Author : Lisa T. Bergren
Publisher : David C. Cook
Source : Bought
Pages : 399 (Paperback)
Summary from Goodreads :
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 willinf to leave her family behind for good in order to give her heart to him forever.
May contain spoiler from Waterfall, indeed you may guess how Waterfall ended and Cascade start from the summary above.
Same like what I felt on previous book, the sequel was still amazing, even better, I should say. Cascade has higher risks and stakes, more tension, twisted storyline, more hard decisions to be made, characters development, all of them is knitted and create another rich and beautiful story you will not want to be missed.
I lost myself inside this book, gasped many times even prayed for characters safety, practically couldn't put it down because there was always 'something' everytime I flipped a page, made me wanting more about how story rolled. Especially I have to greatly praise Bergren because there's in this book, she created such an awful, eerie scene which is strangely so gorgeous. I give you a hint, related to a cage and medieval wedding dress. Wack! I got great goosebumps while I imagined it!
Gabi, Lia and people they love have to face a lot of difficult moments in this book. Because of Gabi and Lia's given identity as 'She-Wolves of Siena', which they have never purposed to be at the first place, angry people of Firenze (enemy of Siena) leaded by Lord Paratore, ready to strom Siena's gate, want to see them dead; the dangerous Black Plague, one thing they fear the most, already takes a peek between them and not only things outside, Gabi also has to take a hard decision about her future with Marcello, because aim for one means sacrificing the other.
The characters inside this book leave such an amazing impression inside my head. Gabi is, no doubt one of a real, great and notable heroine from any YA books I've ever read. She's very brave, loyal and seemes willingly put her life on high stake just to save ones she love. Her guts is really out of my mind, seriously I couldn't imagine how terrifying if I was her because live in fourteenth century is gravely hard. But those things don't make her a wonder-perfect girl. She's just still a 17 years old girl who flaws; selfish, vulnerable, stubborn and suspicious for reason, not always fearless and doesn't shy to ask for a help from others. I also loved Lia makes more appearance here, take an action without ask twice with her kick-ass archery skill which mostly save their lives. They do face a lot of difficulties but I really really love how those obstacles, choices between live and death, and every hard decision that has to be made can mature both Gabi and Lia. I also loved the strong family bond and the idea involving parents in the adventure like in this book. Gabi and Lia already lost a father figure, they feel couldn't leave their mother alone like she also doesn't want to be left behind. Moreover their mother is not an annoying type (like easily freak out or noisy) and very cool, kick ass mother from where Gabi and Lia inherit their fearlessness and tenacity.
Marcello and Luca are still wonderful and swoon-worthy like before; Italian fine and charming gentlemen in shining armor. Odd for guys who live in medieval era, they don't underestimate the girls, even respect them for their knowledge and skill. It makes them more amazing. I found myself squee-ing everytime couple scenes appeared. I loved to see how both Gabi and Marcello love and adore each other but yet they aren't too focus on theirselves only. They still put their family in priority above everthing and although Gabi heavily in love with Marcello, tempted to stay for him, she still put Lia and her mother first in her mind.
And Lia-Luca? I couldn't get enough of them! So adorable with those witty banter between them like their own love lingos. Loved to see how Lia slowly grows fonding Luca, while Luca already desperately in love with her =D. Beside Marcello and Luca, I happily welcomed Lord Greco, an intriguing guy with some physical qualities like tall, dark, handsome and mysterious. He's both bad and very sweet in a same time. I was really afraid I could fall for his dark charm, or maybe I was =p.
For some minor characters, I was kinda missing the nice and fragile Fortino from Waterfall here because I like felt he has changed a bit and rarely appeared :( I felt as suspicious as Gabi related to Romana Rossi from the start, and hell Lord Paratore and those Fiorentini bad guys, I was like wanting to kick them die! *gggrrrr*.
Talking about Christian aspect in this book, I think it still nicely blends with the story, not too overwhelm yet naturally inspiring. Somehow I found maybe Bergren was inspired with Bible's stories while created some scenes, one when Gabi and Lia are saved by a Firenze woman, while mostly Fiorentini (Firenze peeps) are hunting them. It's like want teach us even in a dangerous situation, there's a hope for someone who willing to ask for help. There's always some goods between thousand bads. It's so heartwarming, made me happy and more enjoying this series for some reasons =)
This book is closed with a surprising decision Betarinni girls made. So touching yet I was also really happy for them, and thrilled to know what would happen next. A perfect yet cliffhanging ending!
To know what's that, you should read this series and jump into the magnificent River of Time yourself. I hope I can convince you to start reading this series, and for you who already have the copy, what are you waiting for???!
Happy reading! =D