"umbertouched"

“Umbertouched,” by Livia Blackburne, continues with all the unspoken romance, questions of honor/morality, and heartbreak of the first book in the series, “Rosemarked.” The sequel is not for the faint of heart; if you read it, I promise you this—tears will roll.

“Umbertouched” starts with Zivah and Dineas still trying to reach their home, evading Amparan soldiers who are out for their blood. The mission failed, Zivah is still rosemarked, and Dineas still struggles with his memories of being tortured. What they both agree on is that they need to warn their families of the coming war, and help in whatever way possible, which, at the end, turns into a nail-biting, quickest-page-turn-ever-scene of action and adventure.

Zivah has to face how deeply she broke her healer’s vows, and what that means for her future, because even though she did the unthinkable by using her healer’s knowledge to kill a human, she still yearns to help people live. Zivah develops into a selfless, amazing person, and is honestly one of the best characters I’ve ever read about. I love her so much because of the choices she makes to help random people—this made my heart ache for her.

Dineas struggles with flashbacks from his time as an Amparan soldier, and the friends he made behind enemy lines. I really empathized with his internal struggle. Dineas is caught between two lines, the Amparan and Shidadi soldiers, and towards the end of the book he really has to make a tough choice about himself. Dineas changes so much as the Amparan and Shidadi part of him collide, but he comes out even stronger than before.

The ending of “Umbertouched” made me so emotional! Everything in this book was amazing, the romance wasn’t too over, or under-powering, and just everything was so very good.