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Summary

Steal the bag. Don’t get caught. Repeat. Not the most glorious existence, but Krea likes it just fine. 

When Sorin, a cranky old soldier, barges in and decides to take over her life, Krea is less than enthused. Sure, he saved her from a brutal death at the hands of the guards, and he did stop decrepit faerie monsters from eating her. But declaring she isn’t human and dragging her through a cursed forest to the Royal City is going too far.

Now she is eyeball deep in magic-wielding nobles, shape-shifting dragons, assassins, and an ancient elf war that could destroy the empire. Her cloak is too small. Her horse thinks she wants to eat it and her companion resents her very existence. 

And then there's Dane.

©2017 Melonie Purcell (P)2017 Melonie Purcell

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

loved the characters

the characters were brought to life by the narrator and was a very enjoyable listen. looking forward to book two.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Conventional starting point does not limit book

Plot devices such as the world-weary mentor taking on a teaching role to a young chosen one that doesn't yet understand his/her power is not an uncommon starting point for many fantasy series, but the crucial thing is what they do from that starting point and this book proceeds to deliver an engaging start to a new series with some interesting ideas fleshing out the world and the magic system in use there.

Krea is the teenage thief with the unrealised power of shifting (the Kyrni of the title) and Sorin is the older mentor, a kind of mage known as a caller who is basically an anchor to tether the shifter to their human side as otherwise when they shift they are basically lost to whatever animal (or counter in the book's vernacular) they become when they change.

The author does a good job of introducing us to these characters and others they meet along the way, while at the same time fleshing out the world with information of the politics, conflicts and particularly the magical creatures that inhabit the world.

The narrator of this book gave a great performance, giving distinctive personalities for a wide age range of characters from Dane via the teenage Krea to the more senior Sorin, at the same time helping to bring the rest of the book alive and you would hope that she returns for any subsequent books in the series.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable book with a quality narration too and my main issue with it is probably that there is no second book available yet.

[I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.]

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • MR
  • 19-12-17

Great Story

Great start to a series. the characters are likable, the world they are part of is interesting with plenty of scope for future stories and the narrator did a great job giving each character a distinctive voice with none sounding strange.

I really enjoyed this story and will be following the series from now on.

Please note that I received a free copy of this audiobook to provide a non-biased review

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  • Heather North
  • 26-12-17

Awesome listen!

Loved the world building and the characters. Great narrator too! I received a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and I have voluntarily left this review.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Lady Meserole
  • Lady Meserole
  • 11-12-17

I want to have a Counter!

Please forgive my attempts at spelling the fantasy names:)

Hand and Talon was a great read, I’m really looking forward to book two. The story starts immediately as you are pulled into Krea’s world with your heart pounding, running and hiding from the guards. That really was the wrong bag to steal! Krea luckily encounters Sorin who alters her life path and takes her on an unexpected journey opening her eyes to her potential future. Along the way they add another young thief, Dane, to their traveling party. The foreshadowing in the story is captivating with hints that keep you guessing. All three characters have some mystery in the past that will be interesting to see unfold.

Teenage thief Krea is a bit of an antagonistic character at the start and not completely lovable. She has been surviving on her own for as long as she can remember, so she has developed somewhat of a prickly exterior. I loved that throughout the book Krea’s character grows and changes as she learns to adapt to her suddenly expanding world. She learns to consider other and care about them. The development was realistic and very well done. Krea’s history is intriguing as she has gaps in her memory, so there is a backstory still to be revealed in subsequent books. (I did like too that author Melonie Purcell gave an explanation for Krea's diction. I was curious from the beginning, so it was nice to have that addressed in the storyline). Sorin, the older mage/Caller/mentor provides the balance of maturity and sensibility to the trio. Dane is a young boy being used as a thief by a Runner. He’s adorable, but not at all twee. He is a street kid and Melodie has written him as such. Not all authors can do a good job of child characters, but Melonie really nailed it with both Krea (~15years old) and Dane (~7years old). Their bickering gave me a chuckle as they were so typical for their ages.

The world building was really interesting. I loved hearing about the different places in Krea’s world as well as the different creatures. There were so many wonderful elements that Melodie included in the tale: shape shifters (dragons, griffons, hippogryph, etc), mages, fairy creatures (Proth, Lorags, Fawath, Sheema), the protective strength of nature in the trees and water, and even an enchanted dagger with personality! I’m hoping there will be more in the next books about the Circle of Three, the Torbudon and of course Cricket! The Callers link with their Kyrni (shape shifters) and their songs to bring their Kyrni back was an ingenious idea. I liked too, how she called the shape shifter’s creature-identity their Counter. I can’t wait to see more of it as the series progresses. Melonie has done an amazing job of creating something new in the world of fantasy. I have seen and loved companions in fantasy before (ex. Mercedes Lackey), so I really enjoyed Melonie’s new approach to two beings linked together.

Favourite quotes:
‘The melody streamed into her mind and left her paralyzed as it floated around her, dancing, breathing with a life all its own.’
‘You couldn’t pass for a commoner if you were found dead in a pig trough.’
‘The thick lording oaks and elms had long since given way to tall white-barked aspens and airy willows that dipped their heavy branches in homage to the river that dominated the landscape.’
‘Only a fool tries to stop a river and only a fool underestimates one.’
‘The woman’s movements were mesmerizing, she was beyond graceful, each motion flowed into the next, much the way water navigated the rocks of a stream bed.’
‘They cloak themselves in the skin of men, but you can see their gnarled and twisted insides when you look right at them, when you look for their hearts and find only hatred, they be evil.’
‘How could you name me in such an offense.’
‘What kind of forest was this that even the path was afraid to enter!’
‘When clouds, mists and rain did not blink at the sky, the thick canopy of the forest pushed away the blue with leafy green and brown fingers.’
‘Learn to grow something instead of always trying to tear things down.’

Narration: Kristin James did a fine job of narrating Hand and Talon. I loved her choice of voices for the three main characters. Her children’s voices were particularly fabulous. When Krea and Dane started bickering, it really was like two little kids having a spat. Kristin’s pacing was perfect, she really kept the story moving and alive. I really hope she stays with the series and continues to voice these characters.

For those who like to know... there is no profanity or sex. There is some violence, I would recommend 12+ with caution for sensitive readers.

I received Hand and Talon: World of Kyrni Book 1 free in exchange for an unbiased review.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Ray Johnson
  • Ray Johnson
  • 14-03-18

You clever girl!

By the everloving unwashed hands of Robert Howard! This is a rare gem in the fantasy genre. It is clever. I mean right smart. It literally claps your wrists in iron the moment that you open the book up, so that you have no chance for escape. It draws you in like a black hole, never letting go, never weakening, always pullingyou in deeper and deeper. I mean that, the book starts off like a bullet and lands like a nuclear missle.

The world is colorful and vibrant in its descriptions, and the characters, all of who have someting to hide, walk and talk like real people. They even bicker like siblings who love each other, but don't want to admit it.

There are creatures, monsters, and magics galore. Some thievery is thown in for good measure, too. The plot is perfectly paced, and if you are given a moment to catch your breat it is only because you will be running a marathon soon.

Seriously, this book hits every check on what a fantasy tale is, and then flips the concept onto its side. There are turns, twists, and attacks that come at you like mountain slide. Purcell is one heck of a writer, and she has clearly found her true calling, as she is most certainly doing what she is meant to do.

I don't like to give away information on book for fear of spoilers, so the best I can do is tell you how I feel about a book, and all I can say is I WANT BOOK TWO NOW!!!!!!! Really. How dare she not write the whole series at once and release them all in one giant compendium? I say this because you will ache for more once you finish. So all I can say is write faster, Melonie! Write Faster. Even though I did receive a promo code for this review it in no way influenced my considerations of the material, and in fact, inspired me to be more honest. In fact, getting a code generally makes me harsher as a reviewer as I am more often concerned what someone like Me will decide based on my review.

Kristen James is like a professional wrestler, as she just absolutely body slams this story, and follows up with a folding chair to the head. She is incredible. Her takes on Krea and Dane are just breathtaking to listen to, and fun as well.

Get this book if you have any kind of love for the fantasy genre. If you love action, adventure, or clever well crafted characters.

You will not regret it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Danestra
  • 06-01-18

Wonderful Magic

If you are looking for a well written book with magic, this new novel by Melonie Purcell should be what you're looking for. Purcell uses the English language well, unlike many novels about magical users and creatures. Her fantasy world is clever. The book is engaging from the start, there are no long character builds or background discussions. The action starts in the first paragraph of the first chapter and then you slowly receive introductions to all of the characters and come to enjoy and care about them.

The narration by Kristin James is excellent. I believe she's hit just the right voices for each of the characters, including Krea, our snarky, sarcastic protagonist.

Krea is a streetwise thief who can't remember any of her early life. Of course, we will eventually understand why she can't remember. The story opens with our thief stealing a money pouch from a noble who is supposed to be escorting a princess to her wedding in the Royal City. As Krea is about to be caught, she is "discovered" by a "Caller" who suspects Krea's magical abilities, though he doesn't even begin to guess the half of it! The Caller essentially rescues her and brings her to his mansion. From there, he makes the decision to take her to the Magic Council, in the Royal City, where everyone is heading for the princess' wedding. Before the journey begins, however, we are introduced to another talented young thief, who adds another layer to the plot.

This is a story faeries, dragons, griffins, mages and a unique dagger. What would it feel like to morph into a griffin and learn to fly for the first time? This story takes a little different perspective than you may have read before. The only disappointment is that the next book in the series has not been released yet.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Daydreamer
  • 23-12-17

Good coming of age story!

I really enjoyed Hand and Talon. The world was interesting, our main three protagonists are compelling, and I am definitely looking forward to seeing what happens in the next book (there will be one, right?!).

I think readers/listeners who enjoy Eragon, The False Prince, or other YA bildungsromane will also enjoy this story.

Kristin James did a good job as narrator. My only complaint is that some of the voices she used were a little breathy, which made it more difficult for me to follow along when I was listening with a portable speaker. With a better speaker and less background noise on my end, it should be less of an issue.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This book was worth a credit and I will definitely listen to it again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Jamel Figgs
  • Jamel Figgs
  • 09-12-17

Awesome book

It’s been awhile since I read a book that I didn’t want to end. I really tried to drag it out, but I just couldn’t. The narration was on point. Loved the characters and storyline. Can’t wait for the next one.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher in exchange for an unbiased review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Greg
  • Greg
  • 09-12-17

Fun ride

I liked this book. Its not overly complicated or contains massive character depth. However, it is a good story, with a nice flow. I only found myself cringing at plot driven character decisions here and there.

I honestly didn't know where the book was going to go, and I don't have a great idea as to where the next book will go.(beyond the general, good vs evil)

If you are looking to listen a good story on a nice long drive, this is a good choice.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Joshua and Sharon Hood
  • Joshua and Sharon Hood
  • 05-12-17

Fantastic YA l that adult fantasy readers will love too!

The characters were amazingly written and the plot was exciting and captured my attention and held it through the danger and adventure. Can’t wait to explore book two. A new series to continue!
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • James
  • 03-12-17

Great Start to a Series

Really well written 1st book. Characters are well thought out and narrated perfectly. Good mythos and world building. The story reads YA, but is very entertaining.

“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Stephen Bergquist
  • Stephen Bergquist
  • 02-12-17

Review Hand and Talon: world of Kyrni, Bk 1

Yes, you will like this one, the further you get the more you want to know what’s next. Great job Kristin James, I loved your narration. Melonie Purcell I’ve got to get book 2! I received this in exchange for an honest review and now I’m hooked :-)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful