Have you ever binge watched a TV series or read a book series just as the most recent season or volume hits, only to be left waiting for that final chapter? That is exactly where I have been left after reading the second volume of The Telverin Trilogy by A.R.K. Horton, Flirting With the Tempest (thankfully the third volume, Racing With the Serpent, is scheduled for release in a matter of months, on 31 July, 2021).
I am writing this review mere days after I wrote my review for Struggling with the Current (you are just seeing this review now, thanks to internet magic called “scheduling”), taking time between the novels to parse my thoughts about the first, write my review and jump right back in to the world of Telverin. Unlike many second instalments in trilogies, Flirting With the Tempest avoids the middle entry trap of stalling for time before you get to the story.
Slightly longer than its predecessor, this sophomore effort totals 332 pages on Kindle, or 354 pages in the paperback version. The length feels appropriate for the novel’s story, and while I binged book one in three sittings, I finished Flirting With the Tempest in just two of them. While there has been no structural change to Horton’s writing, the continuation of Eya’s adventure is a gripping read.
Not only does Flirting With the Tempest expand upon Eya’s story, it continues to build the world of Telverin and expand upon the characters introduced in the first novel, while introducing new characters throughout. As with the original, the cast is lively and colourful, each of them adding to the story and fleshing out Eya’s world.
The author’s style carries over from the original novel, so if you are a fan of her prose from it, rest assured that there will be no nasty surprises (aside from the plot’s twists and turns). However, Horton’s writing feels more assured this time, and confident in its ability to tell the story. This results in a reading experience that is more fluid than Struggling With the Current, creating and maintaining a flow that eases the reader from one scene to the next. This entry also feels more mature as it grows with Eya through her adventure of self-discovery.
While I would describe Flirting With the Tempest as an improvement upon Struggling With the Current, I would not suggest reading this in lieu of its predecessor. This is firmly part of a trilogy, and while being a satisfying tale in its own right, it is definitely the second chapter in a larger narrative. While the story does make sure it gets the reader is up to speed regardless of whether they’ve read the first book, it can’t replicate the full history and emotions included in the first one.
Opening the novel mid-conversation as the characters discuss Eya, Horton immediately draws the reader in to the story, providing an indication about the scope of this subsequent entry. Following this, Horton brings the reader along for a ride through Telverin in a tale that twists and turns and has you feeling for Eya and those around her. Like Struggling With the Current before it, Flirting With the Tempest tells a story about family and friendship, but more than that about love, building on these themes in a book that is both a natural progression from, and an improvement upon, the first. I am looking forward to locking my eyes upon Racing with the Serpent.
Though Summer would arrive any day, a cold rain chilled the camp to their drenched bones. The suctioning plops of Kandumes feet on mud grated on Cefa. The whole base smelled like wet horse dung, and it was putting her off her oats, which the nuts hadn’t made any better. It was if, instead of adding flavor to the oats, the oats caused the nuts to become bland. She crunched on it morosely, under a makeshift shelter by the cauldron, while she watched the Pescelean prisoner ogle Eya.
Flirting With the Tempest was provided by the author for the purposes of an honest review.
Flirting With the Tempest is available in both physical and eBook forms from book retailers (including—but not limited to—Amazon). Signed copies are available from the author’s website.
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