Lara Jansen is a truthseeker, gifted—or cursed—with the magical ability to tell honesty from lies. Once she was a tailor in Boston, but now she has crossed from Earth to the Barrow-lands, a Faerie world embroiled in a bloody civil war between Seelie and Unseelie. Armed with an enchanted and malevolent staff which seeks to bend her to its dark will, and thrust into a deadly realm where it’s hard to distinguish friend from foe, Lara is sure of one thing: her love for Dafydd ap Caerwyn, the Faerie prince who sought her help in solving a royal murder and dousing the flames of war before they consumed the Barrow-lands.
But now Dafydd is missing, perhaps dead, and the Barrow-lands are closer than ever to a final conflagration. Lara has no other choice: she must harness the potent but perilous magic of the staff and her own truthseeking talents, blazing a path to a long-forgotten truth—a truth with the power to save the Barrow-lands or destroy them.
The second and final book in the Worldwalker Duology continues in the same vein as the first one. And perhaps, for that very reason, it didn’t appeal to me either. It’s not that the writing is bad, it’s C. E. Murphy, there’s no way her writing can be bad. And it’s not even that the plot. The plot is fast-paced, strong and compelling. As I said in my review of the first book, the problem, for me, likes in the characterization of the characters of the novel.
I just don’t like them. No, let’s rephrase them. I just can’t like them. There is nothing compelling about them. I don’t care about them and I realized how important characters are in this book here where the only thing between enjoyment and me are the characterizations. Lara does redeem herself – somewhat – but mostly she falls flat. Her motivations, her assertions, her “I’m the most powerful being here” – these all ring false considering that she’s human in front of being who are not and who are powerful in many more ways than she is. I didn’t see the justification for her strength. It seemed contrived and I don’t know, disappointing.
Daffyd is not a hero I would want anywhere near me. He’s too passive for my tastes. He has no quality in him that sets him distinct from other urban fantasy heroes. I am not even sure where Lara loves him as much as she claims to. I don’t know… I was just extremely disappointed by the lack of joie de vivre in this series. It seemed far too removed, far to distanced, a deliberately cultivated distance between the reader and the events that either the author intentionally incorporated or was unable to bridge. I can’t relate to these characters – having sex while the house is full of other people who can probably hear you going at it…is not cool. It’s very uncool.
Try this series anyway. You may like Lara and Daffyd more than I did.