Sam of Wilds faced the Dark wizard Myrin and lived to tell the tale. Granted, the battle left him scarred, but things could be a hell of a lot worse.
It’s not until he reunites with Morgan of Shadows and Randall that he realizes just how much worse things could be.
Because the scars have meaning and hint at Myrin’s true plans for Sam and the Kingdom of Verania.
With time running out, Sam and his band of merry misfits—the unicorn Gary, the half-giant Tiggy, Knight Commander Ryan Foxheart, and the dragon known as Kevin—must travel to the snowy mountains in the North and the heart of the Dark Woods to convince the remaining dragons to stand against Myrin. Along the way, Sam learns secrets of the past that will forever change the course of the future.
A reckoning is coming for Sam of Wilds, and there is nothing he can do to stop it.
The Consumption of Magic is the 3rd third book in Klune’s The Lightening Struck Heart series. I can gush all day about how much I loved this series. It’s crazy, funny, endearing, thoughtful, and at times heartbreaking. Book 1 is really a stand alone, where we sample the delightful characters of Verania, and watch as our hero Sam of Wilds grows as a wizard (all right, apprentice) falls in love, protects his friends and generally shows us why he’s our hero. Finish that and you don’t have to read further and you’ll be so happy. But books 2, 3 and 4 tell the rest of Sam’s story, specifically how he fits into an ancient prophecy and what he can do to stop an evil force from taking over the world. So, you start book 2, you have to finish.
This time around, Sam goes on a few adventures, rounding up the remaining dragons he needs to help him win in his fight against Myrin, the dark wizard threatening Sam’s friends and Verania itself. Naturally, there are shenanigans which are as important as any plot points. You will laugh. But I’ma warn you now, you may also cry. Sam’s been warned for a long time that he will suffer a great loss, and he does. And it sucks. But this only strengthens Sam’s resolve, which sets us up for the 4th and final book in the series.
Book 3 is fantastic and I didn’t think I could love it more. Until I listened to the audio. I won’t lie. At first I was like “Wait… what? Not at all what I pictured Sam to sound like.” Not disappointing, just different from what I had in my mind. That goes for all the voices, except Gary and Ryan, I think. Anyway, Michael Lesley does an amazing job and after not a long time, I realized that’s totally what Sam sounds like. I even listened to him through all the credits. Go figure. When I saw the audio was 18 hours (18!) I couldn’t believe it but after the first few of Sam’s dramatic, pause filled inner monologues, the length started to make sense. Lesley animates the crazy/hilarious text with however many characters, all distinct, but he can also bring on the serious when Sam has his moments of introspection and analysis, whether he’s in some absurd situation or faced with heartbreak. The only downside is that I think I miss these books even more after hearing their wonderful voices.
Story: 4.5 pieces of eye candy
Narration: 4.5 pieces of eye candy
I started this series after last year’s GRL, when I heard Michael Lesley’s excerpt from book 2, and fell in love with the series immediately. I listened to all three books as soon as I was able (and am now waiting anxiously for book 4). This series is so well-written, has so many characters that don’t just touch your heart, but sneak in and steal it, as if these are real people and not characters that come to life from TJ Klune’s imagination. In some cases, it rips your heart out a little, and in this book, it truly breaks your heart, but is so well done, you know that what is ahead will bring Sam his happy ending, and restore Verania to its glory. Other times, you laugh so hard, you wonder where the heck he comes up with this stuff. Seriously, the scenes where Sam is captured, and somehow talks himself out of it, as Gary argues away are some of the funniest stuff I have read in a very long time.
However, when you add in Michael Lesley’s narration, these books just become something more. You truly feel like you are IN Verania, that you can see Ryan Foxheart’s blush when Sam says something completely inappropriate, that you can see Gary’s glitter being sprayed everywhere as he goes into a unicorn rage, and that Sam’s blue and green magic is swirling around you as he considers whether to turn someone’s nose into a penis. Michael Lesley truly takes these books to the next level, and I am so glad that I could spend the time with this book, listening to it.
That being said…book 4 isn’t out on audio yet, although I know Michael Lesley is working on it. I could not wait, though, I needed to see how Sam saves Verania and gets his happy ending, and I was not disappointed. What a great finish to this part of the series. And the best part! I heard Michael Lesley’s voice in my head the entire time I read that book. I can’t wait to hear how he makes it even better than what I heard in my head.
Amazing work to both TJ Klune and Michael Lesley.
Story: 5 pieces of eye candy
Narration: 5 pieces of eye candy