The High King’s Vengeance (Malessar’s Curse #2) by Steven Poore, Narrated by Diana Croft

289558255 stars

Synopsis:“I am the Heir to the North.”

Malessar’s Curse is broken, the wards around Caenthell destroyed. The Warlock himself lies, exhausted and gravely wounded, in the rubble of his own house. And while the dire spirits trapped behind the wards for centuries are unleashed into the world once more, Cassia is confined to a cell deep in Galliarca’s grand palace.

Yet Caenthell calls to her, and Cassia must answer. As Heir to the North, the throne and the power behind it belong to her. But the twisted hunger of Caenthell’s spirits appals her and Cassia vows to do everything she can to defeat them.

Now, Cassia must convince both Galliarca and Hellea that they have to stand against the resurrected High King of Caenthell. She must raise an army from nothing, make uncertain alliances with princes and dragons, and fight her way into the heart of the North. And, if she is lucky, someone may live to tell her tale.

“Fear Me.”

Well then, and here was me thinking that the first book in the series was a masterpiece. This book blew it out of the water! At 18hours long, I had a different problem finishing the audiobook this time than I did the first – last time, I was worried it would just be too much and I’d get bored if I listened to it in big chunks, this time I was rationing it out so that it wouldn’t end. Eventually I couldn’t take it any more and I had to hear the ending but the prologue leaves me hopeful there might just be another installment one day.

At the end of the last book, Cassia did the bad thing… she brought down the curse wards that had been keeping a powerful evil dormant in the North for centuries (as you do). Now it’s her obligation to defeat the evil to make up for her mistakes, to do this she needs to raise an army and march to the North to fight it on its own doorstep.

Cassia is one of my all time favourite characters. She manages to pull everything together by being clever, resourceful and pigheaded. She makes alliances with dragons, which nobody has done since before Caenthell was cursed. She joins forces with a powerful prince, without making moon eyes at him the entire time.

New and familiar characters are brought together in this book to face one last battle, which was far more brutal than you’d expect. Nothing is certain throughout this book, so don’t let the youth of the two main characters fool you into thinking it’s going to be pretty.

The writing style is just perfect (again), there’s a great deal of world building but nothing in this book is superfluous. The pacing is excellent, covering a load of ground but keeping you interested all the while.

As for the narration – Diana Croft is the perfect choice for this series. I can never get over her range of accents and character voices, there are loads of characters in this book and she gives every single one their own identity. She pours her heart and soul into the performance and I just can’t get enough!



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