My reviews for Gate to Kandrith all mention the same thing: that darn cliffhanger ending. While the main plot of the book WAS resolved, the main characters did not get a Happily Ever After. (To my steadfast readers of book one, my apologies on the long wait—I wrote as fast as I could. To new readers who’ve been hesitant to buy book one because of the cliffhanger, wait no longer. Book two, Soul of Kandrith, is now available. AND IT’S ON SALE FOR MARCH *throws confetti*)




The conclusion of the Kandrith duology

Lance is a healer and wielder of slave magic, a power that demands sacrifice. He gave up his health to gain the ability to heal others, but he’s powerless to cure his beloved Sara, who sacrificed her soul to save Lance and all of Kandrith. Returning her soul would negate her gift, at the cost of his life and the freedom of his homeland.

Now Sara is but a shell of the noble, spirited woman she once was. All that Lance saw and loved in her is gone, but he refuses to give up on her. Charged by his sister, the ruler of Kandrith, with a mission to encourage a budding rebellion within the aggrandizing Republic of Temboria, he leaves with Sara in tow. But not before Wenda’s soulsight detects a spark within her.

Amidst the escalating dangers in hostile territory, Lance will have to risk both his beloved and his homeland in a final gambit to save them both…

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As a reader, I have mixed emotions about cliffhangers. On the one hand, they give me an incredible buzz of anticipation for the next book, but it’s down-right frustrating to have to wait a whole year to find out what happens next. Sometimes that frustration spills over onto the author. It’s easy to picture the writer twirling their mustache and laughing evilly: “Mwahaha, now they’ll have to buy book two.”

Not only do I lack a mustache, but I swear there was no evil plot. When I wrote Gate to Kandrith, I didn’t intend to write a cliffhanger. I didn’t even set out to write a two-book series. It just happened that way.

How? At the end of book one, the day is saved when Sara sacrifices her soul. It was the only way to defeat the powerful God of Malice, the perfect answer to the riddle, but it made for a very bitter victory.

I tried to give Gate to Kandrith a happy ending. In the first draft, Lance tricked one of the bad guys into giving Sara his soul, curing her. They professed their love, the end. Unfortunately, there were some problems with this solution. Number one, (as pointed out by my husband/beta reader), the soul Sara got from the bad guy ought to have been evil. Number two, the book ended with a long, boring, anti-climactic section dealing with Sara’s loss of soul. Number three, and most importantly, the ending felt too easy. Sara made a huge sacrifice and to simply be given another soul with no effort felt wrong, as if I had tarnished her victory.

And so I was forced to go with Plan B, the cliffhanger ending. Sara and Lance do get their Happily Ever After in book two, Soul of Kandrith, but only after they truly earn it.

How do you feel about cliffhangers? If book two is available are you more willing to give them a chance?

Nicole Luiken wrote her first book at age 13 and never looked back.  She writes both YA and adult fantasy.  Her website is  It is impossible for her to go more than three days in a row without writing.  She lives in Edmonton with her husband and three children. Find her on Facebook


3 thoughts on “Cliffhangers”

  1. Karen says:

    Wrapping up the major threads of the current adventure but leaving the overall quest or problem unfinished is fine with me. To have nothing resolved would be a frustration. So long as you aren’t like G.R.R. Martin and take almost six years to come out with the next installment…

  2. Nope, there was only one year wait, and book two is the end of the series.

  3. Jenn says:

    I have a complete love for series and real love/hate relationship with the double-edged swords cliffhangers. I hate having to wait for loose ends to be tied, but they DO keep me interested and keep me looking forward to the next book. It’s definitely easier to reconcile myself to a cliffhanger when I at least know roughly when the next book will be available, but nor do I wait to start a series until all the books are out.

    I was recently reading the second book of a trilogy and I nearly imploded when I discovered that the last installment which was supposed to be published this spring isn’t going to be out for another 7 months. Argh!

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