Thursday, January 11, 2024

The Counterfeit Count (Warders #2), by Armen Pogharian (author), Michelle Babb (narrator)

Armen Pogharian, September 2023

Adara is undergoing her field trial test, the final step in completing her preparation to become a full-fledged member of the Warders, the secret organization that protects Eridan. Geren has assigned her to secretly follow the coach of the Count of neighboring Cruese. She's shocked when she hears sword striking sword, and comes into view of the coach to see Geren fighting the Count's personal guard. Has he gone mad? Has he gotten sucked into Cruese's complex political conflicts? Is it the trickiest part of her test? Instead of finishing up her field trial, she now has a dangerous mystery to untangle.

Meanwhile, back in Eridan, Geren's spirit sign appears to the leaders of the Warders, with critical information there's no way to get to Adara, the only agent, or almost agent, close at hand.

While Adara is seeking Geren, and recruiting unlikely local help, Draham and Toran are dispatched to Cruese. Due to the lack of time, and the urgency, they're carried by a nighthorse (a kind of demon trapped in horse form) who has grievances enough to make them wary of trusting her.

The action moves along nicely, the story is interestingly complex, and I can't help but love the characters. That includes not just the Warders, but the Count, Adara's distinctly underage local help, and other new and old allies. Michelle Babb, as always, does an excellent job of narration.

I received a free copy of this audiobook, and am reviewing it voluntarily

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