*I was voluntarily provided this review copy audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator. Though I purchased the ebook for my own enjoyment (before audio offered).
Payne is trapped by her curse in an open tower of a temple. When the aged mage that lives here with her leaves to find more magical items, a stranger appears claiming to be here to rescue her. The strange man knows of the curse that holds her here.
Farine wants nothing more than a unicorn, until she looks into it's eye as a mysterious User suggests she do. Farine saw the truth in it's eye, and now she sees the truth surrounding those she knows like a curse was put on her. The talk of war has come with the Elves, and the truth swims around her father when she sees him... There is trouble coming.
Lisa is a new narrator for me. I had thought I had listened to one story with her voicing, but I hadn't. The one thing I noticed at the beginning is the chapters were divided between two characters, Payne and Farine. In print it's easy to differentiate when it switches. In audio, it's a bit harder. This goes for all books. Is it possible to over enunciate? I felt some of the words were overly pronounced to make sure all comes across clear. Lisa's audio is clean and clear as you go through the story.
These books are listed as stand-alone's within the same world/series. I've read the first book but not the second. Did it affect me with the book? You can read them as stand-alones. This book, though, has some pieces that's nice to know about before going in so you don't feel completely lost on what pockets are and the magic here.
In listening to the beginning I feel like there is a disconnect with some information I don't have. Yet at the same time it made me curious to find that information and answers to questions that arise to what I'm learning. These pieces that I wasn't 100% sure of fit because of the style of the story. This was mostly in the parts with Payne's POV, there is a reason for this. She doesn't remember anything before she was in the ruin of a temple she stays at. Farine's sections are more informative and helps with some of the gaps, though a few more details we can connect to what Payne's seeing would have been nice.
I spent the book trying to put together a time frame in my mind. The time frame I was trying to work out, doesn't exist. I was trying to match the sections of Payne and Farine to each other. They don't fit in in the thinking I originally had. Then when I accepted that wasn't going to happen, I relaxed into the story. I came upon a section that was an ah-ha moment where I thought things would go a certain way, and it explained why I couldn't put the time frames together. (When you get there you'll understand too. I don't want to give it away as it feels like a big movement in the book.)
It all comes together in the end. I felt like so much was here! At the ending, last about two hours, I didn't want to do anything else but listen to all the information and details of how things worked out.
We do get the story of the war that broke the land. The magic that was used and why, is explained here. Very interesting.
The beginning can be confusing. There are pieces of the world that are mentioned but you don't know what they are, yet. If you hold out and let the story wash over you, taking it all in, you will get your answers and love the ending for it. It's difficult if you try to piece Payne and Farine's time frames together as though they are happening at the same time. They aren't.
I enjoy Frances's writings. I've read a few of her books. She has a way of leaving a feeling that answers the questions. This book feels as though it's missing information though, to give a better feel of the world, the pockets, and why it's broken by magic.