Narrator: Michele Carpenter
Publisher: Keira Gillett (2015)
Length: 5 hours 14 minutes
Series: Book 2 Zaria Fierce
Note: This is a series best read in order. So start with the most entertaining Book 1, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest.
Continuing Zaria’s adventures in Norway, she and the boys have the chance to set sail to visit the giants! Who could say no to that? Yet even on the initial leg of their journey, Zaria feels that something is following her, perhaps even haunting her. No one else sees it or feels it in anyway so Zaria begins to doubt herself. And this is not an adventure for the faint of heart! Giants and elves and dwarfs! And don’t forget that shadow of the dragon Koll that seems to loom over everything.
In Book 1, Christoffer had to sit out most of the book since he was being held captive by the river troll Olaf. Now he’s free and he happily joins his friends in this latest adventure. Aleks, the changeling, once again uses his Stargazer to freeze time so they can leave without stirring a fuss with their parents. Geirr and Filip are definitely up for another adventure! Hector has asked them to come along in his quest to obtain a mighty sword that will aid him in freeing his son Hart, who was taken captive at the end of Book 1. Zaria feels quite a bit of responsibility for how things went wrong and she wants to make up for it by helping Hector anyway she can.
Once they board the ship, the kids learn the captain is a troll and they are a little leery. After all, their only experiences with trolls have been a bit negative. But they soon learn that Captain Bjarke is a good person and a friend to Hector. The land of the giants was quite fun. Pet woolly mammoth! Such great imagery. The first giant they meet, Ingdor, is working the harbor and the kids quickly have to become accustomed to either them or whatever they are standing on (like the ship Ursula) being picked up and moved about. Hector is hoping to barter for safe passage to the Dwarven lands but Oskar the Elevated and his wife Siela, her Altitudiness, are not willing.
The action amps up as they try a trickier way into the Dwarven halls. Unfortunately, they come across a group of tricksy elves. Zaria uses her wits to maneuver them into agreeing to three challenges. Things could go wrong in so many ways! Without spoiling anything, let me just say Zaria and crew eventually do get to chat with the Dwarves but it’s not as warm a welcome as Hector had been hoping for.
Both Aleks and Zaria are adopted and both have to deal with their fae heritage. Aleks has been told all his life to avoid it and that makes this trip extra hard for him. Zaria only found out about her fae heritage towards the end of Book 1 and it’s still a big, big mystery to her. But they aren’t the only ones dealing with fears. One of the lads has a great fear of being underground. Zaria is haunted by this apparition that only she can see from time to time. Indeed, the kids are growing up and part of that is facing these fears.
The ending was clever, dramatic, and I definitely felt for Zaria. Ugh! This girl will need therapy. She already carries some weight for the capture and imprisonment of Hart in Book 1. Now, she has to face the unexpected consequences of her well-intentioned actions. I look forward to seeing how Zaria saves the day or compounds the problem in Book 3.
I received a copy of this book at no cost from the author in exchange for an honest review.
The Narration: Once again, Michele Carpenter did a great job. She has the perfect voice for Zaria and I love how she gives light Norwegian accents to the all the boys. There’s even one song that is actually sung (though I believe another voice actress came in and performed it). Still, it was nice to have that little addition to the book and it was well edited in – the volume was the same, etc.
What I Liked: There’s giants and one of them has a pet woolly mammoth!; Zaria and the boys learn that not all trolls are beastly brutes; the elves are tricky and condescending; the dwarves aren’t very cooperative; Zaria has this fear that she is being haunted; both Aleks and Zaria have to start dealing with their fae heritage; a complicated ending but perfect set up for a hero to ride into Book 3 and save the day; excellent narration; great cover art.
What I Disliked: Nothing – great book!
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