Title: Sword in the Stars
Author: Amy Rose Capetta & Cori McCarthy
Release date: April 7th, 2020
I was pumped to read this sequel after loving Once & Future, but unfortunately this one just didn’t do it for me the way the first book did.
We pick up this story as the characters arrive in the middle-ages Camelot. Although, not all arrive together and issues begin there. Originally, the goal is to not affect the storyline so as not to affect the future, but naturally our characters get wound right into the Arthur legend.. and then a lot of time travel and confusing time jumps occur.
Maybe I just wasn’t in the right headspace for this one, but the story really jumped all over the place and relied often on dialogue to get anywhere. And the characterization that I loved from the first book was left in the first book. These characters remained caricatures of who they were, and I didn’t feel the same love I did for them in Once & Future.
I would’ve loved to hear more about this new age the story was told in, but we get very minimal world building. I did love the inclusion of diversity in the middle-ages and how this cast features so many identities, but beyond the mentions of the middle ages being surprisingly diverse… we didn’t get much else. I love love love a book with good diversity and inclusion, but what was effortless in the first book felt more strained and tokenized in this one.
Honestly, I think my biggest thing that ruined this one for me was the time travel. When you include time travel, you’ve got to set your rules and boundaries for how it works. And this just became such a mangle of different times and I was more confused that I should’ve been. It took something with potential, and turned it into something I just couldn’t enjoy.
Overall, I can see this one being hit or miss. While I loved the first book, this just didn’t do it for me. But, I can see others still loving this one and being happy with the conclusion of the duology.