Beyond the maddening edges of creation lurk nameless horrors greater than the Whisper King himself. To find his kidnapped daughter and save his hometown David Kinder must face these horrors, even as he tries to untangle a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the Whisper King’s empire in the Shadow Mountains. Along the way he reconnects with old friends, makes new alliances, and discovers that sometimes to destroy monsters you must become something… worse.
Things have changed drastically for David and his friends since they turned their back on the Shadow Mountains and the Cogar Rí, aka The Whisper King. David is struggling with the knowledge that his daughter has been imprisoned in the Shadow Mountains. He also finds himself struggling to come to terms with who his true enemies are, as he realizes he’s been betrayed and that the loss of his Cuthac was for a false mission.
There’s something refreshing about an author who isn’t afraid to let his characters be crass. In fact, David and his friends seem more realistic because they don’t hold their tongue. After all, these are the Shadow Mountain’s version of the lost boys. Boys who were raised to fight and without little to no affection. So for them to drop a few f-bombs or to crack some “your mama” jokes, it just seems as if you are dealing with grown men who never truly grew up. Which, is actually true to some degree for these characters. This is more apparent when you get to see some of the Duthains, those who have runaway from the Shadow Mountains. Some turn to sex and drugs and yet, some are nothing more than grown children intrigued on rediscovering their childhood with action figures. The psychological effect of their upbringing is an intriguing one, as they have a varied degree of maturity to them.
The other great thing about this series is that just because they are raised in what could be perceived as “darkness” doesn’t mean those who reside in the realm of the Whisper King are evil. In truth, they are just as varied as ordinary humans and David will discover that everything is not truly what he thought it was. And regardless of his reservations, he finds he may have to turn to someone he doesn’t trust to help stop the corruption that is slowly tearing apart the Night Road and introducing dangerous threats to those in the human world.
This is the type of series that will leave you marveling at how creative this author is. It’s an action-packed book, that allows you to not only to become invested in David and his well-being, but also those of his friends. The many story arcs continue to weave together an intriguing tale of the constant battle between doing what’s right and what’s wrong. And the best part is, the story makes it clear that just because you are doing what you think is right, doesn’t mean you are on the side of good. Though I found myself cheering on David and his companions, I was amazed by how easily I could over look the sheer amount of violence they were capable for. Perhaps at the core of this, the story is not a traditional good versus evil saga. The characters have a lot of depth to their personalities and back stories. You may even discover yourself feeling sorry for someone you wouldn’t have thought would be worthy of your sympathy. There’s a sense of perfection in the faults of others and that’s what makes this book and this series such a great reading experience.
Reviewer’s note: I received this book in exchange for an honest review.