Terah Woodblade is the sixth book in the “The Bowl of Souls” series and the first book in the “The Jharro Grove” saga, however it is the first book I have read in the series. Because this was my entry into the series, there were a few plot items I believe I missed had I read the previous five books. The author does a good job of providing enough backstory to assist readers with some high-level details to better understanding events from the earlier books. After reading this book, I will defiantly go back and read the others in the series; I enjoyed it that much. It is cliché, but I would say that you can judge this book by its cover, both are great.
Fantasy is one of my favorite book genres, but I have often stuck to more traditional or contemporary fantasy books written by authors like Brandon Sanderson. I was unsure what to expect from this book as it appeared to be more fantasy focused. Wow is all I can say after finishing the book. It exceeded all my expectations and it had me engaged from start to finish. The pace of the story was well done and at no time did I feel I wanted to skim over sections to get past slow periods. The author is able to tell a great adventure story by including flashbacks, dream sequences, and even a few twists and surprises. For me, the book was enjoyable and unpredictable; which is not an easy thing to accomplish with so many other fantasy books available. There was a good amount of excitement, humor, sub-plots, etc. to give the reader a deep experience. The regular battle between good and bad, but it is well told on this book.
The author painted a very believable story and included many fantasy character types while injecting a few unique creatures. The development of the main characters in the story was done very well; not too much or too little. Terah in my opinion would be classified as either a ranger or huntsman (huntswoman) based on simple RPG type classifications. And I would say that her adventure did not disappoint. One aspect I found strange was that she often would refer to herself in the third-person when speaking with others. This took some getting used to, but stick with the story as you will learn a few reasons why nearer the end of the book.
The author is able to tell a very compelling and exciting story without having to resort to the use of vulgar language as many other contemporary fantasy authors do. Language of this type would not have existed in the time the book takes place, which for me keeps it more realistic. I would like to personally thank the author for providing a deep and adventurous story that my teenager can read and enjoy and I feel comfortable allowing her too. The author expresses his characters through other means than stooping to such words. It is not a big deal, but a word that somewhat grated on my nerves was used by one of the main character. It is not a crass word, but again more a modern word which I would not think used during that period.
Regarding the audiobook narration. Andrew Tell does an excellent job of reading the book and bringing the many characters of the book to life. For a story that could have been read in a monotone way, Mr. Tell reads in a way that is expressive, inflective, and flowing. Even with the main character being female, Mr. Tell does a good job of voicing her which does not seem overly breathy or falsetto; like other narrators do.
Andrew is one of my new favorite narrators, and I will be listening to more material by him. He seems to do many other fantasy narrations along with other genres.
Disclaimer: This book was provided to the reviewer by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for a non-bias review.