Title: Serpents Rising
Author: Joe Jackson
Series: Eve of Redemption #3
Karian Vanador has spent her life hunting demons–but the more she’s learned about her Order’s involvement with the syrinthians, the more she’s convinced they don’t know enough about the foes they’ve been fighting for hundreds of years. Eli told her of a promise made to the syrinthain high priestess to go to the underworld to rescue her daughter, a promise still unfulfilled. Kari intends to honor it. If, that is, she can figure out a way to get to the underworld, find the one person she’s looking for, and get back without getting killed. Fighting demons is one thing, but invading their own territory is quite another . . .
This picks immediately after White Serpent, Black Dragon. Kari’s still reeling from everything that happened, but that’s part of what fuels her determination to honor the promise made to a dying woman to rescue her daughter. The Order just doesn’t know enough about the demons to be anything more than a stopgap. Kari is determined to change that. People can go and come back from the underworld, even a demonhunter, so it has to be possible.
It takes a while to get into the actual underworld, but it doesn’t feel slow to me. Kari is appropriately cautious about the whole endeavor. She’s aware not only of how much she’s risking but also how much she stands to gain. And even researching how to get there provides a lot of fascinating information. For example, this isn’t going to be a stereotypical fire-and-brimstone underworld, or something in a big underground cave system.
I liked how the plot keeps twisting around. Getting a syrinthian girl away from a demon king that Kari has already offended won’t be easy. Kari’s got a different group of companions yet again. Some, like Uldriana, keep her guessing. Uldriana in particular became a favorite not just of this book but of the entire series. She has such a big impact, and such inner strength. I like how these characters feel so real, so well-defined, so that when the surprises come up I’m laughing or crying along with the rest of them.
I can’t really talk about my favorite parts without spoiling something crucial, so I’ll just say this was an amazing book and possibly my favorite of the series so far (it’s only hard to choose because they’ve all been really good). I rate this book Highly Recommended.