Counterpoint (Song of the Fallen, Book 1) by Rachel Haimowitz ~ Audiobook Review by Christine

Title: Counterpoint (Song of the Fallen, Book 1)
Series: Song of the Fallen, #1

Author: Rachel Haimowitz

Narrator: Craig Beck

Publisher: Riptide

Cover Artist: Simoné

Story Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Narration Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Overall Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Release Date: 09/07/2016

Length: 11 hours 55 minutes

Genre: Fantasy, Gay Romance

Summary:

It is the twilight of mankind. Depleted by generations of war with a dark race, the human kingdoms and their ancient alliance stand on the brink of extinction. The outlands are soaked with the blood of the fallen. The midlands are rotting with decadence and despair.

Elfkind, estranged by past crimes, watches and waits for nature to run its course.

And then the two collide.

Ayden’s life has long been guided by two emotions: love for his sister, and hatred of all things human. When he’s captured in battle, he must for his sister’s sake swallow his pride and endure slavery in the service of a human prince, Freyrik Farr.

Freyrik’s always known elves to be beautiful and dangerous, but never has one affected him as deeply as Ayden. Can his life of service to his people leave room for this attraction? Dancing on a dagger’s edge between duty and high treason, Freyrik discovers that some choices can change a life, and some an entire world.

Between prejudice, politics, pride, and survival, Ayden and Freyrik must carve a new path, no matter how daunting. For nothing less than the fate of both their peoples rests on the power of their perseverance and their love.

Note: This edition is a re-release of the same novel first published in 2010 by Guiltless Pleasure Publishing.

This title is #1 of the Song of the Fallen series.

“Warning, this title contains the following sensitive themes: explicit violence”

Story Review:

Although I am not a huge fantasy fan, this particular blurb piqued my interest. As I was drawn into the story, it proved to be a good choice for an audiobook and a review. With its delightful language, creative world-building, and strong characters, Counterpoint has turned out to be one of my favorites this year.

Rachel Haimowitz weaves a richly detailed tapestry in this story of an elf and a human prince who find eventual common ground in a world rife with struggle, condemnation, and prejudice. Though enemies, they forge a tentative relationship amidst the difficulties of war and political intrigue. Ms. Haimowitz creates a beautifully crafted tale through skillful word-smithing and character development. The reader is plunged into the war-torn land that Freyrik and Ayden inhabit on the first page and then is taken along for a ride filled with feral beasts, untrustworthy courtesans, elf magic, and an epic struggle over pre-conceived notions that all prove to be overwhelming obstacles to the tenuous hold these men two have on one another.

Both main characters are fleshed out, solid personalities. There is much to like here as they each have their own set of values, integrity, and smarts. Although Ayden is a slave, and Freyrik certainly wants him in a carnal way, the relationship remains one of trust and rocky friendship as a slow burn continues to grow. The trust is slowly earned, and as respect for one another builds, so does the relationship. I enjoyed watching these two dance around each other, bantering back and forth, and learning from each other as they work together to find a way to save humankind.

There are strong political and social messages woven within the romance, yet it never seems to overpower the story or weigh the plot down. Additionally, the characters surrounding Freyrick and Ayden are three-dimensional, interesting, and well-integrated within the storyline. If there were one thing I would caution the reader about, it would be that this book is most certainly Book One. Counterpoint ends abruptly on an enormous cliff-hanger, with plot and relationship resolutions left swinging in the breeze.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook and am hoping to get some time soon to read the second installment in the Song of the Fallen series. I highly recommend it to fans of fantasy and/or gay romance.

Narration Review:

Craig Beck has a rich, beautiful voice with a lovely British accent. His tone is like melted chocolate, and I thought he did a wonderful job bringing Counterpoint to life. Although his characterization of Freyrik felt heavy-handed at times, he performed the story very well, overall. I look forward to listening to more of his narrations.

Links

Counterpoint (Song of the Fallen, Book 1) on Goodreads
Riptide
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks
Audible

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the audiobook of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
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,

Brandilyn
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