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Loved the world building and the characters. Great narrator too! I received a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Please forgive my attempts at spelling the fantasy names:)
Hand and Talon was a great read, I’m really looking forward to book two. The story starts immediately as you are pulled into Krea’s world with your heart pounding, running and hiding from the guards. That really was the wrong bag to steal! Krea luckily encounters Sorin who alters her life path and takes her on an unexpected journey opening her eyes to her potential future. Along the way they add another young thief, Dane, to their traveling party. The foreshadowing in the story is captivating with hints that keep you guessing. All three characters have some mystery in the past that will be interesting to see unfold.
Teenage thief Krea is a bit of an antagonistic character at the start and not completely lovable. She has been surviving on her own for as long as she can remember, so she has developed somewhat of a prickly exterior. I loved that throughout the book Krea’s character grows and changes as she learns to adapt to her suddenly expanding world. She learns to consider other and care about them. The development was realistic and very well done. Krea’s history is intriguing as she has gaps in her memory, so there is a backstory still to be revealed in subsequent books. (I did like too that author Melonie Purcell gave an explanation for Krea's diction. I was curious from the beginning, so it was nice to have that addressed in the storyline). Sorin, the older mage/Caller/mentor provides the balance of maturity and sensibility to the trio. Dane is a young boy being used as a thief by a Runner. He’s adorable, but not at all twee. He is a street kid and Melodie has written him as such. Not all authors can do a good job of child characters, but Melonie really nailed it with both Krea (~15years old) and Dane (~7years old). Their bickering gave me a chuckle as they were so typical for their ages.
The world building was really interesting. I loved hearing about the different places in Krea’s world as well as the different creatures. There were so many wonderful elements that Melodie included in the tale: shape shifters (dragons, griffons, hippogryph, etc), mages, fairy creatures (Proth, Lorags, Fawath, Sheema), the protective strength of nature in the trees and water, and even an enchanted dagger with personality! I’m hoping there will be more in the next books about the Circle of Three, the Torbudon and of course Cricket! The Callers link with their Kyrni (shape shifters) and their songs to bring their Kyrni back was an ingenious idea. I liked too, how she called the shape shifter’s creature-identity their Counter. I can’t wait to see more of it as the series progresses. Melonie has done an amazing job of creating something new in the world of fantasy. I have seen and loved companions in fantasy before (ex. Mercedes Lackey), so I really enjoyed Melonie’s new approach to two beings linked together.
‘The melody streamed into her mind and left her paralyzed as it floated around her, dancing, breathing with a life all its own.’
‘You couldn’t pass for a commoner if you were found dead in a pig trough.’
‘The thick lording oaks and elms had long since given way to tall white-barked aspens and airy willows that dipped their heavy branches in homage to the river that dominated the landscape.’
‘Only a fool tries to stop a river and only a fool underestimates one.’
‘The woman’s movements were mesmerizing, she was beyond graceful, each motion flowed into the next, much the way water navigated the rocks of a stream bed.’
‘They cloak themselves in the skin of men, but you can see their gnarled and twisted insides when you look right at them, when you look for their hearts and find only hatred, they be evil.’
‘How could you name me in such an offense.’
‘What kind of forest was this that even the path was afraid to enter!’
‘When clouds, mists and rain did not blink at the sky, the thick canopy of the forest pushed away the blue with leafy green and brown fingers.’
‘Learn to grow something instead of always trying to tear things down.’
Narration: Kristin James did a fine job of narrating Hand and Talon. I loved her choice of voices for the three main characters. Her children’s voices were particularly fabulous. When Krea and Dane started bickering, it really was like two little kids having a spat. Kristin’s pacing was perfect, she really kept the story moving and alive. I really hope she stays with the series and continues to voice these characters.
For those who like to know... there is no profanity or sex. There is some violence, I would recommend 12+ with caution for sensitive readers.
I received Hand and Talon: World of Kyrni Book 1 free in exchange for an unbiased review.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
the characters were brought to life by the narrator and was a very enjoyable listen. looking forward to book two.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Plot devices such as the world-weary mentor taking on a teaching role to a young chosen one that doesn't yet understand his/her power is not an uncommon starting point for many fantasy series, but the crucial thing is what they do from that starting point and this book proceeds to deliver an engaging start to a new series with some interesting ideas fleshing out the world and the magic system in use there.
Krea is the teenage thief with the unrealised power of shifting (the Kyrni of the title) and Sorin is the older mentor, a kind of mage known as a caller who is basically an anchor to tether the shifter to their human side as otherwise when they shift they are basically lost to whatever animal (or counter in the book's vernacular) they become when they change.
The author does a good job of introducing us to these characters and others they meet along the way, while at the same time fleshing out the world with information of the politics, conflicts and particularly the magical creatures that inhabit the world.
The narrator of this book gave a great performance, giving distinctive personalities for a wide age range of characters from Dane via the teenage Krea to the more senior Sorin, at the same time helping to bring the rest of the book alive and you would hope that she returns for any subsequent books in the series.
Overall, this was a very enjoyable book with a quality narration too and my main issue with it is probably that there is no second book available yet.
[I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]
the story was great and kept you interested in it not revealing to much at a time looking toward to the next book. the narrator kept each character sounding like what you imagined them to be