The Speaker (The Sea of Ink and Gold #2)
By Traci Chee
Publication Date: November 7, 2017
This installment picks up where The Reader ended, with Sefia and Archer on the run from The Guard. Unsure about how to proceed, Sefia searches the Book and uncovers several jaw-dropping discoveries: Tanin is still alive and Archer is still believed to be the one to lead the impending Red War. In an effort to quell Archer’s nightmares and to stop the conflict, the pair uses the Book to find and kill impressors and free their captives. Meanwhile, Tanin will stop at nothing to retrieve the Book, to ensure important events take place that lead to the Red War, and to hold on to her power.
I loved The Reader and was so excited about The Speaker, I read it while standing in lines at ALA Annual. Let me begin by saying that if you are looking or a GREAT epic fantasy series, start with this is one! Now on to my review.
The Speaker is super spoilery so I can’t say too much but Chee puts a major jaw dropper right in the first 30 pages and then we find out that Tannin is kind of human with actual feelings and everything. Chee makes it very difficult to hate her and she has become one of my new favorite characters. We learn more about Captain Reed and DAMN, didn’t see that coming. There are two new characters King Eduardo, the lonely king who dies if he finds love, and his best friend Arc.
A major part of the book centers around Archer because he’s The Speaker. (I didn’t actually realize this until after I finished the book.) He’s finally free and is on a mission to find and kill all the impressors while setting all the other boys free. These are some painful scenes as we see Archer go from a scared mute boy to an extremely angry young man.
One of the things I loved about this book is the way it references book 1. Among other things, there was a HUGE unanswered moment in book 1 that comes back in book 2 and this made me realize that Chee knows how her book is going to end. That’s important because that means that there is foreshadowing in both books so pay attention as you read!
That’s all I can say without spoilers but once again, if you are a big fantasy fan; read this series. It has a 3.78 on Goodreads which is ridiculous and it’s probably because people thought this was a fluffy book. It’s not fluffy, people. It has many complex characters and it told nonlinearly, and you have to pay attention to everything or you’ll be confused. You might even have to take a few notes but if you are a fan of The Thief by Whalen Turner, Kiss of Deception, Six of Crows, or Winner’s Curse, you’ll like The Reader/The Speaker.
So I’ve read all the “good” books I’m gonna read for the year and I’ve only given 5 stars (or a bang) to three books and The Speaker is one of the three.
Bang Bang Rating: