"The only girl who can banish the plague doesn't want to seek out its source"
Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted May 4, 2014
According to the ancient Greeks the Dryad was a tree spirit
in the shape of a lovely woman. DRYAD BORN is the second
book in a medieval fantasy series called Whispers from
Phae is an orphan adopted by a winemaking family in a
country called Stonehollow. She has a magic skill to make
people forget her - which she tries not to use, because she
gets no supper. Now aged sixteen, she hears rumours of war
and plague from a friend, Trasen, who is enlisting as a
caravan guard. A stranger has also arrived at the
farmstead. He says he wants to protect Phae from searchers
by taking her away to Sylvandom. She has another gift, fire-
raising, which goes along with her red hair, but would
never use it on anyone... so far. Who knew of this?
Intermittent plagues arise in this world and they are
believed to come out of the Scourgelands. Only someone
with Dryad blood can learn the secrets of these lands and
Phae is one such person. Uniquely she combines the fire
gift with Dryad blood. Now she is old enough to be useful,
city rulers want to turn her into a tool - at whatever risk
to the girl. A desperate quest begins which is studded
with fights, magic curses, poisons and attack by a large
black bear. Trasen, with less expertise than he realised,
is no match for those hunting Phae, but desperately he
tries to protect her and when they get separated he follows
her as best he can. It's easy to like these young
characters as they grow and learn, taking us along while
A man called Tyrus gives Phae no chance to refuse as he
tells her that they must enter the Scourgelands to find the
source of the plagues and try to put a stop to them. Her
fire gift may help to protect her from whatever lurks there
unseen, but using it too much would be harmful to the girl.
So, there is no easy answer.
The first book in this series is called Fireblood and
author Jeff Wheeler promises to conclude matters in the
third, so we are left without a fixed ending at the
conclusion of DRYAD BORN. I found this a lively story with
likeable characters and interesting concepts, which was not
too hard to follow although I had not read the previous
book. Fantasy lovers should probably start with the first
story and follow the action in the correct order.
The struggle to save the plague-ridden kingdoms continues in
this captivating second novel in the Whispers from Mirrowen
The orphan Phae has kept her innate ability secret since she
was young. Not only does she possess the dangerous
fireblood, but she can also steal the memories of anyone who
looks into her eyes.
Phae has no idea that her combination of powers is
extraordinary. She is the unwitting key to discovering the
secret origin of the plagues…and she is also now a target.
The ruthless Arch-Rike of Kenatos has sent his most menacing
servant—the Quiet Kishion—to destroy her.
As Phae struggles to wield her powers and escape her
pursuers, a team of allies has already been dispatched on a
quest to end the plagues. Some face the horrors in the
Arch-Rike’s secret lair, while others search for the fabled
lost Shatalin temple.
The determined allies must square off against the Arch-Rike,
who is ever steadfast in his aim to kill Phae…and let the
plagues rage on.
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