Fabulous narration. Top notch! As for the story, this is book two of two, a short fantasy series with wizards, ghosts, vampirism, trolls, mistwraithes..Show More », wolf-shifters, elemental gods, specially gifted "Travelers" and a little romance. I really bonded with the characters, first introduced in the prequel, Raven's Shadow. They became real to me across these two books. I want to see more of Seraph, Tier, Jes, Hennea, Lehr, Rinnie, Emperor Phoran the 26/27th, and his two loyal guards. I even loved the big black dog and the old war horse.
Suspenseful, heartwarming, engrossing, and fairly novel. Some grim scenes. Some black magic. Some bardic storytelling, song, and campfire camaraderie, to balance the darker bits. A villain not immediately obvious to me. Great scenes of fierce marital love even after 20 years. Authentic and well-sketched kids (ages about 10, 18, 20) play key roles in both books. Loved watching this family fight shadows together! Loved seeing the kids come into their own. Young Rennie learns to control winds and weather. Lehr learns to hunt, track, and open locks. And Jes learns to integrate his two opposite personas: empath and warrior. Kudos to Briggs for these two books.
My only gripe is that sometimes the author goes on too long, trying to explain how her magic works, what the "orders" are, who the gods are, and how to bind -- and free -- a person's spirit-entwined order (gift).
A lovely ending to this duology, but I wish it wouldn't end yet. How about another, dear author? Maybe Lehr could get a story. Or Rinnie.