Author CM Kerley has used her magical writing talents once again to weave together The Giant’s Echo, the second book in her Barclan Series. It continues just months after the events in The Hummingbird’s Tears with characters readers will remember as well as new ones introduced; however, the once hopeful feeling the characters shared in turning the tides of the ill-fated prophecy to reach a peaceful conclusion have now been taken over by fear and doubt.
The prophecy cannot be stopped… it has already begun. People are slowly starving to death across the kingdom. Villages and towns continue to be leveled by trolls. A powerful and evil sorcerer who holds three of the four gems left by the Four Gods of All is acquiring hundreds of followers daily to aid him in the looming magical war. All that remains for him to start the war is the final gem: the gem that is being protected by the newly crowned King. The King must find a way to banish the evil threatening his kingdom, but with just a small group of close allies and a powerful sorcerer of his own who he can’t even completely trust, will it be enough to succeed?
What a way to write a sequel. After an already intriguing start to a new series, Kerley has impressed with The Giant’s Echo by expanding her unique fantasy world and unpredictable storytelling even further, all aided by her wondrous creativity and her beautifully detailed writing style. For those who have read The Hummingbird’s Tears, they were introduced to Kerley’s unique fantasy world: one not overrun by magic, but rather one that had endured without magic for a long time and was slowly being reintroduced to it as the prophecy began to come true. To the delight of fantasy fans, more magic is being introduced into Kerley’s storyline with the sequel. Readers will learn more about the Druids and their magic which will, most likely, play an even larger role in future books. It is also to be determined that other mythical creatures, aside from trolls, are to most likely make an appearance in future books. It is mentioned in the book that magic was never truly gone from the world, but rather was in hiding and this included the mythical creatures of yore: a truly exciting addition to Kerley’s already captivating fantasy world.
With this war threatening to start at any given moment, it is not surprising The Giant’s Echo has a darker feel overall. Kerley takes this feeling even further by also sharing the emotions of the characters. She does a fantastic job by giving readers a look into the inner thoughts of not only the main characters, but also into the thoughts of the people residing in the capital city as well as in other villages and towns. Everyone wishes to feel hope in these dark times, but the more dominant feelings are of hopelessness and fear. The main characters try to unburden others of these fears, but have their own doubts as they try desperately to cling to the few slivers of hope remaining. Readers will also get a firsthand look into this darkness for Kerley shares the thoughts of the villains of the story, as well. It is not often readers get the opportunity to see into the inner thoughts of evil characters, but this helps to show readers both what the good and the bad think during dark times. Kerley has succeeded by expressing both sides in a very believable way while also not spoiling any major plot points in the process.
While many characters were introduced in The Hummingbird’s Tear, only a handful of new characters were added in The Giant’s Echo. Kerley chose to take more time to develop her characters already in play and she did a phenomenal job at that, delving deeper into each of their unique personalities. Readers will see the struggles of a newly crowned King and Queen trying to keep their kingdom alive while also being separated from one another by thousands of miles. Readers will also see into the minds of a hired assassin and his twin, trained soldiers, and, as aforementioned, an evil sorcerer and his second-in-command. These are but a few of the characters readers will meet along their journey, but the two with the most development and the two who readers have followed since the beginning are brothers Brennan and Calem. Kerley goes so much deeper with these two than in the first book and, while readers still long for the two to rebuild their brotherly bond, they will also become fascinated by how the two change: both transforming into characters readers would never expect and ones that appealingly fit into the storyline.
The Giant’s Echo is a prime example of the amazingly right way to write a sequel. Kerley continues her new fantasy series by venturing into a darker and more emotional storyline no reader would expect: a storyline that most certainly works for the overall feel of the series thus far. More unpredictability, more magic, and deeper character development all await within the pages to be shared through the talented Kerley’s storytelling. If readers have not read The Hummingbird’s Tear yet, it is strongly encouraged for them to buy it and read it now so then they can read The Giant’s Echo and wait in anticipation for the next in Kerley’s Barclan Series.