From Goodreads: An insidious curse is weakening the Norse kingdom of Saylok, where no daughters have been born in years. Washing up on these plagued shores is Ghisla, an orphaned stowaway nursed back to health by a blind cave dweller. Named for a mysterious god, the boy, Hod, is surrounded by prophecy. To Ghisla, he’s a cherished new friend. To Hod, the girl is even more so. For when Ghisla sings, Hod can see. Unable to offer safe shelter, Hod urges Ghisla onward to become a daughter of the temple, where all the kingdom’s girl children have been gathered. But because of a magical rune, the two cannot be separated, no matter the time or the distance. Now, subject to a ruthless king, Ghisla enters a desperate world of warring clan chieftains and catastrophic power struggles. Who among them can be trusted is unknowable. So are the sacrifices Ghisla and Hod must make to defeat the cursed forces that could destroy a kingdom and the fated bond between two souls.
Two years ago, I listened to The First Girl Child, technically the first book in this series, though the events of the two take place simultaneously with overlapping points. I loved the book, and so when I discovered The Second Blind Son, I immediately bought a copy through Audible. And then I didn’t listen to it, because I was afraid. Too often, I’ve loved a first book only to be disappointed by the second, which from time to time actually ruins the first! I didn’t want that to happen. So I put it off, and only after I went through almost the entirety of my Audible backlog did I start listening.
Oh. My. I should not have waited this long.
It’s possible that I loved this volume even more than The First Girl Child. Or it’s possible that I’d love whichever I listened to second the most. Because 1) the audio narration is so amazing (more on that in a bit), and 2) whichever book comes second only enriches the story and world of the first. It was comforting, like sinking into a hot bath or sitting down for coffee with some of your oldest friends. I haven’t labeled a book as a favorite since late 2020, until this one. I never wanted to put down the audiobook, and when I had to – sometimes for a few days at a time – I never hesitated to pick it back up. It’s perfect in just about every way.
Are any of my readers familiar with Amy Harmon’s other books? She apparently has quite a few of them out there, and these two are my first by her. I hesitate to label her as a new favorite author, since I’ve only read books set in the same world/series. Some authors write differently for each book/series they produce, and it’s possible I won’t feel the same about her others. But I’d love to have some insight, and suggestions from fellow readers if you’re familiar with her work!
I admit, I’m leaning toward the books that Rob Shapiro reads. Above, I said that the audio narration is amazing. Shapiro reads both of these books, and his voice is so resonant, calm, comforting, and perfectly fitted to the mood of this story. I tried looking up other books he’d read via Audible, but most are not the sorts of books I’d read. I saw a few of Harmon’s other books, though, and that’s persuasive. I’m always more inclined to listen to books read by my favorite narrators (like Kate Reading!), and Shapiro has catapulted to my top-narrators list!