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Publisher's Summary

Steal the bag. Don’t get caught. Repeat. Not the most glorious existence, but Krea likes it just fine. 

When Sorin, a cranky old soldier, barges in and decides to take over her life, Krea is less than enthused. Sure, he saved her from a brutal death at the hands of the guards, and he did stop decrepit faerie monsters from eating her. But declaring she isn’t human and dragging her through a cursed forest to the Royal City is going too far.

Now she is eyeball deep in magic-wielding nobles, shape-shifting dragons, assassins, and an ancient elf war that could destroy the empire. Her cloak is too small. Her horse thinks she wants to eat it and her companion resents her very existence. 

And then there's Dane.

©2017 Melonie Purcell (P)2017 Melonie Purcell

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I want to have a Counter!

Please forgive my attempts at spelling the fantasy names:)

Hand and Talon was a great read, I’m really looking forward to book two. The story starts immediately as you are pulled into Krea’s world with your heart pounding, running and hiding from the guards. That really was the wrong bag to steal! Krea luckily encounters Sorin who alters her life path and takes her on an unexpected journey opening her eyes to her potential future. Along the way they add another young thief, Dane, to their traveling party. The foreshadowing in the story is captivating with hints that keep you guessing. All three characters have some mystery in the past that will be interesting to see unfold.

Teenage thief Krea is a bit of an antagonistic character at the start and not completely lovable. She has been surviving on her own for as long as she can remember, so she has developed somewhat of a prickly exterior. I loved that throughout the book Krea’s character grows and changes as she learns to adapt to her suddenly expanding world. She learns to consider other and care about them. The development was realistic and very well done. Krea’s history is intriguing as she has gaps in her memory, so there is a backstory still to be revealed in subsequent books. (I did like too that author Melonie Purcell gave an explanation for Krea's diction. I was curious from the beginning, so it was nice to have that addressed in the storyline). Sorin, the older mage/Caller/mentor provides the balance of maturity and sensibility to the trio. Dane is a young boy being used as a thief by a Runner. He’s adorable, but not at all twee. He is a street kid and Melodie has written him as such. Not all authors can do a good job of child characters, but Melonie really nailed it with both Krea (~15years old) and Dane (~7years old). Their bickering gave me a chuckle as they were so typical for their ages.

The world building was really interesting. I loved hearing about the different places in Krea’s world as well as the different creatures. There were so many wonderful elements that Melodie included in the tale: shape shifters (dragons, griffons, hippogryph, etc), mages, fairy creatures (Proth, Lorags, Fawath, Sheema), the protective strength of nature in the trees and water, and even an enchanted dagger with personality! I’m hoping there will be more in the next books about the Circle of Three, the Torbudon and of course Cricket! The Callers link with their Kyrni (shape shifters) and their songs to bring their Kyrni back was an ingenious idea. I liked too, how she called the shape shifter’s creature-identity their Counter. I can’t wait to see more of it as the series progresses. Melonie has done an amazing job of creating something new in the world of fantasy. I have seen and loved companions in fantasy before (ex. Mercedes Lackey), so I really enjoyed Melonie’s new approach to two beings linked together.

Favourite quotes:
‘The melody streamed into her mind and left her paralyzed as it floated around her, dancing, breathing with a life all its own.’
‘You couldn’t pass for a commoner if you were found dead in a pig trough.’
‘The thick lording oaks and elms had long since given way to tall white-barked aspens and airy willows that dipped their heavy branches in homage to the river that dominated the landscape.’
‘Only a fool tries to stop a river and only a fool underestimates one.’
‘The woman’s movements were mesmerizing, she was beyond graceful, each motion flowed into the next, much the way water navigated the rocks of a stream bed.’
‘They cloak themselves in the skin of men, but you can see their gnarled and twisted insides when you look right at them, when you look for their hearts and find only hatred, they be evil.’
‘How could you name me in such an offense.’
‘What kind of forest was this that even the path was afraid to enter!’
‘When clouds, mists and rain did not blink at the sky, the thick canopy of the forest pushed away the blue with leafy green and brown fingers.’
‘Learn to grow something instead of always trying to tear things down.’

Narration: Kristin James did a fine job of narrating Hand and Talon. I loved her choice of voices for the three main characters. Her children’s voices were particularly fabulous. When Krea and Dane started bickering, it really was like two little kids having a spat. Kristin’s pacing was perfect, she really kept the story moving and alive. I really hope she stays with the series and continues to voice these characters.

For those who like to know... there is no profanity or sex. There is some violence, I would recommend 12+ with caution for sensitive readers.

I received Hand and Talon: World of Kyrni Book 1 free in exchange for an unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome book

It’s been awhile since I read a book that I didn’t want to end. I really tried to drag it out, but I just couldn’t. The narration was on point. Loved the characters and storyline. Can’t wait for the next one.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for an unbiased review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic YA l that adult fantasy readers will love too!

The characters were amazingly written and the plot was exciting and captured my attention and held it through the danger and adventure. Can’t wait to explore book two. A new series to continue!
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Review Hand and Talon: world of Kyrni, Bk 1

Yes, you will like this one, the further you get the more you want to know what’s next. Great job Kristin James, I loved your narration. Melonie Purcell I’ve got to get book 2! I received this in exchange for an honest review and now I’m hooked :-)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I’m hooked

This book is for teens, YA, & adult fantasy fans. The story is interesting and captivating from the start with an action scene that leads to a trek across the kingdom filled with danger, fighting, mythological creatures, and exploring magic. The characters are believable and likable and have depth. The narrator did an awesome job with providing unique voices for each character and appropriate tone inflections to meet the scenes. I received a free copy of this audiobook and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fun ride

I liked this book. Its not overly complicated or contains massive character depth. However, it is a good story, with a nice flow. I only found myself cringing at plot driven character decisions here and there.

I honestly didn't know where the book was going to go, and I don't have a great idea as to where the next book will go.(beyond the general, good vs evil)

If you are looking to listen a good story on a nice long drive, this is a good choice.

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  • James
  • Powderly, KY, United States
  • 12-03-17

Great Start to a Series

Really well written 1st book. Characters are well thought out and narrated perfectly. Good mythos and world building. The story reads YA, but is very entertaining.

“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

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  • Myztikal
  • On the Edge of Glory
  • 12-10-17

An Epic Adventure with Dismal Dimensions

The sample listen, which was the beginning of the story, caught me attention and I so "I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

Krea nor Sorin materialized within themselves. I became so bored with Krea’s ignorance about shifting (not that I have anything to compare it to) and the mundane conversations about it for two hours (given the juvenile break of the 15-16 year old Krea who was ‘disappointed’ that Sorin, old enough to be her grandfather, didn’t want to bed her). Her thoughts and actions contradicted her age, upbringing (lack of), and whatever came out of her mouth.
And for half the book, “did she shift, did she not”, “he’s a caller or not her caller”. Idk.
This was the first shape shifter book I picked up. Honestly, because the narrator was intriguing with the sample. However, it just droned on and nothing was ever truly explained to satisfy one who was new to this genre. Maybe if the characters were more realistic and not similar to a piñata at the end of a party.
I never could grasp why the back and forth about her shifting and explanations. Egads! Idk what her hang up and infatuation is with Sorin.
World building sorely lacked. Little to no descriptions of the settings, people, food, etc.
I have no intention of following this series or ever listening to it again. I was only able to listen to its entirety because I wanted to comply with reviewing it ... and because the narrator made it seemingly more interesting than it was!

0 of 2 people found this review helpful