Title: The Speaker
Series: Sea of Ink and Gold #2
Author: Traci Chee
Genres: Young Adult Fantasy
Having barely escaped the clutches of the Guard, Sefia and Archer are back on the run, slipping into the safety of the forest to tend to their wounds and plan their next move. Haunted by painful memories, Archer struggles to overcome the trauma of his past with the impressors, whose cruelty plagues him whenever he closes his eyes. But when Sefia and Archer happen upon a crew of impressors in the wilderness, Archer finally finds a way to combat his nightmares: by hunting impressors and freeing the boys they hold captive.
With Sefia’s help, Archer travels across the kingdom of Deliene rescuing boys while she continues to investigate the mysterious Book and secrets it contains. But the more battles they fight, the more fights Archer craves, until his thirst for violence threatens to transform him from the gentle boy Sefia knows to a grim warrior with a cruel destiny. As Sefia begins to unravel the threads that connect Archer’s fate to her parents’ betrayal of the Guard so long ago, she and Archer must figure out a way to subvert the Guard’s plans before they are ensnared in a war that will pit kingdom against kingdom, leaving their future and the safety of the entire world hanging in the balance.
It’s not really a secret that I loved The Reader by Traci Chee. I mean, I scream about it on Twitter every chance I get, and it’s even in my Twitter bio. I was ecstatic when I was approved to read and review The Speaker, but I didn’t think it’d be able to be better than the first book, but boy, was I wrong.
The Speaker is even more intense, un-put-down-able, and fun. I loved that we followed an ensamble cast in the main storyline instead of just the two main characters, since those are one of my favorite bookish tropes. Traci Chee did an incredible job giving every single character their own unique voice. I often tend to confuse characters, and when there’s a lot of them they tend to blur together a little, but I had no problem with that at all while reading this. I also fell in love with every single character, and I honestly kind of miss them now that I’ve finished the book.
The Speaker was also just as beautifully crafted as The Reader, with a lot of layers, and a lot of twists that you don’t see coming, which keep you on the edge of your seat. Just like in the first book, there are three different storylines that you’re following, and they connect to the main storyline in a beautiful, and somewhat surprising, way. Trying to guess how the secondary storylines fit together with the main storyline has become one of my favorite things. It’s like trying to solve a puzzle while reading.
This series is intense, exceptionally well-written and it will probably forever be a favorite of mine. I’m counting down the days until I get to read the third book, The Storyteller, and I will probably cry a little when it’s all over. This series is just that good.