The Number - A Review

What starts as a colorful and joyous harvest celebration ends many weeks later in blood and vengeance.  The Number, Book Two of the Zincian Legend Trilogy, continues Kaia Ketoki's search for the charms which began in The Chosen.

Five years have passed since The Chosen.  Kaia and Catrina, her friend and companion, are in hiding fearing for their lives for different reasons.  Catrina is now one of The Number, a designation given to a child of a god and a mortal.  She is hunted because she refused to be branded as a demigod and is considered subversive.   Kaia is in hiding because other people want the charms she has collected and because there are forces which want to control her for reasons she still does not understand.

There are many mysteries entwined around Kaia: her ancestry, her powers and abilities, and her role as a savior of her people.  She is older, stronger and wiser than she was in The Chosen, but still very vulnerable because she doesn't understand the power or desires of those who oppose her mission and her very existence.

Kaia continues to struggle with trust.  Who is trustworthy?  Can she trust the gods?  Can she trust her friends?  Betrayal hides around every bend in the road and behind every door.  She continues to be haunted by the burning of her village and death of her mother five years ago.  She is also haunted by the voice in her head that she's still not sure she can trust.

But Kaia has gained a greater sense of mission and purpose throughout her years hiding in plain sight as a bar tender.  Now the time is right to reconnect with her friends and guardian to continue the search for the mysterious items, which may not be genuine or even items at all.

I enjoyed The Number even more than The Chosen.  The author has gained skill and maturity as a writer.  The dialogue flows more naturally and Kaia and Catrina appear more believable as we see their struggles and vulnerabilities.

I'm still confused about the purpose and abilities of the gods and why they send Kaia to retrieve the items.  And Kaia's guardian Reeze, what is going on in his head?  He is not a fully fleshed-out character despite his importance to the story.

However, the mysteries continue and the danger mounts.  Kaia's alliance with Queen Ewelina appears to be a mistake and another loved one is lost in the escalating conflict.  Will Kaia and her companions gather all of the items?  Will they even survive?

The Number by Sheenah Freitas
Paper Crane Books, 2012
Young Adult Fantasy

The author provided a free Kindle edition of The Number for review.  The opinions stated are my own.

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