ARC Review & Excerpt: The Wind Whisperer by Krista Holle ★★★★

18144303The Wind Whisperer by Krista Holle
Genre: YA, Paranormal Romance
Publication Date: November 15th 2013
ISBN: n/a
Rating: ★★★★
Review Copy: ARC
Page Count: 302
Reviewed by: Lynsey
Review Copy: ARC
Synopsis: At fifteen, Anaii is the most important member of her tribe—and the most mysterious. Ever since Anaii can remember, the spirits of the wind have whispered of fertile hunting grounds and imminent enemy attacks. But when her people are ambushed by a brother clan without any apparent cause, the spirits remain eerily silent.

As the village prepares to retaliate, Anaii is pressured by her best friend, Elan, to marry him. It’s an old plea—Elan has spent a lifetime loving her, but Anaii only sees a childhood playmate out of an imposing warrior. Stifled by Elan’s insistence, Anaii escapes into the forest where she meets Jayttin, the beautiful son of the enemy chief.

Enamored by Jayttin’s carefree spirit and hope for peace, she repeatedly sneaks away to be with him, but when her deception is discovered, Elan is devastated. Pledging his lifelong affection, Elan gives her a passionate kiss, and Anaii begins to see her friend in a new light.

While Anaii is tormented over which man she must choose, the wind whispers of a new threat that could destroy both clans. Only a union will afford a chance at survival, but the reality of that union is based on one thing—which man Anaii chooses to die.

REVIEW

Whispers on the wind

I enjoyed THE WIND WHISPERER a lot more than I expected to given that it was such a step outside my usual comfort zone, and I've never read a book in this culture before, but something about the excerpt I read just spoke to me; forbidden love, the simplistic nature of clan life, star-crossed lovers. I took a chance and it paid off. I thought I might need to use the paranormal angle as a crutch to help ease me into it, but it actually wasn't necessary. I was fascinated by the characters immediately. Now I actually think I'd like to try other books in this genre, which has to be a compliment to this author.

So what's it about? Well, the main character is Anaii and she, as well as being the chief's daughter, is a Wind Whisperer. She can hear the voices of the wind spirits and they tell her things that help her clan: if it will rain, where their enemies are, stuff like that. And they do have enemies - the Zenni, who raid one night and, if not for Anaii's warning, would have obliterated her much smaller clan. But why did they attack, after ten years of peace? Well, that what's Anaii's father wants her to find out.

I enjoyed Anaii as protagonist, flaws and all. And, yes, she does have them. She's young, a little pampered, a little stubborn, and at only 15 winters (although that's considered full grown here), she's new to romantic feelings of any kind, and makes some mistakes along the way. The love triangle was... Well, you know how they go. When both boys are adoraballs it's sooooo hard to see the one she doesn't choose have his heart broken. Why can't they make one of the choices a total butthead to make it easier on us, hmm? *sigh* I'm not one of those readers who's automatically turned off at the mention of a love triangle, and in a way I enjoy the complications they stir up, but they're always, always bittersweet.

I felt a goodly amount of indignation on Anaii's behalf several times during the read. Obviously I'm accepting of the roles each sex plays within this culture, so even though some of that stuff was brow-raising, it was fine. No, it was more how they treated her as a commodity. She being the one that has saved her tribe many times over, yet is to be given in marriage as a prize to the fiercest warrior? Whether she likes it or not? Mmm. It got my hackles up, let me tell you. Was fun to read, though;)

I really enjoyed the Wind Whispering parts. It started off as a tool used only in small ways around the clan, but became so much more. Once the clan troubles escalated, Anaii's skills also rose the occasion and I was glad to see her develop in all ways. Her skills became invaluable.

Although the story was wrapped up and the love triangle fully resolved, it seems the author plans a second instalment for these characters. I would say that at the moment, though, this book works perfectly as a standalone.

All together an enjoyable read that provided a lot of enjoyment and much contemplation. ~ 4 Stars ★★★★

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


AUTHOR




Krista Holle is an award winning author who stepped up her writing after reading Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. It occurred to Krista that there is an insatiable audience of women and girls who want to read books filled with stories about true love—not just vampires. When Krista is not writing, she loves to collect seashells, watch movies, and eat obscene amounts of pizza. Krista currently resides in Montpelier, Virginia with her husband, four daughters and an eccentric cat with a weird attachment to the family’s socks. 




EXCERPT

I looked around cautiously before freezing at the sketchy outline of a muscular man partially hidden in the grass.  A man!  He was sprawled on his back and golden pink from too many hours in the sun.  My heart pounded to see the unfamiliar pattern of a deer on his breechcloth.  I had marched myself directly into the reach of a Zennite warrior! 
I gingerly took a step backwards, but to my horror, the man’s black eyes fluttered open.  I turned and hurled myself back across the meadow, just as the man shot up and flew after me like a predatory bird.  My muscles burned and strained to lengthen the space between us, but getting away was hopeless.  I was not a challenge to even the young boys in the foot races.
After a few powerful strides, the warrior tackled me to the ground, painfully grazing the skin on my cheek.  I wheezed a few times before my lungs filled with air. 
“A Chippoke?” he asked between breaths. 
I feverishly punched and kicked to free myself.  “Get—off—me!”
“Stop! I’m not going to hurt you,” the warrior chuckled as he struggled to pin my arms and legs.  His voice was calm and pleasant, but lying was no different than breathing to a Zennite.
“I cannot promise the same,” I wheezed as I fought. 
“You’re a bobcat,” he said with a laugh.  “A bobcat with no teeth or claws.”
“Let me go!”
“I will when you’re calm.”
Strong hands held my wrists while his full weight pinned my torso against the earth.  Fighting him was as useless as running.  “You are not a boy,” I spat angrily, fully taking in my attacker.  It was little comfort that he didn’t look like a bloodthirsty killer.  He was admittedly handsome with an angular face and sleek black hair that hung well past his shoulders.  He was not as tall as Elan, but his muscles were narrow and built for speed.  There was something different about his eyes too.  They were as black as soot—very unlike the brown woodsy colors from our tribe.
The warrior smirked down at me.  “My mother will be very surprised to hear that.  All this time she’s assumed…”
My face heated, but I fiercely met his gaze.  The Zenni were like wild dogs and pumas—they could smell emotions. “What I meant was, you are a man, not a boy.”
“Oh, I see, but you must understand, I’m not a man yet.” 
“You must understand I’m a squirrel!  Get off!  You’re hurting me!” I ordered with a useless heave.  
“No,” he said with a smirk.
It was then I realized I might die—right after I was lulled into a false sense of security.  My chest pounded as I searched for the killer’s weapon.  “Are you going to kill me?”    
“I do not feel like killing you just yet,” he said as his long hair swirled in my face.  Were we to play a game before he killed me? 
“I am glad the mood doesn’t strike you,” I snarled.  The warrior studied me with a drawn brow.  Was he guessing that I was the forest witch?  I didn’t think I looked like a witch, but I wasn’t certain what one should look like—evil at least.
“I don’t understand something,” the warrior said.  “Your eyes are blue—the blue of an angry sky.  Are you the daughter of a god?”
“Yes,” I said, heaving against his weight again.  “Now get off me, or my father Achak will strike you dead with lightening.” 


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