The Hanging City

Brilliance Audio. Aug. 2023. 13:20 hrs. ISBN 9798400131578. $42.99. FANTASY
After decades of drought, human populations have dwindled to sparse communities trying to survive. Having escaped her abusive and powerful father’s home as a young teen, Lark traveled the land looking for a place to belong. Her special ability ultimately forces her to leave communities where she previously felt safe, forcing her to seek refuge in an unlikely place: Cagmar, the stronghold of humanity’s largest adversary, trolls. Though humans are considered lower than the trolls’ lowest caste, Lark finds unlikely friendships—and the possibility of more—within the troll community. Narrator Amy Bentley’s many talents are showcased in her portrayal of the inhabitants of Lark’s world. With subtle vocal changes, she flows through each character’s personality, highlighting their individual natures. She is especially skillful in conveying the differences between humans and trolls and between Lark’s love interest, Azmar’s quiet reserve, and the forceful nature exhibited by many of his fellow trolls.
VERDICT Bentley’s expressive and entertaining narration provides a captivating look into the underground world of Cagmar and its inhabitants. Holmberg’s (Heir of Uncertain Magic) latest is a winner for fans of intricately plotted fantasy in the vein of Trent Jamieson’s The Stone Road.
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