The washing can wait another day. Talvi handed his niece back to Asbjorn before returning to the kitchen with everyone else. There were two small orbs of light; one purple, and one orange.
Without hesitation, the lights burst with a flash, resulting in two human-sized fairies now standing in the kitchen. Her tiny pointed nose was still bright pink from the cold, making her look slightly like a circus performer. She pulled up a chair next to the hearth to enjoy her tea while she thawed out.
Sure enough, Finn returned quickly with a heavy, lumpy sack in one hand and a distinctly-shaped bottle in the other. Talvi recognized it immediately, and snatched it away from his brother; his spirits lifted for a moment. Finn set the sack on the counter, and then took out the special brandy glasses from the top shelf of the china cabinet.
Talvi uncorked the long, narrow-necked bottle, poured a glass for everyone, and then held his own glass to his nose.
It made his mouth water, this divine drink that he had missed for so long. Made from peaches and apricots, there was nothing else quite like it, thicker than wine, but lighter than mead, and within a single sip, he could feel it flood into his arms and legs. By the third taste, it had reached his fingers and toes. It was definitely more effective than tea at warming him up.
He leaned against the counter next to the sink, which was serviced by a pump rather than hot and cold water faucets. His father tended to the fires while his mother tended to what would soon be cooking over them. The fairies huddled at the hearth beside her; their delicate, tiny limbs warming quickly by the heat. Talvi was content to tend to nothing more than his brandy glass. It seemed like a distant memory, not the present moment.
My poor boy looks nearly starved to death. The chopped vegetables rose and casually float over to the hearth single file, before sinking into the pot of near-boiling water without so much as splashing Althea. Talvi glanced at his wedding band. Nothing slipped past his father. He raised his glass to his lips, nearly spilling the precious brandy as his mother gasped and dropped the knife she had been using onto the cutting board. The lamplight from above made the ring shimmer with an ethereal glow, and she smiled at the tiny phrase inscribed inside the platinum band.
Althea let go of his hand, and took a step back to eye her youngest son; wild-haired, clad in black, and looking like nothing but trouble. Even though his eyes had dark circles under them, they still managed to cast a mischievous twinkle. For shame! From his past of what Annika knew about him, Talvi really grew from the shallow character he was before meeting Annika.
There are so many characters and magical creatures that keep popping in the story. I especially love the elfin language about the two flowers and the bees.
There is a deeper meaning about love in the elfin language. I am looking forward to the next two books in this series to find out where the next adventures will take Annika and Talvi. This audiobook is worth listening to, again. I was given this audiobook by the author and have volunteered to write an unbiased review of the book. I was not compensated or influenced in any way for writing this review. This series had so much potential, but it was seriously hampered by the personalities of the main characters.
Our heroine is whiny, judgemental and full of herself -- and she treats the insta-love guy like garbage. She is, literally, in another world, but can't think of anything but going home. It's a mistake to place your characters in an exotic local if you don't allow them to acknowledge -- or enjoy -- the differences.
If the character is going to act as if everything is mundane, what's the point? On the other hand, the hero is a douch-bag of epic proportions. He's petulant, spoiled, arrogant, cruel, and loves to brag about all the women he's had.
He also enjoys belittling and torturing the woman he claims to love, and constantly lies to her -- when he isn't stomping out in a huff over some slight to his fragile ego. He is the most unlikable hero I've ever read. By the end of the 2nd book, I wanted to beat them both soundly with a brick. Cannaday did do a good job with the alternate world, the family, the other worldly creatures, etc, in book 1 -- but all that goes away when Annika goes home in book 2.
The screaming queen, the fairy jokes, the unquestioning acceptance of her friends -- without any real discussion -- these aggravated me even as I mourned the gold Cannaday left on the ground. Instead of showing what this kind of crazy thrill ride could be, we just get more scenes of the brats fighting and calling each other names, while they conducted their relationship with all the maturity of a couple of middle schoolers. Reading these books is like hanging out with a couple you don't particularly like, as they constantly bicker and insult each other, loudly -- and for HOURS.
Nick Cracknell was great, and had this series been worthy of him, it would have been a keeper. Unfortunately, he read the characters exactly as they had been written.
NOT Recommended: Unless you have a strong stomach for star crossed lovers who should have stayed on their own planets. What made the experience of listening to The Flame and the Arrow the most enjoyable? Nick Cracknell brings the book to life! The story goes from a 2D version in your mind to a full 3D experience right before your eyes! I was in love with the characters from when I first read the book. Cracknell's vocal talents really bring them to life. Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry? I really did not think that I would get so swept up in the story, plot, and wonderful characters.
However, I could not be pulled away until the end. The book in itself is wonderful. The audio version has made it a work of art. The Flame and the arrow was a great a book. Emigh Cannaday knows how to keep you listening and or reading to the end of the book. Nick Cracknell is a great narrator. I love this book! The narrator is also absolutely dynamite.
It's a paranormal romance that has great world building, character development, and just the right amount of passion! I was given this book for an honest review from the author, narrator, or publisher.
Good thing this was a long book because there's a whole different parallel world to be described. This isn't one of those wordy "have-to-mention-every-object" scripts but one full of movement, characters and new situations. I get some feel of a YA read but there is graphic sex at the adult level Not too much though darn. No heavy violence or language unless you consider "shit" a no-no.