Age Range: Ya
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publication Date: 03 November 2015
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Ivy Westfall is beyond the fence and she is alone. Abandoned by her family and separated from Bishop Lattimer, Ivy must find a way to survive on her own in a land filled with countless dangers, both human and natural. She has traded a more civilized type of cruelty--forced marriages and murder plots--for the bare-knuckled brutality required to survive outside Westfall's borders.
But there is hope beyond the fence, as well. And when Bishop reappears in Ivy's life, she must decide if returning to Westfall to take a final stand for what she believes is right is worth losing everything she's fought for.
I was beyond excited to read the second half of this duology. But I was also so nervous as to what would happen after the events of the first book. I had no idea what events would transpire now that Ivy was beyond the fence; would she learn to adapt and trust others would she become hard and ruthless? I was almost scared to find out. I think more than anything I was worried that this book wouldn't live up to my expectations, and boy the expectations were high.
I am glad to say that I truly did love reading the second half of the duology, though the first is still my favorite.😄 It was amazing to read Ivy's character arc and seeing just how much she overcame since the events of the first book. Her character is almost unrecognizable from the girl who was married off and was used as a pawn at the beginning of the Book of Ivy. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Ivy learn to love and to trust, to watch her build a family.
This book brought in some of my favorite characters: Ash and Caleb. They were the family that Ivy should have always had. They were kind and gentle and yet firm with Ivy when she needed it. They gave her the love and the loyalty that she should have gotten from her family all along. Ash was such a fun character to read, she was everything Ivy's sister should have been and wasn't. Her character was so willing to help Ivy and to protect those around her, and I loved her for that. Then there was Caleb, at first I thought he was going to be a love interest and that there was going to be a love triangle when Bishop showed up. Thank goodness I was wrong, and Caleb remained a big brother figure to Ivy. I really enjoyed Caleb as a character because he often came off as reserved and stoic, and yet it was easy for the reader to tell he was loyal to his family, which included Ivy.
Then there was the romance. I don't think I have ever wanted to see two fictional people together more in my life. Ivy and Bishop just deserve to be together and to be happy, if I got nothing else from this book I wanted that. Bishop is by far the best love interest I have read yet. But I will admit the romance was pretty rocky for me. Things were tense with Bishop and Ivy for a good portion of the book, which is to be expected. However, it almost felt like it was dragging at times, there were points where I grew frustrated and annoyed with Ivy. She was the one who "betrayed" Bishop and yet she spends most of the book being short and cross with him after he finds her. It irritated me to no end, there were honestly times that I wanted to shake some sense into Ivy. Thank goodness, their romance prevailed, and I was a happy reader by the end.
Overall, I really loved this duology and would recommend it to anyone. Amy Engel crafted a wonderful story, that was gripping for me as a reader. It truly has everything action, betrayal, survival, romance, and family. I highly recommend the books they are worth the read.