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Review: Cascade

Cascade by Lisa T. Bergren is the second book in The River of Time series. It was released in the U.S. on June 1, 2011 in paperback and eBook formats.

It is currently available to order online in both formats at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Published by David C. Cook, the print edition is 416 pages.

***Goodreads description is slightly spoiler-y for some of the events in book one***

Goodreads description:

Mom touched my underdress—a gown made six hundred years before—and her eyes widened as she rubbed the raw silk between thumb and forefinger. She turned and touched Lia’s gown. “Where did you get these clothes?”

Gabi knows she’s left her heart in the fourteenth century and she persuades Lia to help her to return, even though they know doing so will risk their very lives. When they arrive, weeks have passed and all of Siena longs to celebrate the heroines who turned the tide in the battle against Florence—while the Florentines will go to great lengths to see them dead. But Marcello patiently awaits, and Gabi must decide if she’s willing to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.

***

When Gabriella Betarrini left Siena, she left her heart behind. With every single moment in the present she knows that days, weeks or even months are passing.

Staring at the ruins of Castello Forelli, all she wants is to return to the past to see if her love awaits, or if her long absence has forced him to move on. And every second of not knowing feels like an eternity.

But the only way back to the past is with the help of her sister Lia. And unless she can convince Lia to take the journey with her, she will be forever trapped in the present with no way of knowing what ever became of her beloved Marcello.

Even with her sister’s help, there is no guarantee she would find her way back to that same moment in time, to the boy she gave her heart to, and the place she now calls home.

Will the Siena she returns to be the same one she left? With such a long absence will Marcello have decided to honor his commitment to the Lady Rossi?

With each passing second, Gabi knows only that she must get back to fight for what is hers.

***

Cascade is the fast-paced, thrilling and even more irresistible second book in The River of Time series. Readers are once again taken back to fourteenth century Italy with Gabriella Betarrini where her adventure continues.

While the Sienese herald her return, not everyone is as welcoming. Being a heroine to some means becoming an enemy to others and Gabi has some difficult decisions to make. But this time she’s not alone.

Time has passed and not everything is as she had left it. And although some things may seem to have changed for the better, her actions have set things in motion that have altered the past as it once was.

As the unease between Firenze and Siena continues to build and suspicions against those once considered loyal are raised, Gabi must figure out who can be trusted before her enemies align forces and begin a siege against Castello Forelli, and all of Siena, that can’t be won.

In Cascade, the tension continues to build from the first page to the last. As Gabriella tries to protect all those she loves and the Sienese people that have captured her heart, she is once again catapulted into the middle of a long-standing power struggle between these two cities. But this time there’s a bounty on her head and her safety is now more important than ever.

Author Lisa T. Bergren continues to enthrall readers with her gripping tale of epic battles, fearsome pursuits and heroic rescues. Her writing style once again invites readers into the story and the world she has so richly developed.

Although a fictional account, the characters and events feel very believable. The author has not sugar-coated this story to make it less primitive or barbaric than everyday life during that period in time.

And as the heroine, Gabriella continues to grow stronger and becomes even more loyal and committed to the people of Siena. As an icon, she is truly worthy of their respect and devotion.

Cascade is another exciting installment in this series and with its cliffhanger ending, Torrent, which comes out this fall, is a book not to be missed.

Reviewer gives this book [rating=5]

On a personal note:

I am such a huge fan of this series. I loved having the opportunity to read both books back-to-back. I only wish I had Torrent, the third book, as September seems so far off and a long time to be left hanging.

Yes. Cascade ends much in the same way as Waterfall, with many things left up in the air. And although it ends on a hopeful note, the wait will be torturous.

There are so many things I want to talk about from this book, but am holding back as it might spoil parts of the first book in the series for those who haven’t read it. So, if I am vague it’s on purpose.

I loved the new twists and turns in Cascade. There were moments that I was practically holding my breath, waiting to see how certain events turned out. The author did a fantastic job of creating tension. I spent much of this book racing through the words just to find out whether things would be okay.

I loved once again being back in the fourteenth century and seeing Medieval Italy through Gabi’s eyes. As much action as there was in the first book, in this one it quadruples.

Cascade has more enemies, more danger, more battles, more chases and even more people not to be trusted. But in the midst of all this, there is still love, honor, and even kindness from the most unexpected of sources.

With the constant threat of war, plague and just the overall cruelty of the time, the Italy we see in Cascade is probably not one I want to time travel to any time soon. But Gabi fits so well into that world.

And in Cascade she has grown stronger and even more courageous than ever, and is ready to put her life on the line not just for love, but for the place she now sees as home.

One of my favorite characters has returned, and we see less of some of my least favorite characters, thankfully. But there is a new, very intriguing character in this book that surprised me. I kept hoping that they would be more than what they appeared, and they were.

And although this is simply a fictional tale, the author does not unrealistically give every single character a happily ever after. It is war, after all and there will be loss.

There are a few more spiritual aspects to this story, but for the most part they don’t affect the pacing or detract from the storyline, and in some instances they bring something more to the story, giving Gabi a bit more depth to her character.

As the action has dramatically picked up in this book, there was a lot less time for a love story, which I missed just a little, but it was there, and there was so much more to keep me hooked.

I am dying to find out what happens in the next book. There are so many questions left at the end of this book as compared to Waterfall and of course Torrent isn’t out for a few months.

I want to go back into the story and the world that the author created. I already miss the adventures and characters and I just finished reading it. I got so absorbed into the story, that being yanked back into the here and now has me slightly dazed.

I am just glad that there is only a four month wait rather than a year for the next book. And I will be re-reading the finished copy of Cascade, to see if there are differences from the version I read, prior to Torrent’s release.

***

Book trailer for Cascade:

This review is based on an eARC received from the author.

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