When you’ve lost everything you love, how do you fight the darkness?
Ava left Istanbul with a new identity, new name, and new magic she could barely control. Laid low by Malachi’s sacrifice, she searches for help from the fabled Irina. But will the secretive women of the Irin race welcome or shun her? Ava’s origins are still a mystery, and her powers are darker than any they’ve encountered before. The Irin world hangs in the balance. And as the children of angels battle their own demons, ancient rivalries among the Fallen threaten to wreak havoc on earth.
Thousands of miles away, a warrior wakes with no memory of his identity or his people. Stumbling though the dark and twisted schemes of fallen angels, ravenous Grigori, and even his own leaders, he must find a way back to the one thing he remembers. A single voice calls him. Malachi has one mission.
“Come back to me.”
THE SINGER is the second book in the Irin Chronicles, a contemporary fantasy series from Elizabeth Hunter, author of the Elemental Mysteries.
The Singer has been near the top of my highly anticipated reads list since the moment I finished The Scribe in 2013. In many ways, The Singer totally delivered but in others, it left me frustrated.
With the recent death of her mate Malachai, Ava is absolutely shattered and in her current state unable to control the new and fearsome powers that are coursing through her body. Though the other Irin have been completely supportive, they simply can’t help Ava understand or control her powers but, they know who can. Determined to help Ava, Damien carts her off to Norway in search of an Irina compound where Ava can be both protected and trained. If Damien’s lucky, his mate will let him into the compound as well.
In other news, Malachai is actually still alive though so many things about his presence are troubling. His memory is sketchy at best, all of his protective inscriptions/tattoos are gone and, though he knows Ava is his, he doesn’t really remember her. Adding insult to injury is the fact that once he reappears, Malachai’s brothers regret to inform him that Ava was with them but now she is in the wind with Damien and no one knows the precise location of their destination. Many of the youngest brothers have never even met an Irina so the thought of tracking down Damien and Ava is appealing to all.
The Irina living in the Norwegian compound are some of the fiercest and most resourceful women to have ever lived. The compound is protected not only by the martial skills of some of the Irina but also by the magic of one of the oldest Irina still in existence. In order to preserve their lives and their legacies, many of the women have chosen to never leave the compound even to the extent that they are separated from their living mates. Of course the separation is hard but after the Rending, the lives of the Irina became even more precious. But, after more than 200 years in hiding, many of the Irina are ready to come back out and into the light. Hope the Irin are ready for their women . . . .
In even further news The Fallen have begun to stir and are wreaking havoc on humanity and keeping the Irin extraordinarily busy. Jaron has given up control of his lands to the complete confusion of the others and the exceedingly deadly and bat-shit crazy Volund is making moves to acquire new lands. Volund is overt in his actions and has sent Barak to complete some of the dirtier deeds on the list of aggression. Barak is ruthless and though he has doubts about some of the assignments he has been given, he is terrified of Volund and understands that defiance is equal to death. While Jaron and Volund are certainly not bosom buddies, they do have similar interests and one of those interests is Ava. Evidently, no one really knows what Ava is or how she came to be but she is damn powerful and the most powerful want her.
In the furthest news, Vienna has long been the home of the Irin Council and a city that has been blissfully peaceful as far as the whole Irin vs The Fallen goes. In many ways, Vienna has so completely isolated themselves that they can’t see the threats that are actually before them. In typical clueless leadership fashion, the Council members refuse to listen or believe the reports coming in of increased Fallen activity. They ignore the Irin house requests for funds and support and continue to live their happy little lives with their heads buried in the sand. In fact, the Vienna Council is so secure in the knowledge of their safety that many of the mated are accepting of their women stepping out into the world. Little do they know . . .
The Bottom Line: As you can clearly see, The Singer has A LOT of things going on and this is where my frustration with this read comes from. Though this read is still absolutely solid and beautifully written, it left me feeling as if I were jumping from story to story to story with no real resolution anywhere. Additionally, with the Irina reentering the world, several new characters have been introduced and thrown into the mix. Yes, I love new characters but with all of the other drama unfolding, it felt like a bit too much all at once. No, I wasn’t at all lost while reading The Singer but I also didn’t finish this read with the same sense of satisfaction I normally have with Elizabeth Hunter’s books. You may ridicule me now 😦