Name: Afflicted

Author: C.K. Sorens

Year: 2022

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Afflicted is the second novel in C.K. Sorens’ Trimarked series, the first novel being Trimarked which I reviewed back in November. I received an advanced copy of the second novel which comes out today.

Note: Plot summary may contains spoilers for the first novel in the series.

The story picks up five weeks after the events of the first novel. Ember, the Trimarked Child, so called as she had a Witch father, a Human mother and was born on Fae land in Trifecta, is in hiding with her friend Chase and the Halfer’s. She fears her magic was discovered after she was able to absorb some of the Veil energy which keeps Trifecta in its magical bubble at the climax of the previous novel. There she is bullied by the Halfers so moves in with Chase whilst she awaits her Fae guardian, Nicu to come and collect her and be punished for using her powers.

In the meantime, Nicu is challenged by one of the leaders of the Fae, Wist, over the Trimarked medallion, which he stole from their vault in the previous novel and is the second component to binding and limiting Ember’s powers. We also discovered it somehow connects Ember to Branna, another Fae and necromancer who experienced pain when he tried to use it in the previous novel.

However, trouble soon brews for them both when Tristan, the Wizard from the first novel who sent Brandt in to capture Ember, uses the Starfall knife to break into Trifecta and now seems to have the power to move between Trifecta and Heldu, the Witch realm. Whilst there he releases Charlah, a goddess, from imprisonment and as they head back to Trifecta it could force Ember to make the choice to use her powers to save those she loves.

I very much enjoyed this second novel and it is a great follow up to the first part. I really felt like this novel was an escalation on the events of the first novel, with the consequences of the ending allowing Tristan to move between realms and releasing Charlah, who is a very scary and powerful antagonist for Ember and her friends to contend with. I also like how Sorens uses imagery of stars and sunshine when describing Charlah which is usually used in romantic or happy scenes to make her seem more threatening.

I did say with the first novel I felt parts of it were tricky to follow but that wasn’t so much the case with this one as the action was tighter, the characters were more focused, and working towards the common goal of defeating Charlah and didn’t switch around as much as the previous novel so I was immersed a little bit more in what the characters were doing. There is also definitely a sense that the stakes are higher compared to the first novel which makes it very exciting to read.

The book also has some sub plots which aren’t fully resolved by the ending of this novel as well as some central mysteries which will hopefully carry on into the third novel so I think that is definitely something to look forward to. I won’t spoil those here but the ending epilogue was more surprising than the first one and leaves me wanting to uncover more about this world and the powers each magical race has.

If anyone is a fan of YA fantasy I would definitely give this book a try, it is available on these sites but I would recommend beginning with the first novel if you are a complete newbie to the series. If you have read it, let me know what you think in the comments down below!

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