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Review: Rebel, Brave and Brutal by Shannon Dittemore

Rebel, Brave and Brutal by Shannon Dittemore

Rebel, Brave and Brutal (Winter, White and Wicked #2)
Shannon Dittemore
Amulet Books
Published January 10, 2023

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About Rebel, Brave and Brutal

The gripping sequel to Winter, White and Wicked that boasts the thrills of Mad Max: Fury Road and the icy magic of Frozen

Sylvi Quine, the best rig driver on Layce, has braved the dangers of the Shiv Road to save her friend and learned the truth of her power over Winter. Now, she’s joined the rebels working to take down the Majority. Her magic could change the course of their fight, and she agrees to meet the king of Paradyia to offer an exchange: the healing powers of the Pool of Begynd for his army.

The journey won’t be easy. To get there, Sylvi will have to navigate the Kol Sea, crossing through Winter’s storms and swarms of her Abaki—all while outrunning the Majority, who have sent their best Kol Master to track her down and bring her in, dead or alive.

But she isn’t traveling alone. Mars Dresden knows Sylvi is the key to freeing Layce, and demands she train like it. Kyn, the boy with stone flesh and a soft heart, is bound to Sylvi in more ways than one, a connection that both hurts and heals. And Lenore, Sylvi’s best friend, insists the Majority pay for what they’ve done to her parents. Even though her crew believes in her, Sylvi’s still learning to use her power, and Winter’s whispers are constant.

Will she be able to control Winter when it matters most? Or will this be the end of the rebellion?

My Review

I have not read WINTER, WHITE AND WICKED, but I had no trouble reading and following this book. Whatever backstory information I needed to know was pretty seamlessly included in the book. I don’t remember reading anything that felt info-dump-like.

One thing I did notice is how smooth the writing is. It’s been a while since I read anything by Shannon Dittemore, and I remembered that I liked DARK HALO when I read it, but I didn’t remember how great her writing is. It made the book feel easy to read.

The romance in REBEL, BRAVE AND BRUTAL is pretty understated. I liked the relationship between Kyn and Sylvi and the bond between them. I also liked that it didn’t dominate the story, but felt like a significant relationship.

Something about the book reminded me of the Storm Siren Trilogy by Mary Weber. I think fans of that series would really like this one. Possibly also fans of COLD THE NIGHT, FAST THE WOLVES by Meg Long.

Content Notes

Recommended for Ages 12 up.

Some minor characters are Shiv, or humans made from a combination of stone and flesh.

Profanity/Crude Language Content
One instance of mild profanity.

Romance/Sexual Content
Kiss between boy and girl.

Spiritual Content
Sylvi has the ability to control the capricious spirit called Winter. She commands Winter’s magic, but pays a physical price for using her power. The Shiv believe in a creator called Begynd, who once healed people in the waters of a pool, now cursed.

Violent Content
Situations of peril. References to torture. Battle scenes.

Drug Content
Exposure to an ore called Kol, which is connected to magic, can become addictive and destructive to human bodies.

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