in the final battle.
Overall, a good read. Eyes of Ember is even better than the first book. Hopefully, the next novel will be the same.