Martyr’s Moon is the second book in the War of Whispers series by J.E. Lowder. You can also find my review on the first book, Tears of Min Brock, on my blog.
This is a continuation of the story following Elabea and Romlin. At the end of the last book, they finally reached the land of Claire, only to find that it was a wasteland. Elabea is completely distraught by this news and also by the death of her dear rusk, a friend and pet.
The children now doubt everything that the King of Claire has promised them. The Cauldron, the source of the evil whisper of Ebon, uses this opportunity to try to turn them against Manno Vox and the King and convince them to abandon their quest.
Still, they hear the whisper of Claire amidst the Cauldron’s ugly whisper. The whisper that gently pushes them onward… “My delight.”
I definitely enjoyed some of the developments of this story. It was wonderful to see the characters grow and become stronger, both physically and emotionally.
The book not only follows the adventures of Elabea and Romlin, but also others. Back at home in Hetherlinn, Quinn and Gundin, Elabea’s and Romlin’s fathers, are preparing their village for war. Il-Lilliad, the storyteller who helped Elabea and Romlin begin their quest, now journeys with Kinmin to SriBrune to ask for help in the war. Linwith is on his way to a nearby town to collect weapons, but has taken a detour to visit the Worms of Bal-Malin. Newcomb, a storyteller, and Lassiter, the future King of Allsbruth, along with an assassin and an annoying minstrel, are on their own way to Claire.
Quinn and Gundin’s story was interesting to follow, although I felt myself becoming very angry with the people of Hetherlinn who so quickly turned from their original mission at the sight of the beautiful gifts from their enemy. I’d like to think that I would be able to stand firm, but then so many strong people crumbled under the weight of Ebon’s “generous” hand.
I liked traveling with Il-Lilliad and Kinmin because I immediately took a great liking to Kinmin. He and his people have a very interesting ability: their faces can change to look like anything they want them to. Some of Kinmin’s people can change their entire bodies to take on a different shape, but it requires a lot of effort. Plus, Kinmin’s complete lack of understanding of sarcastic language was humorous.
Linwith’s journey to see the Worms of Bal-Malin was a funny one, as well. He was skeptical the whole way there, being told that he was the Worm Master and being told about “the ferocious Worms”, when in his mind, he was imagining the small, pink, wiggly worm you find in the dirt. Instead, the Worms were more like dragons, but do not make the mistake of calling them this. The Worms take great offense to being called dragons, as Linwith soon learned.
I think my favorite people to tag along with were Newcomb and his band of misfits. I felt so awful for him, for he was constantly chasing after the rebellious Lassiter, who did not want to be King, who only wanted to be a minstrel and chase after attractive young women. He also had to deal with a scheming, conniving minstrel and the dark, mysterious assassin, Draemal.
Still, though, after learning more about Draemal and his dark past, he has turned out to be my favorite character. Newcomb’s story is steeped in bad luck and misery, so when Draemal has to step up and lead, he does well.
This story is so well thought-out, and like I mentioned, the character development was very good, except for possibly a few instances (Elabea and Romlin). I adore Draemal, Linwith, and Kinmin. I look forward to the next book!