New York Times best-selling author Morgan Rhodes takes listeners into exhilarating new high-fantasy territory with A Book of Spirits and Thieves. Written in alternating perspectives that shift between modern-day Toronto and the ancient kingdoms of Mytica, Rhodes masterfully weaves the dark, magical world of her Falling Kingdoms series into an epic contemporary saga that will leave you breathless.
Modern-day Toronto: A heavy, leather-bound book written in an unrecognizable language is delivered to the Speckled Muse, the antique bookshop owned by Crystal and Becca Hatcher's mother. When Becca opens it, she's sent into a coma, leaving Crys behind to uncover a series of terrifying secrets.
Ancient Mytica: A merciless goddess hunts for the elusive treasure that will make her ruler not only of Mytica but of all the unseen worlds that lay beyond it.
Modern-day Toronto: Rich and aimless Farrell Grayson finally has the chance to prove himself when the mysterious leader of a powerful secret society invites him into his fold.
Ancient Mytica: Maddox Corso has always been different but never remarkable. Everything changes the day he meets a pretty, unfamiliar girl from a faraway land, only to realize that he's the only one who can see her.
Fate has brought these young people together, but ancient magic threatens to rip them apart.
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A new way of looking at magic and dimensions.
It started a little slow but got better. I hope it is the beginning of a series.
It was not the usual good vs. evil yarn.
- Juanita M. Martinez "Juanita"
I should preface this review with the fact that I've been reading fantasy of one sort or another for over 25 years and writing it for 10 so I can be a bit of a snob on the subject. That being said, it's not a bad read. I think the audiobook's performance does it far more harm than does its somewhat clunky prose. I like the characters and the overall story - it's intriguing and I'm interested to find out more about this world with the coming follow-ups to this novel. However, I cannot listen to them in quick succession because the readers condescending tone and butchering of the dialects he's using are so bad I almost shut it off during long chapters in Maddox's world. It's almost entirely unbearable.
The book itself feels like a YA novel rather than a book belonging in the fantasy category outright. The language is very simplistic, like a teenager is actually telling the story rather than a narrator, the prose is clunky, the dialogue is okay but lacking, and the direction of the story became very predictable early on. I don't mind reading a good YA novel, but I like to know ahead of time so that I can be prepared to be pounded over the head with the story's theme or message or be lead by the nose by whatever mysteries they try to include. (I've actually read a number of YA books that don't do that, but they're so common in that category that I feel generalizing is allowed in this case.)
The characters are fun, interesting, and diverse (not just a boys' club), which is a refreshing addition to the fantasy genre.
His dialects were painful to endure.
His tone is frustratingly condescending.
His predictable 'fantasy' voice when he's describing something dramatic.
Well, there is one so my opinion on the matter is unnecessary.
- Tatiana "Creative Writing & Theatre Arts major at SFSU - writer, actor, singer, ardent devourer of fantasy & literary fiction. Cynical pixie."