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Venom and Song

by Wayne Thomas Batson
Series: The Berinfell Prophecies #2
384 pages, Fantasy
Reviewed by Luthien

Good book, but has some violence and is not for everyone.

Plot

Note: This book was co-authered by Christopher Hopper.

The seven Elven lords have returned to Allyra. It is now in their responsibility to train for battle and to wage a war on the Spider King which will utterly defeat him. Along the way, they must overrule stubborn politicians, go through extensive mental and physical training, learn that none of them is worth more than others, unlock the mystery of the Rain Song, and find what it truly means to give yourself up for others.

Morality

Good is good and bad is bad. One of the characters even says that there is no in between concerning good and evil.

Spiritual Content

The Elves believe in and pray to Ellos, their name for God. At one point, the power of a certain song, the Rain Song, is described as spiritual instead of physical. At another time, a person explains that she was once an Elf maiden, but was changed by black arts into a spider/Elf mixture. One other person undergoes this change as well, and it is implied that a third does too at the end of the book. One character can read minds and another can see the future at times.

Violence

There is a huge battle that takes place, as well as a few skirmishes. People are stabbed, killed, shot (with arrows), poisoned, nearly drowned, and knocked out. In one particular scene, one character pulls the fangs of an overgrown spider apart and hears the membranes tearing. Countless spiders die and are "reduced to pulp." Several characters, good and bad, die.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Taverns are mentioned once and one elf is mentioned as having worked at one while in our world.

Sexual Content

None.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

The Lord's name is taken in vain several times. One reference to passing gas, one reference to regurgitation, and one character says where they need to kick the Spider King.

Conclusion

There was no exposition in this book except for a few references throughout the story. At times this proved to be rather confusing as it had been several months since I read the last one. There were also a couple of grammatical errors spread throughout the book. Overall, I found the book to be fairly enjoyable and attention-catching. I did, however, feel that the battle at the end of the book could have been a little shorter. All in all, it proved not only to be a good sequel to the first book, but also to provide an opening for a third book in the series.

Note: There is some online bonus material for this book that has not been reviewed.

Fun Score: 3.5
Values Score: 4
Written for Age: 11-12

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