Clara, lost and disillusioned from a hard-fought war, hopes to discover some answers about her lineage and abilities in the quiet village of Bluebell, where she once lived before being sold into slavery. However, as she and the Captain of the Royal Guard make their journey, a new threat to the kingdom arises in the form of a traitor.
This new threat has been patiently brewing since the fall of the sorceror-king Marduk and careful plans are now coming to fruition. Emmerich’s struggles with his new role as king and his ever-present nightmares leave him feeling inadequate to the task. What he needs most is Clara.
But how can she help from so far away? And how can she help if she does not even know who she is?
Goodreads Link: Clara’s Return (Stories of Lorst #2)
Author: Suzanna J. Linton
Rating: 3/5 stars
The second book in the Stories of Lorst series does show some improvement in the writing from the first. In particular, most POV changes are marked by a scene break, making it much easier to follow the narrative.
Clara also takes a more active role in this book. She can speak freely, which helps, and she’s on a return trip to her childhood home to find out more about her origins so she’s making choices instead of getting dragged along with an army. She’s more confident in fighting and can defend herself against monsters.
There’s also less romance than in the previous book due to the characters being separated. I actually thought that their relationship was fading away and the king might be falling for someone else. It was rather abrupt when they got back together in the end. I don’t really feel why these two are together, so I would rather see a change in the relationship or an end.
This book has a lot more subplots and characters to keep track of than the first book and it feels more scattered because of that. I didn’t like Valliance enough to care about his story, so I didn’t mind that it got dropped for most of the book. I did want more about Bran and the aerials but those weren’t the main plot. The main story about Clara’s family is pushed off mostly until the end and then happens in a rush. I would have liked more time devoted to that but instead, she spends most of her time traveling.
I’m not sure where this series plans to go in future books. It does seem like Clara has more to learn about her power and maybe going to Tier will help her learn. But while I like Clara, I’m not sure that I like Emmerich enough to stay with the series. He needs to grow a lot before he could be a good love interest for Clara, especially learning to control his temper. Still can’t get over the time he slapped her in the first book and he’d have to do some major work before I could forgive that.