Spoilers for Dreamdark BlackbringerSynopsis
One faerie, the last of her clan, must fight to complete her sacred duty.
Whisper Silksinger is the last of the secret guardians of the Azazel, one of the powerful Djinn who dreamed the world into being. Relentlessly pursued by bloodthirsty devils, she flees to the city of Nazneen to restore the Azazel to his temple. At the same time, Hirik Mothmage is also on a secret quest, to find the Azazel and restore his disgraced clan's ancient honor.
And behind them all flies Magpie Windwitch, first champion of the new age of faeries, desperate to rescue Whisper and the Azazel alike before they fall in the clutches of a sinister hidden enemy.
I left a bit of a gap before starting book two in this series and the main reason for this is that I know, at the moment of writing this, there are no other Dreamdark books in the pipeline. Laini explains why on her site and I'm crossing everything that one day she'll be able to finish the series. Leaving this bit of sad news aside it goes without saying that it took me moments to immerse myself in the world of Dreamdark again. We left Magpie as Magruwen's champion and on a mission to discover the rest of the Djinn in her quest to protect the Tapestry of Creation.
Meanwhile a fabulous new character called Whisper is in deep trouble. Her grandparents, the Silksingers, have been killed protecting one of the Djinn called Azazel. Now Whisper is the last of her kind and has nothing except the teakettle that she keeps Azazel in. Whisper, like Talon in book one, is a scamperer and can't fly but uses a magic carpet. Even this is destroyed by the devils and she's left on foot. Determined to bring Azazel back to life by putting him on his throne in Nazneen she begins her journey on foot, alone and afraid. Fortunately for her she meets up with a fairy called Hirik and he helps her. Magpie is also seeking Azazel so it isn't long before the two stories share a common ground.
I wasn't sure if I would bond with a new set of characters but I needn't have worried. Whisper is so appealing and I was willing her along, holding my breath as the devils drew closer. Laini weaves a wonderful spell and the tension mounts throughout. The city of Nazneen is so richly described that I wished I could visit it: spice and silk stalls, fortune tellers who use smoke as a means of divination, food and music. The underside of the city is alive too and terrible secrets are waiting to be unearthed. Every character, no matter how small, is wonderfully imagined. Each different fairy clan has it's own characteristics and strengths, the amount of mythology in these books is stunning. As always, Laini doesn't shy away from the horror or unkindness of her world no more than she does the kindness and beauty. In a world that is in danger of unravelling there will obviously be hateful characters and there were plenty within the pages of Silksinger. But also, some of the most gorgeous passages I've ever read are to be found too.
I could quite happily read many more of these books and I only hope that the success of Daughter of Smoke and Bone will mean that I can eventually get the chance.