To Free the Stars

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Pub Date 08 Aug 2023 | Archive Date 08 Sep 2023

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This white-knuckled conclusion to The Brilliance of Stars takes readers on a breathless adventure from the speakeasies of America to the Horse Guards Parade in London, an ancient cemetery outside Paris, and back to the Eastern European strongholds where the Vales’ tragedy first began.

“Fate is fickle and the stars are silent, but I do know this: No matter how difficult the circumstances or how savagely the world tries to tear us apart, I am here with you.”

Ten years have passed since Jack and Ivy, elite operatives for the secret agency Talon, rescued their friend Philip and completed their fateful mission. The 1920s are in full swing as American speakeasies thrive amid Prohibition, and despite the team’s best efforts, the deadly cult, the Order of the Rising Moon, lives on in the shadows. Which is no surprise to Ivy; nothing has gone as she expected since that day after Poenari Castle.

When a wave of assassinations strikes world leaders, intel confirms the Order’s involvement. Ivy holds them responsible for the tragedy that changed her life, and she is determined to find and destroy the villains once and for all—but she must do so before their relentless assassin eliminates his next target. Her.

Except, there’s something oddly familiar about the way he moves, the way he anticipates each of her moves. It’s as if he knows her. But that’s not possible. Is it? Ivy will have to rely on every skill she’s learned if she hopes to survive—and save those she loves. No matter the cost.

Bestselling author J’nell Ciesielski wraps up the Jack and Ivy novels with yet another thrilling adventure filled with glamorous espionage and a boundless romance.

  • A fast-paced historical adventure novel set during the roaring ’20s
  • The second book in the Jack and Ivy duology
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs

This white-knuckled conclusion to The Brilliance of Stars takes readers on a breathless adventure from the speakeasies of America to the Horse Guards Parade in London, an ancient cemetery outside...

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ISBN 9780785248484
PRICE $17.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 21 members

Featured Reviews

Such a fantastic addition to the first book!! So many twists and turns and unexpected adventure. It had me reading well into the night because I just count put it down!

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One of my favorite lines in the entire book sums up the story of Jack and Ivy so well: "To greatest heights or lowest depths, I'd go to be with you."

Full of loyalty and betrayal, love and loss and hope. To Free the Stars is an epic conclusion to Jack and Ivy's beautiful story. It was heartrending to read about so much pain and loss, but then hope glittered through the cracks. Family broken apart by fear. A love lost and found. But our heroine clings to hope. I loved reading Ivy's story, so full of hope, even in the brokenness. and J'nell is a beautiful story-teller from start to finish.

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A fantastic historical fiction novel that was unputdownable. Authentic details from the 1920's and superb writing raise this book above the rest. It was thrilling and an excellent ending to the series. I really enjoyed it and will read anything this author decides to write!

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This book was wonderful!

I loved the adventurous feel of this book. I would advise reading the first book before this one (something I didn't realize I missed) because it would make so much more sense that way.

This book was fast-paced and engaging, and I had trouble putting it down. I loved it!

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"To Free the Stars", the riveting conclusion to "The Brilliance of Stars", is a fast-paced, intense read. If the reader is looking for unicorns and rainbows, she (or he) is doomed to disappointment as neither can be found here. Amid spying, assassinations, and drug-induced mind control, one finds Jack and Ivy Vale on opposing sides, dark and evil vs. light and good, at least initially. A shocking betrayal fuels much of the action.

Due to the inherent storyline, there IS violence. That being said, I consider this on the line of good triumphing over evil. Actions take place in several places around the globe, and Cielsielski paints a vivid picture of both. Characters are well-drawn.

J'Nell Cielsielski weaves this unique tale with her evocative prose. Jack and Ivy's love story is simply beautiful. There is an intimate scene of the married couple near the end of book that to me was deeply romantic. However, I still classify this as a clean read, as I find onscreen love scenes distasteful and unwelcome, and would state it if this were the case. This is not a stand-alone novel. The author is a very talented storyteller. I've read all of her works, and look forward to more of her engaging books.

Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Fiction for an ARC of this compelling read.

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I loved this story by J'nell Ciesielski, such a great storyline and characters!

I just reviewed To Free the Stars by J'nell Ciesielski. #ToFreetheStars #NetGalley
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"The pair of you have always been attuned to a melody all your own. If I were a man given to romantics, I'd say it's rare to find notes to make up such a composition."

I had thought J'nell Ciesielski's finest work was The Brilliance of Stars when Jack and Ivy were introduced....but To Free the Stars has completely and utterly outpaced and out-romanced the first book. The opening scene of this book is a direct continuation of the first book and goes from 0 to 60mph in the first few pages. It covers every emotion possible - despair, grief, anger, jealousy, hope, loyalty, mercy, and love. Action, suspense, and romance are perfectly blended for a thrilling adventure. Mix together Jason Bourne, Mission Impossible, and Captain America/Winter Solider into 1927 international political backdrop and you have this fabulous novel.

Jack's journey is heart-breaking and raw; he seems a different man from the one we met in the first book. Ivy's desperate and unrelenting love for him is also heart-wrenching and raw as she fights to hold onto who they were. There are a lot of flashbacks to their lovely, delicious, tender romance and a good portion of the book is dedicated to Jack and Ivy finding a new rhythm. Though there isn't a faith thread, I thought there was a good metaphor for captivity of sin and freedom and healing that come from love.

To Free the Stars will have you crying tears of empathy, clutching the edge of your seat in anticipation, sighing at the romance of it all, and cheering for Talon as good battles evil and love disarms betrayal. One of my favorite reads of 2023! I received the book from Thomas Nelson via NetGalley and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.

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