Book 2 of the Song of the Fallen series
Author: Rachel Haimowitz
Cover Artist: Simoné
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Bridging the hatred of centuries did not come easy for Freyrík Farr and Ayden Vaska. As prince of a war-torn human province, Freyrík could ill afford to fall for an enemy. And Ayden, an elven warrior with three hundred years of bitterness in his heart, wanted no part of love. Yet they came together despite themselves and the wills of their peoples, joining hearts and minds to fight a race of Dark Beasts threatening the extinction of mankind.
Yet the Dark Beast threat pales beside the dangers of a summons to the human High Court, home of the Aegis Exalted and the harshest test yet of Ayden’s and Freyrík’s fledgling love.
When the Aegis strips Ayden of his magic, Freyrík is forced to choose between his love for elf, Aegis, and king, all the while seeking the one uncertain path that might save his doomed race. Time is fast running out for mankind, and only by making peace amongst themselves and with their ancient elven enemies can they end the Dark war—and undo the tragedy that’s plagued humans, elves, and Dark Beasts alike for the last three hundred years.
(This title is a lightly revised second edition of Crescendo, previously released with a different press.)
I loved Counterpoint, book one in the Song of the Fallen series, and was looking forward to this, the second part of the story. It picks up right where the last left off, on the road to the Splendor, the High Court of Agea…
High Court, however, was tedious. I got why the intrigue and plotting was necessary to see but it tended to drag on rather than create suspense and excitement. Freyrik and Ayden’s relationship suffered and I struggled to see the love from either character’s actions. This next bit is a bit of a spoiler: there is a point where Freyrik asks Ayden if it really would have been so bad to have submitted to being raped for the sake of not drawing attention to himself and Freyrik – I found this unforgivable and more a sign of their master/slave relationship then the partners he professed to feel towards Ayden. I felt they spent too much time at High Court.
Once they leave for the dark woods, things pick up and the story becomes much more interesting. I really loved the adventure part and the spooky atmosphere. The details are great and I could imagine the setting. I appreciated that their relationship seemed to be back to better footing, though not completely secure. This was the best part of the book.
However, the ending left me feeling cheated. Where I kept looking at the percentage done on my kindle during the first part and felt time was dragging, during the last part, time flew and at 98%, I couldn’t see how things could be wrapped up well for our heroes. And then a Startrek Voyager “Janeway ending” happened: everything was cut at the climax and the results told in the epilogue/final chapter and tied with a bow rather than letting us experience them as they happened.
Overall, despite its flaws and questions left unanswered, I enjoyed the story and if you’ve read Counterpoint, you need to read Crescendo. In fact, Counterpoint was good enough, if you like fantasy, you should read the whole series anyway.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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