'Crown of Whispers' is book five in the Faerie Lords series by the author duo known as Isabella August. The fae fantasy series quickly became a favorite of mine toward the end of last year and I find myself eagerly awaiting new releases to devour. As always, this book did not fail to live up to my expectations.
Beatrice Martel, a tech savvy security expert for hire, is the main character in this story. Like all August's characters, she's flawed in relatable ways, and incredibly easy to like. It's amazing really, it's uncommon for me to continually love all the characters in a series.. but it has definitely been the case with this one.
Dorian Moreau is her ex. A lawyer with an icy exterior, he deals with highly important supernatural clients, extracting and collecting secrets from them along the way. Known as 'The Vault,' he has a unique way of storing and protecting those secrets, that no one entirely understands.
The pair have a complicated history that ended in a vile betrayal. So, when Martel is hired to find a leak in vampire.. Jean Belmont's close network, neither of them is particularly thrilled to be dealing with the other.
I took to Dorian immediately. I wasn't put off in the least by his cold demeanor and sometimes biting words. Largely this is credit to August's ability to give you peeks of the person beneath the surface without actually cracking that facade. The story doesn't suffer for those glimpses, in fact.. it benefits. I found myself wanting to know what really happened between them all those years ago.. and once I did.. I wanted to know why.
There's just something about him even early on, that implies no decision is made lightly. Ever. No action, simply without cause. And admittedly, I believed I had a good idea of the reason. I did, sort of. Right idea, not quite the right source.
Which is another reason I love these books. Even though my intuitions are sharp when it comes to storytelling, August can still surprise me with each new novel.
In a previous review, I mentioned loving the magic system. I'm still wild about that. I know all the arguments against the concept of astrology, but even considering that.. I believe there's something to be said in the study of people who share commonality. Certain times of the year are still prone to certain climates, certain times of the month are still prone to certain tidal patterns, and so on. We cannot live without the nature of our surroundings having some effect on us. That being said.. I love the connections the author has made to the astrological signs.. and as a Scorpio, I was innately pleased to see the witch magic for that sign would hold dominion over blood and darkness.
Even the name Arcadia, the faerie world in this series, is drawn from legends and folktales used throughout history. It's amazing how richly crafted every aspect is, how much detail and research has to have been necessary to include so much.. and it's done in a way that seems almost off-handed. And the more I see of the various realms within Arcadia, the more fascinated I become.
It's pretty apparent that the series is leading somewhere and that too is exciting. There's a growing collective of Faerie Lords that are referred to as 'the Infected' and a collision with the others, at least bit-by-bit.. is inevitable.
I'm already excited for book 6. Get out there and pick this one up!