Susurrus is the story of an orphaned girl who wants nothing more than magic and a home. But when the magic doesn’t do what she wants and instead kills the people she loves, Iskra turns her back on the possibility of love. Unable to find a place for herself and yet forced to continue living, Iskra travels all over the world learning magic and living multiples lives, all of which ultimately end in misery.
No evil sorceress is born evil.
I found this book a bit long and miserable, but with an overall good story. It is well written and descriptive, with some fun and exciting parts to temper the general misery. It is certainly not a happy read, but each new life Iskra leads is interesting and unique. Each life acts as a different section of the book, making it very easy to read in chunks, which is good because it would be a difficult book to get through in one or two sittings. Some parts are more fun to read than others (my favourite is her time with Tana and Snuggles), but all do add an important layer to the story.
There are a lot of different characters throughout the story, but Iskra is the only constant and most of the other characters are quite forgettable and unimportant. Iskra herself is a difficult character, because as the story progresses she becomes more self-centred and less likeable. Although this is a significant feature of the plot, it did make the book less enjoyable as it went on because I had no sympathy or connection with the main character. I particularly struggled with the way she blamed magic for all the unhappiness in her life, when actually the cause was usually her own selfishness or simple bad luck.
If Iskra had been more likeable during the start of the book, I may have got on better with it when she becomes more closed off. As it is, I would much rather to have gotten to know more about characters like Neris the peddler. Also, there was a weird amount of sex in the story. The sex is not graphic, detailed, or even particularly unnecessary, and it all fits into the story in different ways, but it was unexpected and just something to be aware of.
Overall, Susurrus is quite an average fantasy adventure. A solid, middling, 3*.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.