Author: Rachel Haimowitz
Narrator: Craig Beck
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Run Time: 11 hours and 55 minutes
Category: High Fantasy
At a Glance: I adored this book when I originally read it, and now I absolutely LOVE it. Craig Beck brought the characters to life, each with distinct voices and adding depth to the story, captivating me from beginning to end.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: It is the twilight of mankind. Depleted by generations of war with a race of dark beasts, humanity stands on the brink of extinction. The outlands are soaked with the blood of the fallen. The midlands are rotting with decadence and despair.
Elfkind, estranged by past crimes, watches and waits for nature to run its course.
And then the two collide.
Ayden’s life has long been guided by two emotions: love for his sister, and hatred of all things human. When he’s captured in battle, he is enslaved in the service of a human prince, Freyrik Farr. Freyrik’s always known elves to be beautiful and dangerous, but never has one affected him as deeply as Ayden. Teetering on a dagger’s edge between duty and high treason, Freyrik discovers that some choices can change a life, and some an entire world.
Between prejudice, politics, pride, and survival, Ayden and Freyrik must carve a new path, no matter how daunting. For nothing less than the fate of both their peoples rests on the power of their perseverance – and their love.
Review: I love good high fantasy when it is written well and has a fairly unique plot which keeps my attention without becoming too confusing. And Counterpoint hit the mark back when I first read it.
The story takes place in a fictitious country where there was a past betrayal between Elves and mankind, creating enmity and dividing the county, each side having their own version of events leading to the treachery. Though humans face a larger issue, they are at war. The Surge is a war with animals, changed in body and mind and gone feral, who thirst for the blood of humans. Elfkind has stayed out of the Surge, but humans blame Elfkind for the war, and there is distrust and hatred. It is a very unique story which completely grasped my attention and wouldn’t let me go.
Ayden is an Elf who makes the mistake of interfering in a situation, crossing into human lands, and he is taken prisoner. Prince Freyrik is currently running his country and trying to prepare for the next Surge. He takes one look at Ayden and is fascinated. However, he is loyal to his brother, the King, and his country, so he plays the political game, trying to gain Ayden’s trust without losing the faith of his people.
If you are someone that has issues with the slave/master plot, rest assured this isn’t your typical situation or dynamic. Not at all. Freyrik is such an amazing character. Yes, he has to use less than desirable techniques to get information out of Ayden when they first meet. But in my opinion, he does not abuse his station and truly wants to get to know Ayden, and after he has settled that Ayden is not a threat to his family and people, he tries his best to make it up to Ayden. Ayden is willful and his hatred burns hot for humans, even more so after the two’s encounter. Ayden may be a slave in name, but he is anything but a slave during the course of the story. He pushes boundaries, challenges Freyrik at every turn, and consistently keeps Freyrik on his toes. The way it is written keeps the chemistry between the two on a constant sizzle, and the reader is just waiting for the moment when they break and finally one (or both) give in. Since both are stubborn and in difficult situations, it is not something that comes quickly or easily.
There is so much that happens during the course of this story I can’t even do it justice, and truthfully, I don’t want to go into any more detail about what the two protagonists face during the course of this wonderful adventure, because I don’t want to give anything away. Suffice to say, the story, for me, is amazingly well written, and now it is amazingly well narrated.
Craig Beck rocked this book. He is quickly becoming one of my top go-tos for narration in my audio books. The more I listen to his narrations, the more impressed I am with the way he brings each character to life, giving each one a distinctive voice and personality. I need a narration to catch my interest, my personal preference is not to be read to, but for the story to be performed for me; otherwise, I tend to nod-off. Mr. Beck’s narration always keeps me enthralled, and this book was no different. Quite frankly, Craig Beck was perfect for this story, as he brought me through all the twists and turns thrown at Freyrik and Ayden, and he captured all the different emotions the characters were feeling, keeping me invested the entire time.
My complaint is that Book Two isn’t out for me to jump right in because I was not ready for this to be over. Even after nearly twelve hours, I wanted more.
I adored this book when I originally read it and now I absolutely LOVE it. Craig Beck brought the characters to life, each with distinct voices and adding depth to the story, captivating me from beginning to end. Highly recommended if you are looking for a great audio experience and an enchanting story!
You can buy Counterpoint here: