This second in a series picks up one month after the first, Blackbringer, ends. Whisper Silksinger — the last member of a dying fairy clan of weavers and guardians to the djinn Azazel — is fleeing for her life from a group of devil monsters. She is tasked with the job of getting Azazel back to his throne in Nazneen, which — of course — is much easier said than done. Assisting her is Hirik, a Mothmage, who is in disguise because his clan is the most hated in all of fairy because of their betrayal in the Dawn Days. He is out to become the champion of Azazel because he feels a need to restore his clan’s honor.
Whisper is a slight thing, barely speaking above a whisper (hence her name), and constantly trembling in fear. Don’t let that fool you: the girl is an admirable heroine, determined and plucky and strong in ways that, while not flashy or dramatic, are still quite substantial. Hirik, too, is admirable: one of Taylor’s gifts is the ability to write both strong male and female characters who compliment each other rather than competing against one another.
For those who loved Blackbringer, Magpie Windwitch and Talon Ratherstring are also a big part of this story. They’re tasked with the waking of all the djinn, in order to help repair the Tapestry. This — of course — isn’t as easy as it sounds, either, especially after their path changes in order to find and protect Whisper. It’s the last third of the book that is the most intense; Taylor builds, and maintains, suspense brilliantly, keeping the reader turning page after page dying to know what’s going to happen next.
Even though it’s the second in a yet-to-be completed series, it wraps up the story while leaving a thread hanging for the next book. There are no cliff-hangers at the end of this book; Taylor leaves us satisfied with the story as is, and yet curious about what will happen next. Which is, in my mind, how a series is supposed to work.
It’s also difficult for an author to keep the same spirit and drive she captured in the first book going in the subsequent books of the series. This is not something Taylor suffers from: Silksinger is as intense and fun as Blackbringer, leaving the reader curious as to where Taylor is going to take the story.
And that is a mark of a great writer.
Rated: None (there’s a bit of violence, but nothing too intense)