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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
“I had named myself a Finch after the Order of Verifiers, a long-disbanded branch of the government, to carry on their mission of exposing truth wherever deception obscured it.” Twenty-five-year-old Airene makes a living by gathering and selling priceless information. When Despot Myron Wreath, the purported ruler of Oedija, met his untimely death, Airene is determined to find the truth about his suspicious demise with the reluctant help from her fellow Finches, Xaron and Nomusa. Little do they know that Myron's death is only a small piece of the bigger events that are coming their way, including the revival of an ancient being that's threatening the Four Realms. City of Whispers is the first book for The Famine Cycle series by J.D.L. Rosell.
Rosell's City of Whispers deftly blends political intrigue and tension between ruling powers, the mystic ability of the wardens, and the threat of war including the looming terror of a daemon god. It took a while to familiarize myself with the world-building but it’s no doubt imaginative, intricate and impressive. The depth of the storyline will keep readers invested and the inviting whiff of conspiracy, ominous threat and suspense will keep one eagerly waiting for the twists to be unraveled. The prose is clear with a subtle lyrical quality to it, making the narrative emotionally engaging. The characters are well fleshed out; I easily rooted for the Finches although Airene’s stubbornness caused some strain between her companions and unavoidably endangered their lives. The antagonists such as the Manifest group and their leader are interestingly complex, adding credible hostility to the plot. With an enticing glimpse into Book Two, Realm of Ashes, The Famine Cycle is an exciting series for fantasy fans and I look forward to reading the continuation of the story.