The Theft of Sunlight: Dauntless Path, Book 2 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Perfect for fans of The Cruel Prince and Sorcery of Thorns, this exhilarating, addictive fantasy will pull listeners into a lush and stunning world where nothing - and no one - can be trusted.
I did not choose this fate. But I will not walk away from it.
Children have been disappearing from across Menaiya for longer than Amraeya ni Ansarim can remember. When her friend’s sister is snatched, Rae knows she can’t look away any longer - even if that means seeking answers from the royal court, where her country upbringing and clubfoot will only invite ridicule.
Yet the court holds its share of surprises. There she discovers an ally in the foreign princess, who recruits her as an attendant. Armed with the princess’s support, Rae seeks answers in the dark city streets, finding unexpected help in a rough-around-the-edges street thief with secrets of his own.
But treachery runs deep, and the more Rae uncovers, the more she endangers the kingdom itself.
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|Listening Length||13 hours and 50 minutes|
|Audible.ca Release Date||March 23 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #76,685 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#205 in Legends, Myths & Fairy Tales for Teens
#1,065 in Folk Tales & Myths for Young Adults
#1,815 in Science Fiction & Fantasy for Teens
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That aside, I loved this book.
There was a lot of good things to say about Thorn but it was a story very centred around the protagonist, Thorn. It had a rich world with several interesting things going on it in but Thorn mostly dipped her toe into them and left me with a lot of questions. This is the book where those questions are addressed, if not answered.
Spured by the kidnapping of one of her friend’s sisters, Rae accept an invitation to court with the aim of doing something about the Snatchers, who disappear kids and enslave them. She quickly finds herself engulfed by the shadowy politics of court and the grimy underlife of the city. Having equal experience with both, none, she has to find her balance and investigate where she can, despite the risk to herself.
Thorn was a very dark and depressing book, with a lot of terrible things happening to and around the protagonist. The Theft of Sunlight also has that but it’s not as personally aimed at Rae, which makes a nice difference. And maybe what I like most is the life going on in the background. Alyrra and Kestrin getting married is a lovely occasion, which takes up most of the novel. The different ceremonies and events lends a lighter tone to the more serious plot of slavery. I particularly like the part where Kestrin turns up with gifts and is ritually chased out only to return with more.
The whole story is a rich tapestry of light and dark, rich and poor, kindness and cruelty. Like all good fairy tales. It’s enchanting.
Beyond that, it has all the strokes of YA fantasy of the moment, deftly handled and imbued with real warmth by Khanani. Here, you’ll find mysterious Fae with their own agenda, a charming thief-lord who creates his own justice in the king’s city, courtiers and mages jockeying for power, and whispers of a generational curse haunting the king’s family. Oh, and an opulent royal wedding that draws on South Asian traditions between a princess with a core of steel and endless depths of compassion, and a very lucky prince. (Alyrra and Kestrin of the companion novel Thorn, which I also highly recommend.)
One mystery is solved by the end of this novel, but there are many more for Rae, Alyrra, ‘Bren’, Matsin, and Stonemane to unravel. The sequel can’t come fast enough!
I also hope it sheds more light on Rae’s relationship with her fellow handmaids to the princess; court ladies are often unexplored or simply villainised in fantasy novels, but this was a much more character-driven and nuanced take. Mina, in particular, has an ace hidden up her sleeve, I feel.
Finally, I want to tip of my hat to Khanani for her inclusion of disabled characters in The Theft of Sunlight even beyond Rae, who walks with a limp due to her clubfoot. Clever court matriarch Havila and brave tax officer Kirrana were a delight to read about.
Khanani’s real strength is in her characters: read on for a country girl being thrown headfirst into court politics and deciding she’s going to make a difference, come hell or high water.
Theft of Sunlight finishes on a cliffhanger, but it’s a well earned one, and makes me excited for the follow up.