Evermore by Sara Holland

The snake and the fox chase each other — each trying to harm the other. The Alchemist, the trickster, has stolen the Sorcerer’s heart. This happened centuries ago. But what if they are both still alive somehow? In Everless, Jules Ember moves back to her childhood home of the palace. She again becomes a servant girl, helping to prepare the place for Ina Gold — the woman who will marry Roan, the son of the Queen. There, Jules learns more about the Everless estate and herself than she ever bargained for.

Now, in Evermore, the story is concluded. (The rest of the review contains spoilers for the first book, Everless, but it does not contain spoilers for the second book.)

Let me just say here in this non-spoilery section, though: My favorite aspects were the prose and worldbuilding. I got lost in the words and could imagine myself in the world. I appreciated how the catch-up of book one was handled effortlessly and naturally. I also really liked how we saw the characters grow and develop from the first book to the second. There is a real change, but the growth is steady. For example, Jules is much fiercer and more determined in book two. To sum it up, Evermore stole my heart, and it was wonderful.

(The next section contains spoilers for Everless. If you haven’t read it yet, check out my spoiler-free review here.)

The book hits the ground running. Jules, who now knows the truth about herself — that she is the Alchemist — returns to her village to convince her friend that the Sorcerer, Caro, killed the Queen. That she is the real villain of the story, not the Alchemist. While she is able to convince her, however, the village is burned down during the night. And Jules’s friend is killed. It seems nowhere in this land is safe. And so Jules eventually finds herself dragged back to Everless, back to Caro herself. She has a dagger and stabs without thinking. But Caro does not die. After being thrown into the dungeon, she escapes with the help of Liam. Soon she finds herself running away from Everless with Liam and Elias, a foreign friend of his. Determined not to let the Sorcerer win, Jules searches for a weapon that can kill Caro — a weapon that can kill pure evil.

Everless was a fantastic first book that had such great twists to it. Thankfully, Evermore steps up to the plate by offering a great conclusion. The tension at the end of book one continues into the beginning of book two. I was on the edge of my seat throughout this book. The prose was like I wasn’t reading, but remembering. There were quiet moments that helped offset the more intense ones. We see how old characters change and meet new ones along the way. We see how Jules and Liam’s relationship grows naturally throughout the course of the novel. While the romance aspect might bother some who don’t like that sort of thing, I felt it worked really well with this story.

And just like in the first book, the little moments of worldbuilding really make this. For example, we learn that the rest of the world does not have magic. Elias’s land used to, but they do not want it back. In fact, the rest of the world fears Sempera, the land Jules is from. Worldbuilding is tough, but this book manages to do it excellently — all the while maintaining such vivid prose.

There is one thing that I felt was a bit lacking, though. The final battle was amazing in my opinion and did not play out like I was expecting. However, the Epilogue afterwards felt rushed. Personally, I wish it would’ve been its own dedicated chapter. As it stands, it just ends too quickly in my opinion.

Other than that, this was a fantastic conclusion to a wonderful duology. I sincerely hope Sara Holland continues to write more books because I will certainly be checking them out.

[I received a digital galley from the publicist.]

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