With a new home on an island that prizes human sacrifice, Lark finds that reading minds is not enough. As he battles the tragedies that haunt him, his queen insists on the continuation of the violent practice, and he is powerless against her unrivaled Spark and uncompromising authority.
In order to stop her, Lark needs to learn the secrets of the spirits of the world. Only there isn’t much time. War looms just over the horizon.
by R.S. McCoy
Sparks Saga #2
July 20, 2014
Lark is adjusting to his new reality in Nabke, but he’s haunted by horrible nightmares and a darkness that are slowly consuming him. Protecting Khea means shutting himself off from her and their affinity. It can’t last, though, for doing so is tearing a void between them. He and Avis leave her to pursue a quest that they hope will cure Lark of the darkness and, at the same time, develop his latent Sparks. All in a race against time itself.
This book is an excellent continuation of the first. The main focus is on Lark’s quest to discover the origins of the Sparks, building the magic and mythology of the story in a rather fun way. Having no one to teach him (not even Khea, whom he has shut off for her own good), he and Avis are forced to rely on Nabken folklore and religious mythology to master the various sparks. I love how the story takes on a bit of mystery and a growing sense of urgency as events take shape that will threaten all that Lark holds dear.
I also love the add-on character, Sumatrae, though I think the relationship comes a bit conveniently. Still, it makes Lark all the more awesome. The Sage in Tlaloc is also pretty neat. She’s both powerful and powerless, an interesting mix. The tale of the copper is my favorite part. The darkest, scariest tale is the one about water, and the malevolent goddess that guards its secrets. I call these tales because they read like mini stories within the whole, but they flow together quite well. The others I won’t describe due to spoilers. They were equally intriguing though.
I noticed a few more typos in this one than in the last one, but they were in small, concentrated areas, and for the most part, the story is smooth and error free. Some of the names of people and places are a mouthful, but I just made up pronunciations I could handle and went with it. The naming reminds me of Mayan or Aztek, and since one of the enemy countries is Tekla Maya, I’d say it’s likely based on Mayan, though the world map is obviously a fictional world, not another dimension or alternate (somewhat magical) history.
Overall, I was impressed by the quality of the story itself, particularly the obvious evidence of a well-thought out plot and world building. I really liked this story and would strongly recommend it to folks who like fantasy, quests, and magic. I look forward to Book 3, Schism.
The review copy of this book was supplied by the author in exchange for fair and honest review.
About R.S. McCoy
RS McCoy didn’t ever plan on being a writer. With a career teaching high school science, writing is the last thing she expected. But life never goes the way you think it will. While battling cancer, she picked up her laptop and let the words flow out. One year later, her first published fantasy novel will be released on Amazon soon and her second novel is in the works. She is a wife, mother of one with another on the way, a scientist, baker, gardener, and life-long science fiction and fantasy addict.