Umbertouched by Livia Blackburne is the sequel to Rosemarked and the final book in a duology. It picks up right from where the previous book had ended, this is, Zivah and Dineas are fugitives trying to return to Myanmar to warn their people of the impeding invasion by the Amparan Army.
I couldn’t peel my eyes off the book as I read it in a day. The story was engaging as always and I was enticed by Zivah and Dineas’ respective inner problems.
In the past year I’ve helped people, and I’ve killed people. I’ve saved lives, and I’ve narrowly escaped death. But I am still rosemarked. I will still die.
Zivah is a healer, she has made vows to her Goddess not to use her knowledge to bring harm to people, but now more than ever, she’s uncertain about her beliefs. Especially since her loved ones are threatened by the Amparans.
And then there’s Dineas, they have a relationship which they don’t understand themselves. After being together for a long time, they do not know anymore the boundaries of their friendship, even though it has never been just this.
Waves of it. Guilt that gouges a hole in my core. I curl in on myself, claw at my arms, my neck, my face, anything to make it go away.
Dineas is haunted by nightmares and illusions created by his scattered mind after all of his memories had returned. He’s Shidadi to the core, but he can’t shake off the attachment he felt towards Arxa and his Amparan comrades. Now that he’s back, his people are wary of him and of where his true loyalty lies.
Umbertouched was the perfect sequel to their story and I didn’t think I could love it more than Rosemerked. I’m elated that Livia Blackburne proved me wrong. This novel depicts strong characters and even the supposed villains of the story are admirable. I highly suggest you read this wonderful duology. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.
About the author
New York Times bestselling author Livia Blackburne wrote her first novel while researching the neuroscience of reading at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Since then, she’s switched to full-time writing, which also involves getting into people’s heads but without the help of a 3 Tesla MRI scanner.
She is also the author of MIDNIGHT THIEF (an Indies Introduce New Voices selection), DAUGHTER OF DUSK, and ROSEMARKED (an Amazon best book of the month and YALSA Teens Top Ten Nominee).