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Pants' Books & Stuff!

Hi there! I imagine you must be wondering what the heck is up with my blog name. The short answer is, Pants has become my internet handle in a lot of places where I hang out (somehow). I mainly read YA and comics, and I also frequently read speculative fiction of pretty much any kind. My other hobbies include watching anime and playing video games. Other random tidbits: I have a Bachelor's degree in English Literature and a Masters in Library and Information Sciences. I also have an affinity for tea.
Silksinger - Laini Taylor
Originally reviewed here.

Why I Read It: After being pleasantly surprised (bit of an understatement) with Blackbringer, I immediately (I mean that literally) picked this up and devoured it. Spoiler-free review ahead (though there are spoilers for Blackbringer, so beware of that)!

THESE BOOKS!! I love them so. In the first book, Blackbringer, the action mostly takes place in the Dreamdark forest. In this second book, readers are brought to new locations and we meet new characters. It's not surprising that Taylor made this choice, but I'm so glad she's expanding upon the world she created in her first book. It was especially nice to be able to dive right into the story without having the hangups that I had when I first started Blackbringer; I was familiar with the writing style, and the details of the first book and its world-building were still fresh in my mind.

In this installment, Magpie is the established champion of the djinn Magruwen, and he's tasked her with finding the other djinn and to bring them back to him. With her crow companions, Talon, and the demon Batch, Magpie sets out on her search. On their journey, they find out that a Silksinger, a clan of faeries that was believed to have been wiped out thousands of years ago, named Whisper has one of the djinn (Azazel) in her possession. Hirik, a fairy from the Mothmage clan, a clan that has been deemed responsible for the death of the dragon Fade and the Silksinger clan, is also looking for the djinn to become its champion and to redeem the name of the Mothmage clan.

Because new characters are introduced, the action of this story feels a lot more spread out than it did in Blackbringer. Along with Magpie's POV, we have Hirik, Whisper, Slog (a demon unwillingly working for the Big Bad, but who has a good heart), and the apothecary man whose name I can't remember at the moment (I'm the worst for remembering names, seriously.) Like I said above, I love that we're introduced to new characters and widening the scope of the world -- such as introducing the Silksinge and Mothmage clans, and how their history interweaves with the history presented in the first book -- but it did dilute the story a bit, because it has to focus on so many other characters. Taylor still manages to bring everything together wonderfully though, and the pacing is never sluggish.

I loved how Taylor characterized Whisper. She's a perfect counter-point to Magpie in that she demonstrates her strength from her iron-will and determination, countering Magpie's physical strength. Also, Whisper's ability to invoke glyphs with her voice was WAY COOL! Hirik's determination to clean his family's name was admirable and made him a likable character, and his loyalty to Whisper and to protect are endearing, so he was a welcome addition to the cast as well.

I suppose it's pretty clear how much I enjoyed these books, and I'm so sad to say that there is so much more story to tell her. The story wraps up nicely by the end, but there's definitely a "be continued" feeling to it, and this was clearly meant to be a longer series. Sadly, the publisher who was putting these out decided to NOT continue it, and my heart is BROKEN over this!! I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that the popularity of Daughter of Smoke and Bone will renew publishers' interest in putting out the series, and that Taylor is herself willing to finish them once she's done with DoS&B. It feels like a far-off dream, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!

Final Verdict: This was a fantastic addition to the Dreamdark series; it introduces new characters, locations, and adds more history to this already richly developed world. The new characters in introduced in this installment were likable and had strengths in different ways than Magpie and Talon, and I loved them for it. The story felt a little more diluted this time around because of the additional POV characters, but the pacing still felt spot-on and I was never bored. I'm so sad that Taylor wasn't able to finish this series, as there's still obviously so much story to tell, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed (but not getting my hopes up too high) that Taylor will one day finish the series, after she's finished with her Daughter of Smoke and Bone series.