Arcana Rising by Kresley Cole

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Title: Arcana Rising (Arcana Chronicles #4)
Author: Kresley Cole
Release Date: August 15, 2016
Publisher: Valkyrie Press
Pages: 280
Source: ebook provided by Sullivan + Partners
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Overall: 4 STARS

Losses mount and deadly new threats converge in this next action-packed tale of the Arcana Chronicles by #1 New York Times bestseller Kresley Cole. 

When the battle is done . . .
The Emperor unleashed hell and annihilated an army, jeopardizing the future of mankind--but Circe struck back. The epic clash between them devastates the Arcana world and nearly kills Evie, separating her from her allies. 

And all hope is lost . . .
With Aric missing and no sign that Jack and Selena escaped Richter's reach, Evie turns more and more to the darkness lurking inside her. Two Arcana emerge as game changers: one who could be her salvation, the other her worst nightmare.

Vengeance becomes everything.
To take on Richter, Evie must reunite with Death and mend their broken bond. But as she learns more about her role in the future--and her chilling past--will she become a monster like the Emperor? Or can Evie and her allies rise up from Richter's ashes, stronger than ever before?

When Dead of Winter suddenly came to an end, I'm not going to lie—I was really worried about my OTP. You see, I'm very decidedly on Team Death, but Evie had just spurned Aric's love, choosing to ride off to meet Jack and his Azey army. But then Richter, the Emperor Card, made his move... and everything changed yet again. Arcana Rising launches readers back into the story immediately after that climatic ending. Circe unleashes a powerful tidal wave to combat Richter's lava, and in the chaos, Evie is swept away and separated from her allies.

Unsure if Aric or Jack survived the crossfire, Evie pours all her focus into reaching Fort Arcana, where Tess can reverse time and save everyone she loves. It's the only thought that consumes Evie's mind. Because if Jack is truly dead, she doesn't know how much longer she can resist the red witch, the murderous, bloodthirsty form of the Empress. All she can do is lock away her grief and anguish before it threatens to tear her apart.

I felt so sad to see Evie hurting so much, but at the same time, I was so ready for her to embrace her abilities and spill some blood. Although she's never wanted to take any lives in the Arcana game, Evie vows that vengeance will be hers against Richter. The Arcana players are getting stronger the longer the game plays out, but Evie still has much to learn. She needs more knowledge about her past lives as the Empress. She needs more power. And only Evie's grandmother, a Tarasova and wisewoman of the Tarot, can give her guidance in the safety of Death's impenetrable stronghold.

Arcana Rising is an addictive, thrilling addition to the Arcana Chronicles! My pulse was constantly racing, unsure of what to expect next and if more Arcana would meet a violent end. No one is safe in this post-apocalyptic world North America has become, and friends can become foes in an instant. We're another step closer to confronting Richter, but Arcana Rising also leaves us asking more questions too. What is Matthew, the Fool, planning? Who are the Minor Arcana and what role do they still have left to play? And, most importantly, how could the book just end with that revelation!?! I need The Dark Calling right now.

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