Philippa Ballatine’s dizzying fantasy tapestry, the first in her Shifted World series, is brought vividly to life by the talented Caitlin Greer, who’s versatile performance masterfully glides between the multiple perspectives on display, from heroine Talyn the Dark and her unrelenting quest to redeem the Vaerli, her once-proud race, to the tale-spinning Finn, the fox who tells stories of unfathomable cruelty and genocide that draw the ire of the treacherous Casiah, the oppressor that drives this kaleidoscopic, wonderfully realized narrative of sword and sorcery.
In a world that is in constant shifting, where mountains can change to plains and then to lakes, Talyn is the Hunter for the Caisah, and a wreck of a once-proud person. She has lost her people, the Vaerli, and her soul working for the man who destroyed her people. All unknowing, she carries within her a Kindred, a chaos creature from the center of the earth that wants to help bring the Vaerli back to power. However, she has lost the ability to communicate with it.
Little does the Hunter know that salvation is looking for her, and it wears the face of gentleness and strength. Finn is a teller of tales who carries his own dreadful secret. He sets out to find answers to his path but ends up in the city of Perilous and Fair where he meets Talyn. He knows the danger and yet is drawn to her. Their fates are bound together. Meanwhile, the Hunter's lost brother Byre is searching for his own solution to the terrible curse placed on the Vaerli. He sets forth on a treacherous journey of his own, which will intersect in the most unlikely place with that of Talyn and Finn. The ramifications of this encounter will be felt by all the people in Conhaero, from the lost Vaerli to the Caisah on his throne.
What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?
A little more background to the story MIGHT have made these a bit more enjoyable.
What will your next listen be?
How did the narrator detract from the book?
She reads way too fast.