Eden Conquered is the continuing saga from the book Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau. Told by alternating narratives of twins Prince Andreus and Princess Carys, we continue the story of the once tight pair torn apart through the lies and deceit of those surrounding the duo as they battle out the Trials of Virtuous Succession after their father and older brother are assassinated. Someone must be crowned ruler, and Andreus, believing the whispers of the seer (and his lover) Imogen, is determined to be the next King.
In this second book of the series, racked with guilt over the death of his twin, Andreus takes the throne amidst the politicking of the elders, not knowing whose advice to follow as nobody in the court seems trustworthy. To make matters worse, the populist, which favored Carys, is unhappy with the current state of affairs and life is about to take a turn for the worse since the winds appear to be failing and without their strength The Palace of Winds will lose its protection allowing their enemies access to the Kingdom of Eden.
In the meantime, the still alive Princess Carys has escaped and is on the run with her childhood friend Larkin and two protectors (who are often at odds) Errik and Lord Garret. She is unsure whose advice to follow, doubting their loyalty despite her physical attraction to them both. As they travel, Carys discovers that her special powers are growing stronger, necessitating a need to develop some sort of control or risk destroying everything in her path. To complicate matters the Xhelozi, a sort of zombie like boogie men, are on the loose, traveling far from their normal realm as the prevailing winds which normally keep them at bay are losing the power to contain the beasts. Despite her difficulties, Carys, who had previously looked out for her twin brother, is concerned for his well being, conflicting with her rage and the need for revenge.
This book was a quick, easy read in spite of the many questions the reader might have surrounding this fantasy world. Unfortunately, giving away too many details would spoil the surprise ending, although I cannot believe this is the conclusion to the Dividing Eden series since there are numerous loose ends which need some sort of resolution and too many questions left unanswered. In order to fill in some of the gaps, Carbonneau wrote two short stories, Into the Garden, the story of Lady Beatrice, and Forbidden Fruit, featuring Graylem, the first which is a prequel and the second which occurs between the two novels. Definitely worth a look see.
Three and a half stars and a thank you to Edelweiss for providing this ARC in exchange for an honest review.