Title: The Rookery
Author: Deborah Hewitt
Series: The Nightjar #2
Release Date: 5/8/2021
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 50
(see below for breakdown)
I received a free physical copy from TorUK via Black Crow PR in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Check out my Instagram for a chance to win Both Books. (Competition closes 9am 9th August 2021)
Will she give her life to save its secrets?
The Rookery, city of secrets, lies and magic, is facing destruction. But does Alice have the power to save her new home?
When Alice discovered this alternate London, her life changed forever. She discovered she was seeing Nightjars – miraculous birds that guard our souls. But her newfound magic has a dark side. So in an effort to protect her friends, Alice is training to wield her rare abilities under House Mielikki – the House of Life. Yet something isn’t right. And after a series of attacks leaves her reeling, it’s clear someone wants her to fail.
Alice must plunge into a world of seductive magic and unimaginable perils to uncover the conspiracy. And when she discovers why Rookery itself is at risk, she realizes the price she must pay to save it.
The Rookery is the dazzling sequel to The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt.
I loved The Nightjar but The Rookery is even better. This book is all about worldbuilding and magic. We get to explore all the elements of the Rookery that were hinted at in The Nightjar. This is also a huge part of the plot. We follow Alice as she returns to the Rookery to train her new found powers and hopefully pass the tests to become a member of House Mielikki. Through her trials we get to explore the various magic systems, the history and lore that built the Rookery and in turn we learn about Alice’s history too.
I adored how much the worldbuilding intermingled with the plot allowing us to gleam tiny bits of information from the layout of the Rookery, its shops, festivities and the people. We get to explore the University and get to know how its staff and students intermingle. Also we get detailed descriptions of its buildings that just make it seem like such a magical place. I am a huge fan of magical school so the fact that we get real insight into this one is just cat-nip to me. My favourite parts were learning about the different houses, all the rivalry, political machinations, the histories both mythical and known all just built such a rich and fantastical world.
I loved how much more confident Alice was within this world. We get to see a lot more of her interaction with her own Nightjar as well as her exploring her capabilities with other night jars. Her House Mielikki magic also is just decried so beautifully I was just whisked away in the magic. She is still a fantastically flawed person in the most likeable way. I really enjoyed her flaws, her snap temper, her misplaced trusts and gut decisions they kept my attention.
I love that we have a return of the established friendships, combined with new characters. I particularly liked Bea and her slightly aristocratic air, she seemed to mellow Alice a lot, meaning Alice didn’t make quite as many rash decisions, while still remaining such a fun character to learn about, especially when we start digging into the past. Again we have the incredibly slow burn romance that just teases the reader all the way through the book, again making this book irresistible.
The plot is well structured fun and fast paced, filled with danger, mystery and political machinations. And oh the twist at the end! I didn’t see it coming and I am still a bit shook! This is really a testimony to Hewitt’s writing that she manages to throw you such a curveball that the book goes from immersive and enjoyable to I need to know everything right now in a sentence.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book through and through. I loved that it delivered in all the elements I was wanting more of from the Nightjar. Again like the Nightjar the incorporation of Finnish mythology was not something I had read before and it has really made me seek out more about this fascinating branch of mythology, particularly its mythos about death and the soul which are discussed a lot in both books.