Aidan desires only one thing: to rule. Arrogant, headstrong and driven by the element of Fire, he will stop at nothing to bring the evil Howls that destroyed Scotland to their knees. But Fire is a treacherous element, and the very magic that brought him to power could burn his world to ash. Especially with the blood of his fellow Hunters on his hands. Driven by a bloodlust he can’t control and dark whispers that may not be entirely in his head, he and his magic-eschewing friend Kianna will do whatever it takes to liberate their broken world. Even at the risk of confronting the Church. Even at the risk of losing his humanity.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review through Netgalley. I didn’t realize that this book was a sequel when I requested, but it seems that, although does take place in the same world as the prequel, Runebinder, it deals with a completely new set of characters. So, I did not read the first book in the series, but might go back to read it if I enjoy Runebreaker enough.
I enjoyed the dystopian world of the Runebinder series. I enjoyed seeing how the world devolved since the discovery of magic and I’m always a big fan of the elemental magic. I do think I was at a slight disadvantage in terms of understanding the world of this series, since I didn’t read the first book. I’m sure a lot of backstory information about how the magic began was in the first book, but enough hints are dropped through the sequel, that I definitely understand where and when I am, as well as what the stakes are for this magic system.
Aidan, as a protagonist, was definitely an unlikable main character. From the beginning, he’s selfish, out of control and difficult for the average reader to relate too. I definitely seems that Tenn, the protagonist of the first book in the series, is a more traditional narrator. It was fun to read an unlikeable main character, and his sidekick is slightly more likeable but also a bit harsh. I couldn’t find any characters in this book I felt connected to, but I did feel invested in this story through the characters, even if I was just rooting for them to fail at times.
The plot of Runebreaker starts off fast and high-stakes, Aidan kills a fellow Hunter and is exiled from Scotland. But after this exciting beginning, things progress at a slow pace. One of the first chapters is literally just Aidan describing all the ways their journey was put off. There are certainly high intensity moments throughout the series and I felt a lot of tension throughout that pulled me through the book. But, overall, I felt it was slower than I had hoped it would be based on the opening chapter and the summary.
Runebreaker is the second book in the Runebinder Chronicles is a high tension and high intensity book. The main character, Aidan, is unlikeable to his core, but he is fun to follow. The world of this series is engaging and fun to get to know, but being familiar with the first book in the series would most likely help. I felt like the plot was slow moving, but the tension the plot sets up carried me through to the end.