Lisa T Bergren
David Cook, 2011
In case you somehow missed it, I have fallen in love with Lisa Bergren's River of Time series! I got to spend 5 weeks discussing Waterfall with a bunch of other bloggers, and had a blast! There's just one problem: the story is addicting. Have no fear, though! I will happily tease you with the further adventures you will have surfing the River of Time in a post-Waterfall adventure...
Cascade picks up *right* where Waterfall leaves off - something I truly appreciate in a 'sequel.' There's no need to try and figure out what happened in the missing interval, a venture that would be ultra complicated in this case since Gabi and Lia can bounce around history. When the story picks up, they've just successfully returned to their own time - and it's as if no time has passed at all. Yet Gabi's left her heart behind her, and can't return without Lia. After much discussion, and a eureka!-moment to use 'science,' Gabi convinces Lia to use the time tunnel again, this time taking Mom with them. It works.
With all three of the Betarrini ladies in medieval Tuscany, some major adventures can happen. And romance can bloom. Right? Yes, and no. Mom, understandably, experiences some major culture-shock when she realizes that Gabi and Lia had been telling the truth. This is amplified as the story kicks into high gear and she gets to experience first-hand that particular flavor of adventure the girls are apparently used to. That's right: there's more Luca and Marcello goodness, and of course the Fiorentini are up to their old tricks again now that the She-Wolves of Siena have returned. And boy are they up to some tricks! Old enemies return, new ones are met - and is that an actual friend lurking behind enemy lines? Just who is this mysterious - and oh-so-handsome Lord Greco? Only time will tell, and that's something that Gabi and Lia are learning to handle quite deftly.
I loved this as a follow-up and/or continuation of Waterfall. There's drama, there's intrigue, there are suspicious activities and daring feats. There's battle (of course), and romance (duh). The characters are further developed - we get to know them all better, and their relationships with each other are explored further. Lia starts to truly come into her own, adjusting and adapting - even starting to embrace - her place in the medieval world. Luca may be helping with this evolution. Maybe. Of course Marcello is there for Gabi, who finds her heart more and more embroiled in the affairs of this ancient time. Even Mom realizes that there's a place for her in medieval Tuscany - if only...Faced with a massive battle, the Ladies Betarrini must decide if they are to stay or go, and if they go: would it be possible to somehow, some way, save their father's life? Time alone will tell.
Book provided by my personal library.