If Zaria Fierce had her say, being a princess would mean you'd never have to wait for news. In the eight months since Olaf tricked her, Zaria has felt a near constant mixture of restlessness, listlessness, and hopelessness. When the time comes to fix past mistakes, she is more than ready to climb aboard the ship sailing toward the giants. Summertime in Norway promises many more adventures but also many more perils - something sinister lurks beneath the surface, following her every move, haunting her, disturbing her dreams, and stealing her peace. Can Zaria figure out what it is and stop it before it's too late?
©2015 Keira Gillett (P)2015 Keira Gillett
This takes place a few months after book 1. Zaria and her friends have to find a certain sword in order to rescue Hart. Along the way they face a multitude of magical creatures and Zaria is plagued by something very sinister. What is following her in the shadows?
I really enjoyed book 1 but have to say that Keira Gillett has upped her game with this installment. This is darker, scarier and more action packed than the previous one and I ended up listening to it in a day!
Once again, the authors characters are extremely well written and developed. They all evolve and grow throughout the story and you can't help but root for Zaria! Poor Zaria, though. She has a sense that something evil is following her and it's even invading her dreams. She's also being very hard on herself and shouldering the blame for being tricked in book 1.
The plot was fast paced, entertaining and engaging.There is never a dull moment when it comes to the wonderful word that the author has created. Richly detailed and totally captivating, this series has the potential to be great. I'm realy looking forward to more adventures from Zaria and her friends.
Michele Carpenter did a great job again. She has a load of different tones and voices for all the characters and it's easy to distinguish who's talking.
Nice, gentle and magical story. You can read this separate, but I think it's really meant to be in the series.
There's a third book coming, so I will continue to follow the adventures of Zaria and her friends.
The books are a nice read also for grown ups who don't want (a lot) of blood and gore. The setting in Norway is great, it brings back childhood memories - my parents were in Norway for work, and we had a lot of going back holidays.
I was kindly given a free copy of this book by Keira.
I am a self - taught jewelry artist with a taste for fantasy and magical world.
I liked it even more than the first book! The characters evolve with every new step in this adventure. I loved all the realms they visited and the new beings they encounter. The specter is an interesting twist in the story and keeps you wondering until the end. I really enjoyed this book!
I really enjoyed the starting book of the trilogy, and this one does not disappoint. It does suffer from the usual "incompleteness" syndrome that is hereditary in the middle episodes of a series, but it does a good job of raising the stakes for the last book.
I find the tone charming throughout, the banter between Zaria and her friends is rather humorous, and the new setting and creatures keep things rolling. Now I guess I have to wait a few months for the final installment.
Audio-wise, I really like Michele Carpenter's voice, she keep the characters unique, and enunciates clearly even with some of the harder voices she does. And she sings well!
Note: This is a series best read in order. So start with the most entertaining Book 1, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest.
Continuing Zaria’s adventures in Norway, she and the boys have the chance to set sail to visit the giants! Who could say no to that? Yet even on the initial leg of their journey, Zaria feels that something is following her, perhaps even haunting her. No one else sees it or feels it in anyway so Zaria begins to doubt herself. And this is not an adventure for the faint of heart! Giants and elves and dwarfs! And don’t forget that shadow of the dragon Koll that seems to loom over everything.
In Book 1, Christoffer had to sit out most of the book since he was being held captive by the river troll Olaf. Now he’s free and he happily joins his friends in this latest adventure. Aleks, the changeling, once again uses his Stargazer to freeze time so they can leave without stirring a fuss with their parents. Geirr and Filip are definitely up for another adventure! Hector has asked them to come along in his quest to obtain a mighty sword that will aid him in freeing his son Hart, who was taken captive at the end of Book 1. Zaria feels quite a bit of responsibility for how things went wrong and she wants to make up for it by helping Hector anyway she can.
Once they board the ship, the kids learn the captain is a troll and they are a little leery. After all, their only experiences with trolls have been a bit negative. But they soon learn that Captain Bjarke is a good person and a friend to Hector. The land of the giants was quite fun. Pet woolly mammoth! Such great imagery. The first giant they meet, Ingdor, is working the harbor and the kids quickly have to become accustomed to either them or whatever they are standing on (like the ship Ursula) being picked up and moved about. Hector is hoping to barter for safe passage to the Dwarven lands but Oskar the Elevated and his wife Siela, her Altitudiness, are not willing.
The action amps up as they try a trickier way into the Dwarven halls. Unfortunately, they come across a group of tricksy elves. Zaria uses her wits to maneuver them into agreeing to three challenges. Things could go wrong in so many ways! Without spoiling anything, let me just say Zaria and crew eventually do get to chat with the Dwarves but it’s not as warm a welcome as Hector had been hoping for.
Both Aleks and Zaria are adopted and both have to deal with their fae heritage. Aleks has been told all his life to avoid it and that makes this trip extra hard for him. Zaria only found out about her fae heritage towards the end of Book 1 and it’s still a big, big mystery to her. But they aren’t the only ones dealing with fears. One of the lads has a great fear of being underground. Zaria is haunted by this apparition that only she can see from time to time. Indeed, the kids are growing up and part of that is facing these fears.
The ending was clever, dramatic, and I definitely felt for Zaria. Ugh! This girl will need therapy. She already carries some weight for the capture and imprisonment of Hart in Book 1. Now, she has to face the unexpected consequences of her well-intentioned actions. I look forward to seeing how Zaria saves the day or compounds the problem in Book 3.
I received a copy of this book at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Narration: Once again, Michele Carpenter did a great job. She has the perfect voice for Zaria and I love how she gives light Norwegian accents to the all the boys. There’s even one song that is actually sung (though I believe another voice actress came in and performed it). Still, it was nice to have that little addition to the book and it was well edited in – the volume was the same, etc.
After listening to the first book I had to find out what happened next. This story did not disappoint. More adventure an watching each character grow made this book extra enjoyable. Again, the narrator did a great job bringing the story to life an flowing at a perfect pace. This book (series) is enjoyable for the whole family.
The audio edition of the book offers charms that aren't available in the print version, largely in the vocal performance of the narrator. She reprises her sweet and fitting voice for Zaria, the heroine, as well as the voices of the varied and numerous cast of characters that join her in this part of the adventure. The voices are, in fact, seamlessly continued from the previous book, an impressive feat with the number of accents and inflections already encountered, along with new ones added in this volume. Again, unfortunately, there are still no specifically Norwegian accents used (at least not to my semi-trained ear), but in most cases this is a good consequence of the continuity achieved for the main characters. The only things really missing from the audio version are the illustrations for each chapter, which are charming themselves and worth at least checking the book out from the library to see. (And if your library doesn't have the Zaria books - ask them to get a set!)
For me this is a toss-up between the main character, Zaria, and her champion (of sorts), Hector, another major character. (This probably has a lot to do with my being a father, and never having personally been an adolescent girl.) Hector is steadfast and wise, but Zaria is both vulnerable and strong, and very much a role model for my own daughters.
As described above, I listened to the first book in the trilogy, and her performance is admirable in its consistency between the two books. She does a top-notch job with these books, and I'm sure that she'll be brought back to do the third installment - it would be jarring to hear Zaria speak in another voice, because she's nailed it so completely.
Yes, as with the first book in the trilogy, I listened to this one in almost every conceivable waking moment, including during a long run or two. Most of this time was spent driving, and the excitement of the books made the miles fly by, whether they were rolling along or pounding away under my own feet.
Once again, this is simply a really good story, one that consistently pulled me along. I wanted to know what would happen next, and while some of the trappings have the familiarity of the genre, I think there are a lot of unique points in Zaria's stories. Sure, I could see some of the general shapes of the road ahead, since I read a lot of works in this vein, but there were definitely some surprises and turns in the story that I wasn't quite expecting. As another "once again," I think that the story could be refined with another editorial pass, and it is only those mechanics that kept me from giving this its 5th star (I wish I could award 4-1/2). But all in all, this is a very good story on its own (perhaps unusual for the middle book of a trilogy), and it makes me look forward to the next book to follow - and hopefully very many more after that!
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