Kindred and Wings

Kindred and Wing by Philippa Ballantine, Shifted World #2

On the back of the dragon Wahirangi, Finn the Fox flees the world he has known. As he sets out to find the brother he never knew of, he still holds in his heart the memory of the Hunter. He has denied his love for her, but he cannot deny it forever.

In the halls of the Last Believers, Talyn begins to uncover her own mysteries, but her lust for the death of the Caisah is still strong and clouds her vision. She must choose her path, as the Seer of her people or as the assassin of the overlord.

Meanwhile, Byre, Talyn's brother, must venture into the fiery world of the Kindred, to rebuild the pact that his ancestors made. He will risk everything he is as he forms a new pact that will change his people forever.

Dragons and myths will be reborn, as the Hunter and her Fox face each other once more.

A few weeks back I read the first book, Hunter and Fox in the latest series Shifted Worlds, of Philippa Ballantine. My opinion of Hunter and Fox was very positive and Philippa Ballantine showed an interesting interpretation on Epic/High Fantasy, using several elements that you normally but giving it totally her own spin. Hunter and Fox left the story on a bit of a cliffhanger with multiple storyline ready for continuation in the next book.

The story of Kindred and Wings picks up directly after the its predecessor, and follows the different storyline of Talyn, the once-Hunter for the Caisah, Finn the Fox, a talespinner and the brother of Talyn, Byre and a blood witch. We already got a great feel of these characters in the first book, Philippa Ballantine showed that she has a knack for creating interesting characters, but in this type genre, the epic and high fantasy, as a reader I want to see characters grow. This is exactly what you get when you start in the second book. Talyn, once a confident bounty hunter, quit her relation working for the Caisah and set out to find a cure and lift the Harrowing. However just abandoning her loyalties and finding a way for her own proved to be difficult to say the least, her new alliance with the Phage the purest of the pure Vaerli could help her more... but Talyn does find out that their goals are darker than she first had imagined. Talyn again readily draws the story forward and her part of the story is in strong relation to one of the other characters. Talyn acquires a scroll that has to be burned by dragon fire. Now in the first book Finn Named a Kindred and got himself a dragon, Talyn is thus strongly reliant on Finn. But, yes there is a but, Finn and Talyn has a complicated past and doesn’t make it easier for her to fulfil her quest. I really liked how Philippa Ballantine re-introduced us to the precarious relation that the two had and with the gift that Talyn, editing memories showed so fine storytelling.

The part of Finn’s story is very interesting. Finn now rides on the back of Wahirangi CloudLord (a dragon), who he Named in the first book. In the beginning there are some nice revealings about Finn’s character and family, and Finn finds out that he has a brother, Ysel, which he is determined to find. I really liked how Finn character was shown in his part, what you could make out from the first book was that he was a bit of a prankster kind of way, just spinning stories, making jokes and having a lot of fun. However with other things now in the back of his mind he characters perspectives changes a lot, and doesn’t feel as a stopgo situation but when you look back on all the events it goes gradually and Finn’s character becomes that much stronger throughout the pages. Also it seems that Finn has found a new buddy in Wahirangi, and when they are thrown into perilous situation, realying on each other is the only way to go and makes their bond that much stronger. Added to this is that Philippa Ballantine doesn’t introduce dragons as the normal stereotype but she uses some things you normally see but with some new features as well, look at the cover of the book and you know what I mean and for the finer details make sure you read the books. These creatures feel alive and when you see them breathing fire it surely heats up everything!

The last storyline that you follow is the part of Byre and Pelanor. I had high hopes for this part of the story and Phillipa Ballantine lived up to them and went beyond. Byre and Pelanor stood in front of the entrance of the Kindred! Yes! We glimpsed some of their power in the first book and I really really wanted to find out more about these creatures. And as you see Byre and Pelanor delving deeper and deeper in this strange realm, taking place in the past, it great to see just how vivid these events are described and there is this certain proposed eeriness that adds a lot of dimension to this storyline.

Just as in Hunter and Fox, the world that you again get acquainted to feels lively, vibrant and colourful. Especially in visiting different places in the different storylines. From the beginning of Kindred and Wings you are thrown right smack in the middle of it all, and in moving the story forward, Philippa Ballantine hardly spares you a moment to catch your breath, the nice pacing in the book doesn’t take away any quality time spend with the well fleshed out characters or the world itself, and once you are allowed to catch up with all, letting the surroundings and all the happened fully sink it makes it all the more worthwhile.

Kindred and Wings takes the Shifted World series further into the right direction. From the word go you are guided by different perspectives and on the back of a dragon through the rich world of Conhaero and other dimensions are added to this. Just as what I have come to learn from Philippa Ballantine’s other works, the characters and the world itself are just brimming in color and her writing style deftly completes her stories, once you are swept up in her writing you are in a current that you cannot get out off. The vision of Epic/High Fantasy shown in the Shifted world, be it on some fronts complex, is worthwhile to experience for yourself! 

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