Narrator: Kim Mai Guest
Series: Shattered Realms #3
Published by HarperAudio on April 3, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 14 hours, 19 minutes
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Vagabond seafarer Evan Strangward can move wind, waves, and weather, but his magical abilities can’t protect him forever from the brutal Empress Celestine. As Celestine’s relentless bloodsworn armies grow, Evan travels to the Fells to warn the queendom that an invasion is imminent.
If he can’t convince the Gray Wolf queen to take a stand, he knows that the Seven Realms will fall, and his last sanctuary will be destroyed. Among the dead will be the one person Evan can’t stand to lose.
Meanwhile, the queen’s formidable daughter, Princess Alyssa ana’Raisa, is already a prisoner aboard the empress’s ship, sailing east. Lyss may be the last remaining hope of bringing down the empress from within her own tightly controlled stronghold
When I first read Flamecaster, I told myself be careful what you wish for.
This Shattered Realms series is set 25 years after The Seven Realms series, which is one of my all time favorite YA fantasy series. Because that is the case, the character shift to Han and Raisa’s children being the main characters meant they are not safe. Some of the characters I love from the first series are going to die and that was also why thirty pages into Flamecaster I was in tears sobbing and didn’t think I’d continue the book. Stormcaster made me glad I continued because after I wiped away all my tears I had a theory, a dream, a hope for my beloved character who was gone and I WAS RIGHT!!! and it made everything so much better for me.
Stormcaster is much like Flamecaster and Shadowcaster, in that we spend the first 30% of the book with a new character getting their backstory and bringing us up to present time. Evan was the envoy that came to Ardenscourt for Jenna in Flamecaster. His origin story was so interesting I didn’t care that it took us a third of the book to get back to where we left off at the end of Shadowcaster. Evan and Destin’s history was fleshed out and I will say it was different than I expected but wonderful. I was happy to find out he wasn’t exactly what we thought he was.
We have a few different story lines happening; Adrian is with Lila headed back to his homeland and to see his mother *insert tears here*. Alyssa is captured with Breon and headed to wherever the Empress lives. Hal is on his way to his father to try to gather an army to look for Alyssa. Destin is in Ardenscourt hoping to stop a civil war. Lila is actually in all of the places because that girl is badass and totally gets around. Jenna is with her Dragon Cas and they are having their own adventure, let’s just mention here how awesome Cas is.
The thing I love about this world is that the women in it are so strong. It is one of the few stories I’ve read that has a Queendom instead of a kingdom. The head of the Army is a woman, one of the top spies is a girl and another girl is a tamer of dragons and has hatched a dangerous plan of her own. Never is it said the girls should be bundled up, stowed away safely, knitting. They are all out there making differences and being strong in so many ways.
Stormcaster is where I think a lot of the story is getting traction. There are some bigger movements on what the Magemarked are and why the Empress is after them. I especially enjoyed learning more about the bloodsworn and trying to develop a theory about what those crazy blood drinking priests might be. Adrian’s reunion with his mother opens back up the political intrigues which lead to Han’s assassination and the attempt on Alyssa. I loved getting page time with Raisa. I’ve missed her so much since she is not the star of the series. But again she is the wonderful character I loved so much in the Seven Realms series.
It is fantastic to be back in this world and while you might have shied away from it if you read the Seven Realms series, I think fans will be especially excited about a few of the developments in this series in regards to characters from the original series.
Warning – This contains a developing relationship between a same sex couple. While there is no sex, there is a kiss. I don’t say this to discourage anyone from reading it but as a parent I liked knowing those things going in so I could answer questions my kids might have had. I hope this doesn’t dissuade anyone from reading.
Audio Note: As always, this is well performed and the narration of the all the characters is done well.
“You smell of the road— sweat and horses and leather, meadowsweet and pine.” She put up a hand when he tried to apologize. “No. I like it. My father was a clan trader, and he always came home smelling like faraway places. It reminds me of something your father said once.” She closed her eyes, remembering. “He said, ‘I want to breathe you in for the rest of my life.’”
— Queen Raisa
You are in deep water, Pirate, and you’ve forgotten how to swim. Do not fall for this
dangerous, moody, mercurial boy. It will lead to heartbreak or worse.
— Evan Stormcaster
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