whispers of shadow and flame

4 stars

This is an exciting continuation of an entertaining fantasy series.

The book hits the ground running and doesn’t slow down until the satisfying cliffhanger. While the first book in this series focused on Jasminda, an orphan girl living in Elsira that still has her Earthsong. and injured spy Jack, this book focuses on two characters living in Lagamiri.

Kyara is an orphan girl forced to become an assassin for the True Father, the powerful, warped ruler of Lagamiri. Rather than having Earthsong, a power that helps heal people, control the elements and grow crops, Kyara has Nethersong. When Kyara uses her Nethersong, everything around her dies. She is tasked by the True Father to kill anyone that displeases her, especially rebels called Keepers. She is bound by a blood oath and when given an order, she cannot disobey. Kyara’s latest orders are to hunt down a Keeper rebel with powerful Earthsong called Shadowfox.

Darvyn ol-Tahlyro, the Shadowfox, is the most powerful Earthsinger in generations. He has been defying the True Father and helping the people of Lagamiri his entire life, but is still plagued with guilt about those he is unable to help or save. He is also haunted by the memory of the mother that gave him to the Keepers to help the people, and has spent years searching for her. Throughout the years Darvyn is constantly moved from place to place by the Keepers to protect him from capture.

When Kyara and Darvyn encounter each other, he discovers that she has answers about his past, and he can help her quest to learn to control her power. They both grapple with personal issues, outside forces, and obligations, as well as an upcoming war they are both determined to stop.

Often second books in fantasy series lag a bit and contain a lot of filler, but that is not the case here. In fact, I think this book may even be a little bit better than the first book. The characters are compelling, there is plenty of action, the story is fast-paced and the book is an easy read. I’m really looking forward to reading the next book in the series.

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.