Parents' Guide to

Dark Star Burning, Ash Falls White: Song of the Last Kingdom, Book 2

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Second in series gets darker, tenser, not as well paced.

Dark Star Burning, Ash Falls White book cover: A bird's head in the upper left and swirling feathers in varying shades of pink surround the title, a long sword, and some Chinese characters

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This second volume in a planned series continues nicely on the solid foundation built in the first book. The world of Dark Star Burning, Ash Falls White is well established and author Amélie Wen Zhao does a good job of refreshing the reader's memory while moving things forward. There's also a lot of food for thought about themes of power, how to use it, finding balance in life, and cultural loss when one people invade and suppress another.

Fans of the first book are likely to enjoy this one just as much, although the pacing is a bit uneven. The ending seems to arrive suddenly and happen much more quickly than the building to it for most of the pages. The poignant ending will leave readers wondering where the story can go from here.

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