Bind the Soul by Annette Marie

Steel & Stone, #2

Source: Purchased rating

The most important rule for an Apprentice Consul is simple: Don't get involved with daemons. Well, Piper is planning to break that rule — big time.

After a near-deadly scandal with the Sahar Stone, she has the chance to return to the only life she's ever wanted. All she has to do to keep her Apprenticeship is forget about Ash and Lyre. Ash might be enigmatic and notoriously lethal, and Lyre might be as sinfully irresistible as he is irritating, but they’re not bad for a couple of daemons.

There's just one problem: Ash is missing.

Really, she shouldn't risk her future for him. He lied. He betrayed her. But he also saved her life, damn it. Wherever he is, he's in trouble, and if she doesn't save his sorry butt, who will? But with every dangerous secret she unravels, each one darker than the last, she slips deeper into Ash's world — a world with no escape for either of them.

“Death is easy. Living is difficult.”

After loving the first book, I dug into this one right away. The sequel returns the same characters as before, but it enters the big bad that Ash was afraid of in the first book. Piper is captured and the author doesn't hold back on the dark stuff. There's some terrible stuff to endure her experiencing and seeing. The details with the rats in the prison? Yech.

While the story darkened, it lost most of its humor. The first was serious when warranted but kept some fun situations and lines that kept it enjoyable, and it would have felt out of place with the dungeon torture stuff here, but it was still missed a little. Since Lyre brought in most of the humor from the first, him being in the background for the second may explain why its missing too.

We get some pretty epic scenes with Piper and the Sahar though, especially a certain break-out, allies, and battles. There's tension and exciting stuff that kept me biting my lip. Since the author didn't shy away from the horrors, you never knew if it would keep turning out worse or if Piper would actually get a break this time when she tried to better her situation.

Miysis is shady but was addictive with his scenes, especially the escape to the party. Her father still irritates the hell out of me. Piper is sitll a bold heroine who risks all the save the one she loves when he disappears, she's still battling what she feels what are her weaknesses, and the Sahar still looms as a magic weapon everyone is looking for. What made the story so potent was some of the stand-out, well-written action scenes.

That's not to say the romance suffers much. The scenes with Ash were sweet, including the twisted and tense situation during an escape in an office. The character rocks, and I'm glad the author has shrugged off the possibility of a love triangle.

The ending was .... sad. Glad there are so many books in this excellent YA series. 

   Book Quotes:

“She endured the questioning looks and acted like she’d forgotten her brain at home. Along with her dignity.”

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