Parents' Guide to

Igniting Darkness: Courting Darkness, Book 2

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Historical fiction series end bogs down in palace intrigue.

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This very long series finale is absolutely loaded with palace intrigue, but falls far shorter on the action, adventure, romance, and even magic that many fans of Robin LaFever will be looking for. Igniting Darkness has so much of it, and some of it's pretty repetitive too, that the story sags and gets bogged down in places. That being said, Genevieve and Sybella remain compelling main characters, and switching to different points of view helps keep things moving along for the most part. And there's definitely still some action, including a large-scale battle, travel around Brittany, and ninja-like stealth. There's even a little bit of magic, but it's definitely takes more of a back seat compared to the first installment.

Teens will learn a lot about the real effects on women and girls of being considered a man's property, and will feel Genevieve and Sybella's frustrations at having their knowledge and skills ignored simply because they're women. They'll also easily relate to Genevieve as she struggles to repair the damage she's caused and recover her self-esteem. Sybella's fears about the future, and about controlling her emerging powers, also mirror what many teens feel when their lives are rapidly changing.

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