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Review – Echo In Onyx by Sharon Shinn (Audible Exclusive)

Echo in Onyx Book 1 feature
Echo in Onyx

Book Title: Echo in Onyx

Book Description: A murder and a masquerade. Brianna loves her new job as maid to Lady Marguerite. Like many high nobles, Marguerite is attended by echoes, silent creatures who look exactly like her and move in perfect synchronicity. News soon comes that Marguerite has been invited to the royal city as a potential bride for the crown prince. Brianna is delighted to accompany Marguerite to the city - and perhaps get a chance to continue her own flirtation with Nico, one of the king’s inquisitors. Then, disaster strikes on the road when they come under attack. The brutal assault forces Marguerite and Brianna to concoct a desperate plan. Their subterfuge just might work - but only if Brianna can keep Nico from learning the truth. And only if Marguerite can give up her own secret, doomed romance. And all that's at stake - is the very future of the kingdom. Uncommon Echoes, a new trilogy from Sharon Shinn: In the Kingdom of Seven Jewels, high nobles are frequently born with echoes, creatures who appear identical to them, who mimic their every move and expression. But echoes have no independent thought or motion of their own. They are considered gifts from the triple goddess, who created them generations ago when war and murder put every noble’s life in danger; when assassins could not be sure which identical body was the true lord or lady, many fewer deaths occurred. Now, echoes are primarily a symbol of wealth and status, and no noble has more than three. But sometimes, echoes are not exactly what they seem

Book Author: Sharon Shinn

Book Format: AudiobookFormat

Date published: 2019-03-21

  • Performance - 9/10
    9/10
  • Story - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Overall - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
9.3/10
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Murder And Masquerades in Echo In Onyx

 

Echo In Onyx is the first in the Uncommon Echo Series; an Audible Exclusive Trilogy which is due for release today. And this is definitely a binge-worthy series!

Over the next three days, I’m going to be reviewing each installment. For now, let’s look at Echo In Onyx.

We follow Brianna as she starts her new job, being maid to Lady Marguerite and her echos; silent mirror images of the original. As they make their way to the Kingdom, disaster strikes and they embark on an adventure of deception with everything at stake.

Performance

Echo in Onyx Book 1 In Uncommon Echos Series, An Audible Exclusive
Echo in Onyx Book 1 In Uncommon Echos Series, An Audible Exclusive

Emily Bauer gives a great performance as the narrator. A very talented voice actor, her emotive voice and inflections really add to the story. 

As Brianna, Bauer conveys ambition, loyalty, and determination as she works to do the best for her loved ones. As Lady Marguerite, Bauer captures vulnerability, love, and innocence. This is a hard thing to do but Bauer does an excellent job. 

Bauer narrates the rest of the series, where the focus is on other characters, so it will be interesting to see how she does this without it resembling the previous characters. 

The general performance of the story is really well done and not once did I get bored. It was really well paced with equal parts romance and action which was performed beautifully by Bauer. 

Story

The premise for this series is so unique that it’s hard not to get stuck into it. The idea of echos is something that I particularly found fascinating. It might be because I’m a twin and grew up with my own (not so silent) echo that dressed the same! Now that I think of it, I was the echo! 

Anyway existential crisis aside, this historical fantasy develops really well. The characters are three dimensional and there wasn’t just one character I was invested in; I was invested in all of them! Even the echos were developed in such a way that you can’t help but care about them. Their loyalty beyond their purpose was a particular stand out for me, particularly at the start of the perilous adventure. 

The world created is so descriptive, you could almost smell the flowers and capture the essence of the world she’s created. The Kingdom is particularly breathtaking and was almost nostalgic of a romanticized 18th century France.

Between the world, the characters and the uniqueness, Shinn has written an exemplary historical fantasy. 

Overall

Although this is only the first part of the series, this is an excellent introduction and definitely binge-worthy. And after that, I’ll definitely be checking out the rest of Shinn’s work. 

Everything works in Echo In Onyx and I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on the rest of the series. As mentioned before, the series is an Audible exclusive and available for download today. If you get it, and I strongly suggest you do, let us know your thoughts down below. 

In the meantime thanks to the folks in Audible for sharing this series with us. Stay tuned tomorrow for the next review!


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About the author

Therese Walsh

Thérèse is an Anthropologist, Klingon enthusiast and bookworm. She's second generation nerd with a passion for everything Star Trek, Star Wars and generally everything! She's based in Ireland and lives with her husband and two fur babies Yoda the Dog and Zombie the Cat

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