Dana reviews Unseen (Rath & Rune Book 2) by Jordan L. Hawk. (Published November 12, 2021. 234 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
To read my review of Unhallowed (Rath & Rune Book 1) click here.
Librarian Sebastian Rath and his lover Vesper Rune are tasked with seeking and containing the evil Books of the Bound. But one of the Books has been freed from its prison—and is in the hands of a killer.
As more bodies turn up, Sebastian finds himself tempted to use forbidden magic to locate the Book and stop the murderer. And when an unexpected connection to the necromancers who created the Books is revealed, Sebastian must choose just how far he’ll go to right the wrongs of the past—even if it means endangering his own future.
I can’t tell you how much I am loving this spin-off series set in the world of Widdershins. I’m not entirely sure how much longer it takes place after the first series, perhaps 5-10 years. But Whyborne, Griffin, and their friends have left the country possibly for some archeology expedition, or to take a much needed break from the town that is kind of a character itself.
Widdershins knows its own. Its own includes the Librarians. I feel like that needs to be capitalized because they are a sort of organization who once helped stop the world from ending, and they aren’t afraid to jump into battle to protect Widdershins and its people. Vesper Rune came to town with his brother Noct to map out the library and give it to someone who wanted to use it for nefarious purposes. That was in the last book, but after meeting Sebastian Rath, Vesper wasn’t as eager to leave the town and even signed his name in the list of binders, a commitment not taken lightly.
There is a sense of danger that seems more intense than in the first books, because these librarians don’t have the powers the previous main characters have, but there is a sorceress in the mix with Irene Endicott. And Vesper and Noct do have some magical abilities. We just don’t know what the end game is when it comes to the four books of the bound. The lore of these books is well created by this author and it would take too long to explain, but with one of the books bound to Sebastian and another that will need to be bound in order to stabilize it, I can’t help wonder if it makes them more or less dangerous.
I am enjoying the love story between Sebastian and Vesper. Sebastian loves Vesper for who he is, tentacles and all. Vesper will have to be there for Sebastian as he keeps taking on these books and the potential mental instability they might cause. The supporting cast is also awesome. Irene is a strong woman with magic in her lineage. She’s not the monster hunter her ancestors were, and that makes her more open-minded and allows her to develop feelings for Noct. Her fiancé, Mortimer, wasn’t my favorite person in the first book of this series. Anyone who has checked out the first series knows how the first families can be, prizing their wealth and influence and looking down on anyone not in their “club.” Yet in this book Mortimer makes a turnaround and while it seems it might be over for him and Irene, I hope he still stays heavily involved in the search for the books and maybe finds someone else to love him. I love a series where the side characters make you feel for them as much as the main characters.
In searching for the lost book, there is a lot of action and violence in this story, and some grotesque descriptions required in describing what the Book of Flesh is capable of. There are also exciting moments. I love seeing Sebastian becoming a little more powerful. As for Vesper and Noct, I think at this point they still see themselves as kind of freaks, but in Widdershins there are so many things that are other, I hope they get a chance to see them and feel more secure about their places there. Definitely an interesting series, I can’t wait to read more of.
9.5/10 Pots of Gold (95% Recommended) – Compares to 4.75/5 stars
Jordan L. Hawk is a trans author from North Carolina. Childhood tales of mountain ghosts and mysterious creatures gave him a life-long love of things that go bump in the night. When he isn’t writing, he brews his own beer and tries to keep the cats from destroying the house. His best-selling Whyborne & Griffin series (beginning with Widdershins) can be found in print, ebook, and audiobook.