Shamra Divided (The Shamra Chronicles, Book Two) Review
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While trying to escape a treacherous swamp, Dara of the Shamra people is pulled into a place that she doesn’t recognize. Briana, a girl from Dara’s dreams, claims that she’s been there for five days, but she doesn’t remember any of it. Briana also tells her that she’s destined to lead the clan against a formidable enemy who has reawakened again after 170 years.

Briana takes Dara on a hunt, chasing terrifying beasts called fangalas before they deplete the hunting grounds of the Shamra. As they track the fiends, Briana recounts the history of Dara’s people, who belong to a banished clan within the Shamra. She tells of the bravery and the harrowing adventures of a few who refused to let the clan die. Battles are won and lost, and the Shamra face hardship, civil unrest, and near annihilation—and only one female has the strength to prevent it.

Dara learns of her destiny—a destiny that she cannot refuse or leave to someone else. She, and only she, can save her people from Chaos. And her journey has only just begun.

Though you might want to read the first book in the Shamra Chronicles, Curse of the Shamra, before diving into Shamra Divided, it’s not really necessary. It might give you a better understanding of Dara’s character—and perhaps the Shamra as well—but both young adult novels are basically stand-alone adventures.

Shamra Divided is about girl empowerment—but at the expense of making men (and young boys) appear weak, useless, and sometimes just plain ignorant. Yes, girls can have a hard time in a man’s world, but not all men think alike, and some really do welcome intelligent, strong females who’ve got their back. In short, I would have liked to have seen some stronger male characters in this venture.

Still, while teaching female bravery and personal responsibility, Shamra Divided takes readers on an epic journey full of danger and suspense, all set in a rich fantasy world with strange, magical, and sometimes creepy creatures.

All in all, Shamra Divided is an entertaining read that’s sure to please young adult readers with its fast-pace and mysterious setting. However, some older readers (like me) might be put off by the totally unnecessary girls-versus-boys scenario, where the females think they’re superior to males. Does equality among the sexes not still apply when the roles are reversed?

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