The Heartwood Crown is the second book in the Sunlit Lands Series by Matt Mikalatos. But don't worry if you haven't read the first book, The Crescent Stone. There's enough back story in this one for you not to be completely lost, but seriously, the first one is so good, you should plan on reading it first.
The story of The Heartwood Crown picks up a short time after The Crescent Stone ends. Many of the characters have settled into various parts of their life. Madeline, Shula and Yenil are back on earth, trying to live as normal a life as possible but the Sunlit Lands and their struggles from there keep creeping back in. After a visit from an unusual guest, Madeline knows that she has to return.
What she didn't know were the difficulties that her friends Jason and Darius had been facing in the days after the attack on the Elenil people that control the magic of the Sunlit Lands. The end of magic as the people of the land know it is at hand and Madeline must decide if she will be the one to help usher in the new age.
This story does an excellent job of entertaining but beyond that, Mikalatos brings up issues that we all struggle with. He handles very difficult topics such as love, self-respect, and forgiveness in a way that allows the reader to identify their own struggles and come to a decision of if they can tackle them or at least admit their presence and how they may be affecting day to day life.
This is a young adult fiction but the themes and storyline capture the reader from a much broader age range. It is an excellent second installment and I look forward to reading any additional adventures that the Sunlit Lands may have for us.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley for the purpose of review. I'm never required to leave a positive review but always thankful when I can.
PS Matt, If you're reading this, is it possible that The Sword of Six Worlds is going to combine with this series? Signed, A Validus Fan Who's Still Waiting For More