The Storm’s Whisper (The Broken Lands Book 5) by T.A. White
Adult high fantasy romance released by T. A. White on January 22, 2022
The path to peace is never easy.
As the first Caller in living memory, Eva struggles to find her footing as the bridge between her chosen people and the mythological race known as the Kyren.
When unexpected arrivals threaten to test the newly formed alliance, Eva and her protector, Caden, fight to hold together the fast-fraying bonds before peace unravels and war once again returns. Should she fail, bloodshed the likes the Broken Lands haven’t seen since the cataclysm will stain the ground red.
The mysterious abilities that lie at the heart of Eva’s power will be her salvation or lead to her becoming an evil far worse than anything seen before. Will this land fall or be reborn into a new age?
I’ve really enjoyed the Broken Lands books and was very eager to read more about Eva and Caden. The first three books are about Shea and Fallon, books four and five feature Eva and Caden. To be honest, I’d been slightly reluctant to recommend the series because although the books and stories are very enjoyable, the first three have editing issues, and I know there are people who find it quite off putting. I don’t know if the author has found a new editor, or made other changes, but I didn’t notice that while reading The Storm’s Whisper. I also want to re-read all the books now. It’s been a while since I’ve read the whole series, and I think it’d be really enjoyable to read through as book five has a rather final ending, although there are tendrils to follow. (And I REALLY HOPE THEY ARE FOLLOWED! I’d love to see more in this world.)
Eva is our stalwart heroine. She really just wants to care for her horses and be left alone, but she’s different. I don’t know if we’d call it a gift (more like a curse or burden?), but she can communicate with mythologicals. And very few people (nobody else, currently living?) can. It’s a massive responsibility. Eva, however, is also very responsible. I liked that she knew a number of her limits – and is also very practical. She’s also so good. She’s not a pushover, but she’s willing to let things go. She’s a very “grant me the courage to change the things I can, and the serenity to accept the things I cannot” type. I really liked that she realized she’s grown and adapted, and has let more people into her heart. However, while being very much a realist, she’s also deep down an optimist. She believed in the alliances. In hoping for more, and better. I liked that she had a bit of a temper on her. (Okay, a lot of one.) The theme of this month’s TBR Challenge was “grumpy” and … everyone knows Eva prefers the company of horses to humans. Lucky for her the Trateri revere horses.
While unassuming, Eva also isn’t a pushover. When others try to insult her she knows when to let it go, and when to push back. Sometimes it isn’t worth it, but sometimes you need to put a person in their place. It helps she’s got a lot of powerful friends to back her. Human and otherwise. I like her relationship with Caia, although it’s … not one sided per se because it’s strong both ways, but Caia can’t speak or communicate with her directly, so there’s that. I love Sebastian and Eva’s relationship. And the fire fox – he’s probably one of my favorite characters in this series and I need to know more. I’d like to see more with Brisa too. (>.> Is there something there going on with Jason?) Eva has a quiet strength that she doesn’t feel the need to show people.
Caden is the hero of the book, and as always wonderful, but … he’s not really here. (Or maybe I just wish he’d been around more?) While I’d definitely say this book is still a romance … it’s almost a bit split. Eva of course depends on Caden and he’s her strength and motivation – he makes her strive to do better, through inspiration. He’s made her the center of his universe. Everyone should be so lucky as to have a Caden love them. (Even with it being almost intimidating.) I liked that Caden has his flaws too and he’s very aware of them – and also that Eva loves him with them all, and she doesn’t judge him. I say this because there’s a lot of focus on “Caden is a monster if unleashed” but it’s more that … if something happens to Eva, the world better watch out. Caden is so smart and so unobtrusive. He’s been an almost background character for so long. He was Fallon’s right hand man, and happy to not be in the spotlight. He’s also happy to be there to support Eva in any capacity, and I think it’s very attractive that he knows and is sure of his own strength and doesn’t need adulation from others. (Also, anyone who underestimates him does so at their own peril. They’re also a fool.)
The characterizations are so great. While normally I’m a big proponent of reading books as you want, willy nilly, saying generally order doesn’t matter … with high fantasy stories it matters more. You definitely need to read The Wind’s Call before The Storm’s Whisper. (You’d get a lot more out of the books if you read Pathfinder’s Way, Mist’s Edge, and Wayfarer’s Keep first. Which is no real hardship – Shea is great, and I think she and Fallon work a bit more closely than Eva and Caden – although the latter two are together when it’s most important.) I liked how perfectly everything was woven together – Eva’s growth, her relationships with the mythologicals – the ups and downs, her being unsure, knowing that all of them had to take a bit of a leap of faith.
usually I get frustrated when it’s roadblock after roadblock, but I felt it made sense here – it wasn’t unnecessary conflict just to draw things out – it was how things were unfolding organically. For hundreds of years if not longer, these groups haven’t been allied, and there has a been a lot of broken trust in the past. It’s especially difficult for Eva because she doesn’t have their information – and has to figure out when the other groups themselves made mistakes, which of course they’d never bring up and rarely admit. Very little is easy in this world. The main cast of characters are good at acknowledging and celebrating the good though. I liked that Eva really appreciated her friendship with Ollie and knew it helped “allow” her to fall for Caden. I think perhaps one of the biggest complaints would be Eva’s vulnerability being almost brushed over – her recovery of the trauma, because for the danger itself, the Kyren help her.
One thing about this series that throws me but also makes me smile is … the (in my opinion) randomness of the names. It’s definitely a high fantasy story – and some of the names are less common stateside … but then some absolutely are, like Jane, Hugh, Jason, Phillip, etc. Those simply aren’t the type of name you normally see in the genre. A sad part where it is similar to other high fantasy romance series is … while you know the main couple are safe … you never know who else might go. It’s gutting.
I definitely know I will be re-reading this book. I also hope there’s more. I’d love to see a “where are they now” for Eva and Caden … and to see the progress Shea and Fallon are making. But also the other characters. (Seriously is there going to be something between Brisa and Jason? Can there even be?) Ghost and Roscoe are so … bonkers but – what if someone settled them? And and and … also, seriously. Will the firefox get nine tails? I think that’s the goal … <.< so are we looking at X more books? I’ve really enjoyed this series. Nevertheless I also thought the ending to The Storm’s Whisper was very satisfying. If this is the absolute end to the series, I really hope T. A. White writes more adult high fantasy romances.
You can buy a copy here.
It’s not a genre I read, but it sounds interesting.
I wonder what you’d think of it, Denise. I quite liked all the books – I want to re-read them at some point. [So many books to re-read!] … AND SO MANY NEW ONES TOO!
I think the characters are really well written and developed – lots of personal growth, imperfections, realistic relationship building, etc. AND that it’s got a major focus on friendship too, not “just” romance.