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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
I was mentally transported into strange and exciting places, encountering powerful and deadly characters in The Speaker, the second book in The Vaelinel Trilogy by Andi O'Connor. One reads nonstop, and once the last page is turned, it feels like waking up from a nightmare or a strange dream. Irewen has only one way of surviving the cruelty of the Drulaack: take refuge in dead bodies. But then, she can’t hide in dead bodies for long as she is quickly driven out of them. Now, she has to return to Vaelinel where a group of despairing companions awaits her. The Corrupter — the evil one who is insanely craving power— is about to exact revenge on them. What hope is left for them? Can they muster the strength to stand against a powerful evil that is about to befall their land?
The Speaker starts with action and it absorbs the reader from the very first lines. Although I haven’t read the first book in this trilogy, I didn’t find it hard getting into the story, and that is a plus for the author. There is a lot to enjoy in this book, including the extraordinary setting, the powerful cast of characters — some of them have lived and fought for hundreds of years — the great conflict that involves the eternal struggle between good and evil, and the fascinating plot lines. Irewen, Laegon, Elthad, and the Corrupter are characters I wanted to follow to the end and how they evolve in the story shows the author’s gift for character development. Irewen, for instance, is a gifted character, but she is unaware of what she is capable of doing and this is interesting because she is surprised at her strength, as well as are readers. Andi O'Connor writes beautifully and her storytelling skills come across clearly in this entertaining and absorbing story.