The Speaker Blog Tour: Review

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Friends and readers, welcome to Day Two of The Speaker Blog Tour! The Speaker, the second book in the Sea of Ink and Gold trilogy releases on November 7, 2017, but I got an advance copy in my hands to review for you, courtesy of Penguin Young Readers. Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and all opinions are my own.

Sequels often pale in comparison to the first, breakout book or movie, but I’m so thrilled to announce that this is not the case with The Speaker. It picks up right where we left Archer and Sefia in the first book, and is still chock full of action, pirates, and magic. This will be a spoiler-free review, so you can enjoy the magic of reading the book when it comes out! 

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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.

MY REVIEW

In this sequel to The Reader, Archer and Sefia must grapple with forces larger than themselves and their relationship. They must come to terms with the secrets of the Book and what stories have been written about them, and the stories that have yet to come. As I mentioned earlier, this picks up almost immediately after The Reader and if you were a fan of the first book, you will absolutely love the second. You'll see some familiar faces- Captain Reed and his motley crew, as well as the mysterious Lon, Mareah, and Tanin. We get a better sense of why Lon and Mareah betrayed the Guard in the first book and delve into the complexities of Tanin's loyalties to the Guard, but also to the child of her former friends.

The character development continues to astound me. Every single character in The Sea of Ink and Gold series thus far has been rounded and multi-dimensional, with just enough backstory to make you care about them, even for just a little. Chee introduces even more lovable characters in this book, and the inclusion of these characters from different perspectives and walks of live will blow you away. Probably my favorite thing about all of these fun characters is the subtle way they're connected, like threads on a tapestry... or chapters in a book.

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As with The Reader, The Speaker is printed beautifully. The book design is littered with clues and notes. It makes you feel so much closer to the characters and invested in this mysterious Book. Who's to say that perhaps the very book you are holding is the Book of magic? *wink wink* That's just a theory of mine that I've had since reading The Reader. There is something very satisfying to know that you are as much a part of the story as the characters you love like Sefia and Archer. Warning: don't look too closely in the second picture above if you don't want to see anything from this book!

The world-building in The Speaker is vast and enormous, with an equally rich social history to boot. At times, it reads like an adult epic fantasy and at others, a fun Young Adult fantasy steeped with witty banter and a slow burn romance. As someone who prefers my fantasies to be sophisticated but with lighthearted moments to let me breathe, The Speaker is a great compromise.

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The Speaker, by Traci Chee, releases on November 7, 2017 and I can't wait for the world to meet it! I just can't believe I have to wait another year to see what happens next!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Traci Chee is the New York Times bestselling author of The Reader. An All-around word geek, she loves book arts and art books, poetry and paper crafts. She studied literature and creative writing at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and earned a master of arts degree from San Francisco State University. Traci grew up in a small town with more cows than people, and now feels most at home in the mountains, scaling switchbacks and happening upon hidden highland lakes. She lives in California with her fast-fast dog.

BLOG TOUR STOPS

Be sure to check out the rest of the blog tour for more reviews and spotlights!

October 30 – Ex Libris 

October 31 – Bette’s Pages

November 1 – Never2Many2Read

November 2 – ButtermyBooks

November 3 – YA Wednesdays

November 6 – FlyLeaf Chronicles

November 7 – The Fox’s Hideaway 

November 8 – In Wonderland 

November 9 – Book Reviews Express 

November 10 – Brianna Book Binding

November 13 – Readers Live A Thousand Lives 

November 14 – Good Choice Reading

November 14 – Love Is Not a Triangle 

November 15 – Dazzled by Books

November 16 – A Belle’s Tale

November 17 – MelihYoutuber 

November 20 – The Blonde Bookworm 

November 21 – Seeing Double in Neverland 

November 22 – Bookshelves and Paperbacks 

November 23 – Across the Words 

November 24 – Eastern Sunset Reads