Whispers of War – A Review
Updated: Jan 18
She's done it again! Kara S. Weaver's third book in the Ilvannian Chronicles is nothing short of a rip-roaring, thrill-inducing, heart-wrenching flight of fantasy. It follows straight on from the last book, and we finally get to see Shalitha and Talnovar getting closer to each other. At least geographically. That doesn’t mean things are getting any easier for either of them.
Shalitha is fighting for her life – gladiator style – at the whimsical pleasure of a despot king. Help is offered from unlikely allies, but her battle is far from over. Dangers lurk both in the arena and much closer at hand. She has come a long way from the corridors of her mother's court, she is no longer the rebellious tomboy with barely a care in the world. A long time has passed since she was taken from her home. Have her feelings changed for Tal changed since then? And where does Elay fit into this picture? Can a woman love two men at the same time, or will she have to make a final choice?
Talnovar has only one goal in mind. Finding the love of his life, the only woman who can win the war against the tyrannical queen of Ilvanna — her own aunt. He will go to any lengths to find her, even at the cost of his own life, but will she still be the woman he once knew?
These are some of the questions asked in the story. Only reading it will let you in on the answers – and maybe reveal some secrets in the process.
Haerlyon —one of Shalitha's brothers — is also getting his story told. He betrayed his family and pledged loyalty to the new, wicked queen. He's both hated and feared in equal measures, but things are not always as clear cut as we might have come to believe.
Haer's character is complex, and his struggles are not easily explained, but Kara has done an amazing job of laying him bare and letting us see just how deep his emotions run and where his true loyalties lie. Not only is he on a personal journey, but he is also treading a thin line between rebellion, opportunity and treason. He is a fantastic addition to this story as a main character.
These characters are so well created, with incredible depth and personalities, reading about their continuing struggles and victories feels a little like coming home. The quick wit and hilarious banter is still there to lighten the drama and tension. Tal's feelings for Shal are as deep and unwavering as when he set out. Haer's state of mind as he continues to deal with the loss of his love, an unbreakable promise once made, and the unexpected glimmer of something new, exposes new possibilities and forges renewed friendships. Shal's challenges threaten to break her, but they also strengthen her resolve. She needs to return to Ilvanna and claim her rightful place on the throne.
The world building is among the best I have seen in high fantasy with great attention to detail that draws you into the snowy mountains of Ilvanna, the high seas of the Kyrinthan Gulf, and the scorching deserts of Zihrin.
This whole series is one I can pick up and read again and again as it is a tugging-at-your-heart-strings, gripping, exciting, intriguing, and thrilling rollercoaster of a ride. If you like the kind of fantasy that sweeps you away into another world and holds you tight till the very end, then the Ilvannian Chronicles is for you. I can't recommend it highly enough.
There's a Whisper of War – but if you listen carefully, you'll know the battle is close and about to ring loud and clear.