For the first time, an Empress Redemptor sits on Aritsar’s throne. To appease the sinister spirits of the dead, Tarisai must now anoint a council of her own, coming into her full power as a Raybearer. She must then descend into the Underworld, a sacrifice to end all future atrocities.
Tarisai is determined to survive. Or at least, that’s what she tells her increasingly distant circle of friends. Months into her shaky reign as empress, child spirits haunt her, demanding that she pay for past sins of the empire.
With the lives of her loved ones on the line, assassination attempts from unknown quarters, and a handsome new stranger she can’t quite trust . . . Tarisai fears the pressure may consume her. But in this finale to the Raybearer duology, Tarisai must learn whether to die for justice . . . or to live for it.
HOW!? How is this book this good!? I did not think it was possible for Redemptor to be on the same level as Raybearer, but I think I may have loved it even more. If you are a long time reader of my blog, you know that is a HUGE statement, as I adored Raybearer and it is probably the book that I talk about the most. It is my mission in life to get you all to read it!
This reading experience made me realize that I need to read more duologies. I am terrible at completing series, but I think duologies are perfect. They allow for a lot of world building and character development without dragging out the story and neither of the books end up feeling like filler. So if you have any recommendations for duologies, I would love to hear them!
I did take me a second to find my footing. It has been a year since I read Raybearer, so being in this world again was both exciting and confusing- there is a lot going on here. I think that Jordan Ifueko did a great job at catching the reader up without it feeling like the start of the book was simply a recap of everything that happened in the first one. Once I got settled, I was fully engrossed and I ignored all my responsibilities because I needed to know how Tarisai’s story ended.
Something I thought was brilliant was how the nuanced conversations around race, power, government, poverty, etc. within this fictional world are applicable to the real world. It was something I noticed in Raybearer as well, but these themes were even stronger in Redemptor. It is one of those books that you will continue to think about, which is not what you might expect when you first pick it up.
Tarisai’s growth from the beginning of Raybearer to now is incredible. There is a moment in Redemptor where she realizes she will never be her old self again, nor does she want to be that person. I loved her self awareness and journey towards self worth! She really struggles to come to terms with all that she is capable of and what she wants to do with that power.
The side characters were fantastic! I will always have a soft spot for Dayo and Sanjeet, as well as Tarisai’s other siblings, but we are introduced to some new characters who I won’t soon forget. I will let you discover them on your own, because you really need to read this duology!
If you are like me and you love the found family trope, it does not get any better than this! These characters are joined together through rays and can read one another’s thoughts and can sense and affect each other’s emotions. This inevitably leads to a connection that is on another level, and it brings me so much joy!
There were a lot of twists and turns in Redemptor and I found the ending to be satisfying. I am so sad that it is over, but I wouldn’t change a thing!
Writing Style 9
Overall CAWPILE score: 66/7=9.4