The Riven Wyrde saga continues... The Wyrde is dead and gone, its protection passed into the ether. The fae have been loosed upon the world as they begin their wild hunt, a nightmare from fables and legend made flesh. At Hesk, in the heart of the Barren Isles, Ylsriss must confront a reality she never could have imagined when her son is stolen from her by the fae. Her desperate attempts to reclaim him lead her far from this world and deep into the Realm of Twilight where a still darker truth awaits her. As the Bjornmen invaders drive their way deeper into Anlan, King Pieter refuses to act. Selena is forced to confront him directly as Devin and Obair flee Widdengate and begin a search for answers, seeking help from a woman who may be little more than a memory.
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I wondered how the 2nd book in this series could keep up the mystery and awe of the Fae, but it didn't disappoint. The first book left us with a few characters being taken by the Fae, and Realm of Twilight showed us where they went and how they dealt with it. Their strange world is called the Realm of Twilight, where they live, plot, and bring humans back to be hunted down for pleasure, and even breeding. There are surprises when Ylsriss and Joran realize they need to escape, with some larger plot lines and history being revealed. The author does a really good job at giving different points of view on both sides of the warring humans, many of which are oblivious to the fact the Fae have returned and are the true threat to mankind.
The narrator, Jonny McPherson, is very talented voicing all the different characters; he's easily in my top list of favorites. After listening to him, Tim Gerard Reynolds, and Peter Kenny, it places my expectation bar very high for narrators and there are plenty that are used by Audible that aren't that good at all.
The book was really good, kept me riveted, and the only negative I have is Audible doesn't have book 3 available yet. It appears the entire series was finished being narrated last year, but Audible support replied back to my question that they're working on having it available.
I’ll start off with narration here, because narration is the absolute #1 reason that I clamored to have this book as an audiobook rather than reading it from the trilogy collection that I have on my kindle (which is, btdubs, the only reason I know how to spell any of these names, lol).
Jonny McPherson is a fantastic narrator for this series and he tells this story so well. He doesn’t so much tell the story as he acts it out. He puts stress in the proper places, out-of-breathness where there should be, and puts realism in the action scenes. He really gives the story a depth that I don’t think I would 100% get from just reading the book (which is my own fault and not the fault of the author or his story). He does accents well, he does tones and voices very well, and he can pull off a menacing satyr like noone’s business.
There’s a part of me who thinks that the Bjornmen should sound Scandinavianer (there’s that word I made up in my review of the first book again), and there’s a part of me that thinks that the Fae should sound, at least on some level, Irish- but that accent he does give the Fae makes me not even care at the end of the day. He makes them sound so… sinister. So temptingly sinister. You want it. You know you should not want it because they will kill you double time and love every second of it, but you want it anyway. It’s bloody brilliant. I wish that all narrators doing a character or characters who are supposed to be seductive and yet terrifying (all vampires ever, I’m looking at you directly) could do it this well, because wooooow.
So, 13/10 for narration.
This one continues the story of a country that is already suffering raids by the Viking-esque Bjornmen, also being invaded by the Fae, who are not at all the good, happy, tinkerbell Fae, but instead, as you’ve probably guessed, the dark, scary, steals-your-babies Fae. All our favorite characters from book one are back, Ylsriss, the plucky Bjorn…woman? Kloss, the young-but-talented Bjornman, Selena, the no-nonsense duchess, and Devin, the hunter with a mysterious history.
The story dives right back into the action, and in this volume things are really starting to come together. Some characters from different POVs are coming together, meeting each other. I liked that. I especially liked Ylsriss’ POV once she’s in the Realm of Twilight. It was interesting to see the Fae from that angle and get a whole new part of this story. It was interesting to get a glimpse into their world. The introduction of a new character, a Fae girl named Aervern, gives all kinds of insight into the Fae that the humans would never have otherwise. That was wonderful.
I also still love-love-love Selena. She’s exactly the sort of leader this place needs and she’s going to do whatever it takes to maintain her leadership. We don’t get to see her again until almost halfway through this one but her part starts off with her being just awesome, dropping a bomb on poor Rhenkin and telling him exactly how it was going to be without leaving him opportunity to get a word in edgewise. She then goes on to the capitol city and proceeds to tell everyone there how it’s going to be, too. She’s amazing.
And the ending left me wanting more, but I’m going to wait out the audio of book 3 (which I am told is happening!) – but I hope it’s soon, because I’m super excited for it. Can’t wait to see how this romp ends!