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Reviewed by K.J. Simmill for Readers' Favorite
Betka had been branded at a young age, her markings visible for all to see. While men tore her elder sister, Tosna, away, she was allowed a precious few years to remain with her father before being forced into servitude. Her Whisperer Voice condemned her to a life of service, and to hurt another was to reflect and amplify the pain back onto herself. She was a captive in mind, body, and spirit, forced to sacrifice for all. Her only hope of freedom was to earn eleven rubies for her shackle. When news of an attack reached the palace, seeing an opportunity, she volunteered her services. Not only in the hope of a chance to be free, but the place under siege was the location where her sister had been sent to serve. But the path is never easy. The very person who condemned her to slavery is leading the mission, and worse still, the siege is of no normal force. A great and powerful evil has risen, and it seeks to claim everything in its never-ending fury.
Whispers from the Depths is an intense and gripping fantasy by C.W. Briar. From priests to slaves, we watch the fall of the Whisperers as the followers of Rask take their place in power. Whilst Betka's story occurs at a time beyond this, we are granted small insights into the path, added to the chapters in a similar manner to an intermission. All events from past to present unfold to knit together and become part of the greater picture. I thought the portray of Betka's character was brilliant. Her range and progression of emotions, forbidden thoughts, anger, and hatred as she steers from the course her gifts force her to follow was executed well, as was Asi's character, who in contrast embraced all the teachings offered with an unfaltering will to serve and protect. Betka's development is as deep as her character, and I loved watching how situations tempered her right until the end. Packed with action, conflict, and tension Whispers from the Depths will keep you engaged, enraged, and wanting more.