Series: Dark Caravan Cycle #2
Published by Balzer + Bray
Publication date: February 28, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Freedom’s Slave is the exhilarating end to Heather Demetrios’s Dark Caravan Cycle—a modern jinni fantasy-adventure trilogy, which Publishers Weekly called “an intricate and smartly written story,” perfect for fans of Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke & Bone series and Leigh Bardugo's Grisha Trilogy.
After three long years in exile, Nalia is ready to return to her homeland and sit on the throne that is rightfully hers. But the gods might have other plans. Forced to endure untold horrors on the journey to Arjinna, Nalia learns that it will take more than cutting down the tyrant Calar to get her crown.
Meanwhile, Raif’s return to Arjinna as the commander of the revolution against Calar and her army isn’t as smooth as he’d hoped. Though he has more soldiers than ever before, his love for Nalia is losing him the trust of his comrades . . . and the war. But little does the resistance know that insurrection is brewing among Calar’s own ranks—and from the one person she trusts the most.
Is Nalia and Raif’s enduring love enough to transform and rescue their homeland? Will they be willing to save the realm, no matter the cost?
Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. In plain English, this means that I may receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you purchase something through the links provided. This small income goes back into my blog, so I can continue to create fun content for you. I appreciate my readers and make it my goal to be up front and honest. Thank you for supporting my blog! ♥
The message in this book is loud and clear: Never stop fighting for what you believe in no matter how bleak the circumstances might be. The characters’ journeys and unrelenting fight will resonate with readers of today as our world faces pain, oppression, brokenness, and an innumerable amount of other issues—things that Raif, Nalia, Taz, and everyone else in FREEDOM’S SLAVE had to face.
FREEDOM’S SLAVE tops out at over 600 pages, which is admittedly a little intimidating and quite a commitment. But I’m happy to say that this book didn’t feel like it was that long. Demetiros packs this book full of twists, turns, and believable action that kept me interested and engaged. Though, like in previous books, some of the novel did feel a bit long-winded in its descriptions and narrative.
We are reacquainted with characters from the previous two novels, like Nalia, Raif, and members of the newly freed Brass Army. But Demetrios also introduces us to new characters as the focus shifts from Solomon’s sigil to the troubled land of Arjinna. The whole series has been leading to this moment—to when everyone is finally able to get back to the homeland.
The power of love is a constant theme throughout this novel. Strength, resilience, hope, and love are all characteristics that Nalia and Raif possess, which also makes them both brilliant leaders of the revolution and over a broken and oppressed people. Their love for each other and for their people was something Demetrios really crafted beautifully. I have to admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Raif and Nalia as a couple but I liked who they came individually and together in this novel. Kudos!
Through her beautifully imagined fantasy world, Demetrios tackles real world issues that we face today, such as racism, sex trafficking, poverty, and power imbalances. These issues were woven delicately into the story and were recognized as things to overcome by our main characters. They weren’t glossed over or minimized but handled straight on and dealt with, which was really refreshing. The book didn’t feel like a giant public service announcement.
I liked this final installment, but I didn’t love it. There was A LOT going on, almost too much at times—even though I liked the action. The Godsnight plot and the Calar plot were two big moments in the book. I felt like the Godsnight plot overshadowed the momentum from the Calar plot that was slowly building from the beginning. I also had some issues with some of the placement of the more romantic scenes; some of them felt misplaced in the midst of war and strife.
Overall, I thought this series was beautiful visually with strong inspirations from Middle Eastern culture, language, architecture, and history. Demetrios did a spectacular job with drawing the reader into this lush fantasy world, filled with captive jinni, a troubled people, and a boy turned man ready to save them all. I recommend this series to readers who want to experience a beautiful setting!
* Thanks to Balzter + Bray for providing me with an early copy for review (and for all the books in the series, for that matter)! Receiving this book for free did not affect my opinion.