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C. E. Laureano’s Beneath the Forsaken City


Conor and Aine have barely escaped Seare with their lives. Conor knows he must return to find the harp that could end the Red Druid’s reign of terror, but in the midst of their escape, he and Aine are torn apart once more. Surrounded by despair and thrown into as much danger as they left behind, Conor and Aine must cling to the whispers of Comdiu’s plans for them and the homeland that depends on their survival. But at what cost? Will they learn to depend on Comdiu completely? Or will they give up hope?


I really enjoyed the first book in this series. It had everything that I ask for in fantasy: the questionable parentage, a unique magic system, Biblical allegory, romance, sword-fighting, and enjoyable characters. Naturally, I was excited to get my hands on book two. My thoughts:

What I liked:

Questionable parentage. Except this time it’s not Connor, it’s Eoghan. I really liked Eoghan from the first book and so when I saw that we were in his head some of the time, I was glad. I like his strength, his character, his honor and his loyalty. And I also liked that he is more than what appears to the eye. You learn a LOT about where Eoghan comes from. And I can’t wait to learn about more. I will say, though, that I want Eoghan to have a fairytale romance, so in the romance department I was a bit disappointed ( a bit more on this later).

Biblical allegory. I think the author does a very good job of matching our concept of Christianity with the characters concept of being a Balian.  It’s slightly different, but it’s the same. And the theme of this book is trusting God in the now, even when you don’t see how it could possibly work out.

Sword-fighting. There is a ton of sword-fighting. The battle is not over, in fact in many ways it has just begun.

Characters. I enjoyed being in everyone’s “head.” Usually with fantasy, I don’t like different points of view. Not so here. The characters, all of them, are crafted so well, I had no issue with changes in the povs. And I really liked the new characters introduced (especially the little kid fighters!).

What I didn’t like:

Let me just give a disclaimer, I really enjoyed this book. It managed to completely pull me in and make me involved in the characters, but I also had a couple of issues with it.

Spiritual theme. Okay, the theme was trusting God and I take no issue with that at all. However, I will say, that it appeared like God was playing games with them just to make sure they trusted him, but then again, this may be linked to the fact that some of the areas they didn’t trust God in were the same as the first book and so, it felt a bit repetitive.

Unique magic system. It seemed like for one of the characters, they’re “gifts” just kept constantly growing. It kind of felt like a cop out: got a problem? I’ve got a gift for that.

Aine and Conor are a part for most of the book. They were a part for most of the previous book. They were beginning to lose faith in their love. I was beginning to lose faith in their love. (disclaimer: no they were not talking about getting a divorce).

Every male (yes, every male) was falling for Aine. There’s an explanation for this….kind of…  But come on, she can’t be the only woman who serves Comdiu.

Romantic scale: 6

Overall, it was a really good book. For some characters, however, it didn’t really feel like the story moved forward, while for others, things were hopping. I did enjoy this book and I was very much entertained. I look forward to reading book three!

**I received a copy of this book from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**

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