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Silksinger: Dreamdark #2    by Laini Taylor order for
by Laini Taylor
Order:  USA  Can
Putnam, 2009 (2009)
Hardcover, CD

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* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Laini Taylor starts to hit her stride with Silksinger, the second novel in the Dreamdark fantasy series. More tightly woven than Blackbringer, but just as adventurous, Silksinger will have younger readers eagerly turning the pages towards the end as the suspense mounts.

As the Magruwen's Champion, Magpie Windwitch has been tasked with recovering the remaining Djinn from their resting places. Having easily found the Ithuriel with the help of double-crossing imp Batch, Magpie, Talon, and her caravan on crows are on their way to Nanzeen to find the Azazel who is under the care of Whisper Silksinger, last of her race. When the last of her family died, Whisper set out for Nanzeen to place the Azazel on his throne. To get there, she joins up with a hob caravan, along with a mercenary named Hirik who is also seeking the Azazel to become its champion.

Hirik has a secret, however: he is a Mothmage, one of a lost clan banished for their betrayal of the Azazel and the last dragon. Hirik is out to clear his family's name, but he must make it to Nanzeen first, hiding his identity the whole way, while fighting off the devils that seem to be attracted to Whisper. Yet all is not smooth sailing in Nanzeen as the city is on the verge of a massive devil uprising and only the new Champion can help.

Silksinger did start off a little slowly, although Taylor places the reader firmly in the midst of the action. What took time was getting to meet the new characters and figuring out how everyone fit together. When all the characters did come together, it was in a way as beautiful and complex as one of Whisper's flying carpets. Each tidbit of information has its place, and when all the pieces are in place, it sets the scene for a very dramatic climax that ends in one tense cliffhanger, leaving the reader eagerly anticipating the next installment in Laini Taylor's Dreamdark series.

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