Fantasy Romance

A Strange Hymn – Laura Thalassa

I’m completely in shock. I can’t even process the way that this book went, and I have to say I LOVE that. This is a whole new level for this series and I’m loving how crazy it’s gotten! We’ve met a ton of new characters, we’ve seen our beloved ones grow, and we’ve learned a ton about the Otherworld. 

Plot

After escaping Karnons clutches and the horrible prison, Callie has physical reminders of her twisted time being held captive. Wings, talons, and claws now mark her as different than human, making it impossible for her to go back to Earth unnoticed. While Karnon is now dead (thanks to Des), the nightmare is far from over. The sleeping women still haven’t woken up, and the male soldiers are still missing as well. 

With Callie confined to the Otherworld, Des takes it upon himself to show her the Night Kingdom in all its glory. Each city gives Callie a glimpse into Desmond Flynns’ life as a Night King fae, and secrets are revealed about his dark and mysterious past. 

Des and Callie are invited to Soltice, a fae celebration, taking place in the Kingdom of Flora. The two take their investigation and search for the Thief of Souls to the Flora Kingdom where Callie is met with some intriguing, dangerous fae royals. Callie realizes just how mysterious fairies can be, Des included. As Des continues to open up to Callie, secret by secret, she sees just how alike they are in their dark pasts. 

While all of this is happening, the Thief of Souls gets busy and is stealing male soldiers at a faster rate than ever. Callie finally comes face to face with the Thief of Souls, her captor, and the biggest enemy she has faced so far. 

Characters

Callie grows into someone who is much stronger than in the last book. It does sometimes feel like she relies on Des too much, but as the book goes on, she takes matters into her own hands and becomes more powerful than she ever has been. Along with this, her love for Des is unwavering, despite the accusations that seem to be made against him. Her strength and love for Desmond Flynn make her who she is, and I loved every part of seeing their relationship grow from their seven years apart. 

She also faces a ton of things in this book that most people would kind of freak out over. Not only does she get past the fact that she has grown wings, talons, and scales, but she is able to be around someone who she believed was her captor for quite a while. As far as that goes, I feel like it shows her unbelievable strength as she is around to be around people who pretty much harass her and don’t care for her at all. 

Des is a character that we learn a lot more about in this book. I loved seeing all of the little parts of him, and secrets that he’d let out. Learning about his past was so interesting. He lived in a cave for some of his life, and he comes from a royal harem, his love for his mother in unbelievably beautiful even though he saw her murdered. Every little detail of Des was something that I savored and it was really cool to see that side of him. I feel like he went from a hard and brooding person in the first book, to now being someone who is vulnerable enough to share some of his greatest secrets with Callie which I really loved seeing. 

We also meet a few new characters such as Malaki, who is Des’ oldest friend, like a brother. I really liked meeting Malaki, and I think he was such a nice addition to the group. It was also hilarious to see Callie kind of freak out over the fact that Des actually has friends, so Malaki is definitely a welcome addition! 

On top of Malaki, there is Temper who is a character that I loved from the beginning. Temper is such a sassy character that adds a ton of depth to the story. I mean she’s just such a badass! I feel like she’s exactly the kind of best friend that Callie needs, and together they make this incredible, badass women duo. It’s just one of my favorite things ever!

Finally, we met a ton of Fae characters. Mara was the Queen of Flora Kingdom, and I have to say I hated her. She just came off as such a brat. She has men swarming her at pretty much all times, all of her words seemed to be an underlying insult of some form, and she was eyeing Des quite a bit which…excuse me, no! We also met the Green Man who was Maras’ consort and he was an interesting character, to say the least. And we finally met Janus who is the King of Day Kingdom and I wasn’t particularly fond of him either. Maybe he’ll grow on me, we’ll see. 


“Oh, the joys of becoming a weapon of mass destruction.”


Setting

This was kind of a super magical setting that I love love loved. First of all, seeing the Night Kingdom was spectacular. Seeing all of the different cities in the Night Kingdom was so amazing. I have to say that I especially liked the first one. Des and Callie entered a restaurant that would kind of give you any food you were thinking of, and I wanted Des’ churro!

As amazing as the Night Kingdom was, we also got to see a bit of the Kingdom of Flora which isn’t something I’m particularly fond of, however, it was beautiful. Flowers, vines, and plants take up most of the Kingdom of Flora and while that does suit the Kingdom and the Queen, the sacred Oak trees ruined it for me. Along with that, the company wasn’t great so I didn’t love the Kingdom altogether. 

Writing

As before, Laura Thalassa surprised me with how amazing her writing is. I was constantly engaged with the story and couldn’t put the book down. The sarcasm made me laugh so many times throughout the book, and when she got serious I couldn’t pry my eyes away from the page! 

In Conclusion… 

This book was just as good, if not better than the first Bargainer book. I can’t wait to read the novella from Des’ point of view, and I’m completely and utterly hooked on this story and these characters!

Rating: 5/5⭐

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