*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.
The land of Dremaldria has been ever changed due to the war. It's over now, and people try to rebuild.
Tarah returns to her home land expecting to be seen as the coward who ran from the war. She hopes, the guild will accept her because she's one of the best trackers around. When she returns home she finds the exact opposite. She's viewed by the people as a hero.
Tarah had taken what appeared to be a magically spelled sword from a bandit on her way to Sampo. With no post of someone looking for it, Tarah agrees to take it to the Mage School for a finders fee. And while on her way there, she agrees to take an easy job of escorting a couple and their son to the school. Easy money... right? Tarah sees the tracks to a rare, unbelievable beast but keeps moving with the family. At the Wizard Academy, Tarah's asked to be a specialist on a contract job. To help track a Rogue horse. For the money and easy sound of the job, she takes it.
I've grown to really like background music when narrators read the title page of a book. Sets the mood for what's to come. Andrew is a narrator I've listened to and enjoyed. When I see a book in the genre I enjoy, I have to have it. This book holds true to his fantasy narrations. He does different tones and emotions for each character, making them distinct for us. I do enjoy his different inflections and timber for individualizing the characters. His voice is clear and easy to listen to.
Tarah knows what she did when the war was happening. She ran. People died. She wasn't here to help them. And it all weighs on her mind because they think her a hero for what she did in Pinewood. Tarah also has her Papa and Grampa Rolf in her mind reminding her how she should act and what she should do. They are like her conscious.
There's Djeri. He becomes Tarah's travel companion, co-worker in a sense. But Djeri the Looker becomes much more than just that to Tarah. They both start to realize it as they are there for each other through this travel and obstacles of threats. I like how this relationship evolves through the book.
When we meet Arkon I'm caught by him. It's a quick intro to him and Melinda. Their connection is a unique one here in this world, and I'm getting the feel an unwanted one. The magic and assassins sent after them are wild. I love it! Arkon is a mage and has his own tricks. I'm thinking he might be my favorite character but because of the mystery surrounding him.
I've not read or listened to any of The Bowl of Souls series, though I'm wanting to. I've started in with this book with fresh eyes. I'm not aware of the ways of this world or the war that has ravaged the lands, but it was easy to understand the world. Tarah is even haunted by her past during the war, those that she didn't save and how she ran. It leaves a mysterious feel to Tarah and keeps me wondering the whole story with her past, keeping me listening to learn.
There is a moral to the story, it's tied to Tarah struggling with who she is. She doesn't understand who's inside because she's left other people's thoughts of her affect her. She comes to learn from Djeri, who becomes dear to her, that she's who she is through actions not what people think of her. This is a strong lesson for Tarah, and what readers can take from the story too.
The epilogue introduces new characters and new troubles to be followed in the next book. I'm curious how this will cross with Tarah Woodblade's next mission, which we know of by how this book ends.