Title: Ancient Voices: Into the Depths
The Wind Rider Chronicles, Book #2
Author: Allison D. Reid
Published on: November 12, 2015
296 Pages (Paperback)
Blurb: The Kinship rides victorious into the small village of Minhaven, just in time to celebrate the Winter Festival. Their leader, Glak, brings with him both hope and spoils from battle, but also some distressing news. Though Minhaven’s greatest threat has finally been defeated, a new one is emerging to take its place. The enemy Glak describes has not been seen in hundreds of years, yet somehow it has been haunting Elowyn’s dreams. Has Braeden’s cruel reach followed her from Tyroc’s troubled borders into this remote wilderness? If so, there is no place left to run, and the Kinship is preparing to fight an enemy more sinister and powerful than they can possibly imagine. Past becomes present, as prophecies long buried continue to emerge, revealing their truth to the coming generation. The Era of Peace has ended. The Era of Awakening has begun. While Morganne seeks guidance from the crumbling pages of ancient tomes, Elowyn tries to find her place within a community for the first time. Despite the impending danger, Morganne and Elowyn decide to make their stand with the people of Minhaven. As they plunge into the depths of history, prophecy, the wilderness, love, fear, hope, faith…the girls begin to learn more about who they are, and who Aviad is calling them to be.
My Take: I cannot overemphasize enough how much I truly love the author’s style of writing and the voice that she commands throughout her works. The worldbuilding continues to be among the best of contemporary fantasy authors and the characters she writes are interesting and dynamic. The events of the first book ended with promise for more change in the two main protagonists, and this book delivered on that promise.
The growth and change in both Elowyn and Morganne is perfect, and there are a handful of new supporting characters that appear in Minhaven that add greater depth and intrigue to the book. The character of Glak is that of a powerful hero fighting against the forces of evil with everything he possesses, yet there is a deeper motivation that drives him in this relentless pursuit. Morganne finds some support and mentorship among the monks in Minhaven, but their own lack of urgency about reading old texts drives her to consume the volumes with a fervor that sweeps the reader along. Her scouring of these old tomes of prophecy and history can teach us a lot about our own need to do the same with the prophectic and historical books in the Bible, demonstrating that things tend to have a cyclical pattern and so even things that may have been fulfilled before could remain relevant to our times today. Even characters on the fringe, such as Bane, add mystery about their past and identity that leaves the reader hoping to uncover those secrets in the next book.
Oh, and there is a bit of a love interest that arises for one of these girls, which provides an interesting dynamic with the events happening in and around Minhaven.
Both girls learn to use a weapon, one eagerly and the other reluctantly, but that provides a leap forward in their ability to fend for themselves and sets the stage for them to be far more active participants in events as the darkness they discovered in Tyroc continues to spread. Things are looking bleak for the world around them right now and the margin for victory right now seems to be dangling by a thread. All of this has me eager for the next book to come out, so I can discover what happens next.
If you have not picked up this series, I cannot recommend it enough. The first book, Journey to Aviad, is free. Start reading it today and learn why these books are easily among the top 10 books I’ve read in 2016.