Audie Award Winner, Fantasy, 2014
Alex Bledsoe’s The Hum and the Shiver was named one of the best fiction books of 2011 by Kirkus Reviews. Now Bledsoe returns to the isolated ridges and hollows of the Smoky Mountains to spin an equally enchanting tale of music and magic older than the hills.
Touched by a very public tragedy, musician Rob Quillen comes to Cloud County, Tennessee, in search of a song that might ease his aching heart. All he knows of the mysterious and reclusive Tufa is what he has read on the Internet: They are an enigmatic clan of swarthy, black-haired mountain people whose historical roots are lost in myth and controversy. Some say that when the first white settlers came to the Appalachians centuries ago, they found the Tufa already there. Others hint that Tufa blood brings special gifts.
Rob finds both music and mystery in the mountains: close-lipped locals guard their secrets, even as Rob gets caught up in a subtle power struggle he can’t begin to comprehend. A vacationing wife goes missing, raising suspicions of foul play. And a strange feral girl runs wild in the woods, howling in the night like a lost spirit.
Change is coming to Cloud County, and only the night wind knows what part Rob will play when the last leaf falls from the Widow’s Tree - and a timeless curse must at last be broken.
©2013 Alex Bledsoe; ©2013 Blackstone Audio
Never read the print version. I got "The Hum and The Shiver" in Sept. of 2009 it was the first book in the series and I was hooked. The characters are dark and mysterious. As soon as I saw this I got it at once, and finished in two days. Mr. Bledsoe is an awesome writer, I have several of his series, all are different and they never disappoint. I have never listened or read anything like this and I was hooked from the very first few moments. Some characters from the first book which you might want to listen to first,but I think it can stand alone. .
Rob Quillin, he is an outsider coming to the home of the Tufa, to search for a song to ease his broken heart.
Stefan Rudniki, is a wonderful narrator. I've listened to him narrate many books and series. He gets into the characters and emotions. You can always tell which character is speaking when he narrates.
There were many extreme reactions, when you're dealing with cruelty, meanness, hate, and goodness, hope and love on the other side. It is an emotional roller coaster with lots of twists and turns in the story.
I hope it doesn't take Alex Bledsoe 4 years to write the next book in the series. I'd love to know what happened after Rob leaves Tennessee. What changes in the Tufa, if any were made. So much I'd really love to know.
I Love this second in the Tufa novels. Wisp of a Thing is written from the perspective of an outsider in the closed and isolated Appalachian community of Needville, Tennessee who, when he first arrives is closed and isolated in his own grief. Music, magic, mystery and ancient Appalachian legends twine through the novel.
I wasn’t disappointed, this novel is better than the first. As colorfully rich, deep and three dimensional as the Richard Dadd oil painting referred to in this story.
Read by one of my favorite narrators Stefan Rudniki with his smooth dark chocolate voice brings this tale alive.
"Excellent sequel to The Hum and the Shiver"
Alex Bledsoe's novel The Hum And The Shiver first introduced the Tufa of Cloud County, not folksy, guitar strummin’ backwoods folk, but something altogether stranger, and potentially nastier. Wisp of a Thing builds on that introduction, exploring and exposing more. You could probably read this without reading The Human and the Shiver first and not find it a problem, but I’d recommend starting there for the background information and world building. The book is set in our ordinary world, just one that has Tufa in it. The Tufa are a race that seem to look like, and live as, humans, but who, rumour has it, were in North America long before anyone else.
Rob, a minor celebrity because of a very public tragedy, has come to Cloud County in search of a Tufa song he’s been told will heal his broken heart. As he arrives he almost mows down something careering across the road in front of him, and later he hears a howl in the night, that speaks in some way to the grief inside him. He comes to the attention of Bliss, a first daughter of the Tufa, who despite knowing he’s not Tufa in any way, finds herself compelled to connect with him. He can see things he shouldn’t be able to, and is determined to find that song - a song that happens to be of serious importance to the Tufa and not something a non-Tufa should know about.
That there’s trouble coming for the Tufa, with a curse due to fall “When the last leaf falls from the Widow's Tree this year,…”, a lost tourist, and old enmities among the different Tufa clans coming to a head - so all is set for a climax!
This grabs the interest from the off, and hangs onto it throughout. The end was mostly as I expected, and there are no hanging threads (the last, short chapter deals with the only one that bothered me), but at the same time I was surprised! I’m not sure I could say what happens to everyone after the book ends, but that’s not so important!
Well read - despite his wonderfully rich, deep voice, the narrator manages to distinguish his male and female characters just fine.
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