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Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Audible Book Review: The Queen and the Cure by Amy Harmon

This author and narrator make for stellar entertainment!
The Queen and the Cure
The Bird and the Sword Chronicles Series, Book 2: Booktrack Edition
By: Amy Harmon
Narrated by: Steve West
The Queen and the Cure audiobook cover art
Series: The Bird and the Sword Chronicles, Book 2
Length: 10 hrs and 57 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 06-12-18
Language: English
Publisher: Novel Audio
Genre: Fairy-Tale, Fantasy, Romance
My Rating: 5.0 of 5.0 Overall, Story and Narration.

Publisher's Summary
The Queen and the Cure: The Bird and the Sword Chronicles Series, Book 2: Booktrack Edition adds an immersive musical soundtrack to your audiobook listening experience!*
There will be a battle, and you will need to protect your heart.
Kjell of Jeru had always known who he was. He'd never envied his brother or wanted to be king. He was the bastard son of the late King Zoltev and a servant girl, and the ignominy of his birth had never bothered him. But there is more to this man than his parentage. More to this man than his blade, his size, or his skills, and all that Kjell once knew has shifted and changed. He is no longer simply Kjell of Jeru, a warrior defending the crown. Now he is a healer, one of the Gifted, and a man completely at odds with his power.
Called upon to rid the country of the last vestiges of the Volgar, Kjell stumbles upon a woman who has troubling glimpses of the future and no memory of the past. Armed with his unwanted gift and haunted by regret, Kjell becomes a reluctant savior, beset by old enemies and new expectations. With the woman by his side, Kjell embarks upon a journey where the greatest test may be finding the man she believes him to be.
*Booktrack is an immersive format that pairs traditional audiobook narration to complementary music. The tempo and rhythm of the score are in perfect harmony with the action and characters throughout the audiobook. Gently playing in the background, the music never overpowers or distracts from the narration, so listeners can enjoy every minute. When you purchase this Booktrack edition, you receive the exact narration as the traditional audiobook available, with the addition of music throughout.
©2017 Amy Harmon (P)2018 Novel Audio Inc.

Kiell of Jeru is the son of the late king and an unknown woman whose name was Cora. Kiell never wanted to be royalty and preferred being a warrior, the Captain of Guard, protecting his brother, the King of Jeru. Kiell is also one of the Gifted although he’d still rather be a warrior than a healer. Kiell sets out with his troop to find and eliminate any remaining Volgar, the birdmen who feast on human flesh.

Along the journey tracking the Volgar, Kiell comes upon a young woman lying broken on the rocks below a cliff. He chooses to heal her and as she recovers, he learns that the woman has had visions of him and the future.

Sasha has been a servant for the past four years. She does not remember her past, but she is learned which is unusual. Of more concern is the fact that Sasha sees visions and most often they signal trouble without clarity. When her mistress dies, the people of the village want to get rid of Sasha because they don’t like what she has tried to tell them. After falling from a cliff, Sasha wakes from pain to see a face she has known in her dreams and visions. She is afraid that Kiell won’t believe her, but she is quickly able to convince him that she is a Gifted sear.

Sasha commits herself to stay with Kiell in spite of his efforts to leave her behind. Kiell once loved a woman who used and betray him. He no longer does love and isn’t too quick to give compassion. Sasha pushes him to find his suppressed emotions.

Sasha announces that she ‘belongs’ to him and doesn’t give up until Kiell acknowledges the he ‘belongs’ to her. Then a stranger steps up to reveal Sasha’s true identity and help her remember her past. Now Kiell has to step away or guard her as he returns her to another kingdom, to lands that may still contain the remnants of the Volgar. Meanwhile, an old, ambitious and dark enemy is stalking Kiell. Kiell has to fight to survive external enemies even as he has to struggle to keep his heart from breaking.

I had forgotten how lyrical this author is. I was engaged from the moment the story started. The characters are complex with hidden feelings and emotions that are drawn out during their journey. There is intrigue, danger, and wonderful romantic conflict. My heart yearned for this couple to accept their love and find a way to be together. This is a story where I was glued to finish but reluctant to be done. I will be looking for other books by Amy Harmon. Although this book could be read as a standalone, I recommend reading book one, The Bird and the Sword, first which introduces most of the characters and gives important background to the world they live in.

Audio Notes: Steve West is a perfect match for the lyrical writing and emotion. He smoothly provides distinct voices and nails the emotional depths. I will be looking for other books narrated by West as I totally enjoyed his presentation. The audio production has soft background sounds such has horses neighing and turmoil during battle. These enhanced the listening experience for me.

Source: Purchased at Kindle for $.99, then Audible at $7.99. This qualifies for 2020TBR, 2020Audiobook and 2020Alphabet goals.

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