Jack Tamerlaine hasn’t set foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university. But when young girls start disappearing from the isle, Jack is summoned home to help find them. Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind; plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, and she hopes Jack can draw them forth by song, enticing them to return the missing girls.
As Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together, they find they make better allies than rivals as their partnership turns into something more. But with each passing song, it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than they first expected, and an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.
Synopsis source: Goodreads
Completely captivating from the start.
I really enjoyed the audio narration on this one, the lilting burr added a transportive aspect to the overall magic of this story. I was reminded a lot of the same sort of darkly magical atmosphere from Spells for Forgetting but with a story wholly unique. The world-building in this book is well-done, easily rendered by the faintly Scottish brogue and primitive descriptions of the secluded island. It’s easy to imagine the island as a place out of time, where spirits good and ill watch every move made and magic is woven into the very tapestry of each fiber of the world.
Romance is present, but not the overall point of the story. There are some love scenes, but they aren’t very graphic, and more inferred than anything. Mostly, this is a story of finding one’s place in the world, healing rifts, personal and political, and, of course, magic. It does end on a cliff hanger, so I’m eager to read the second half of this duology.
Until next time,
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