Truth in the Dark by Amy Lane – Romance>Fantasy
“I am not beautiful…”
Knife’s entire existence has been as twisted as his flesh and his face. The only thing beautiful in his life is his sister. When Gwennie is obliged to turn a suitor down because she fears to leave her brother to the brutality of their village, Knife is desperate for anything to ensure her happiness.
Her suitor’s cousin offers him a way out, but it won’t be easy. Aerie-Smith has been cursed to walk upright in the form of a beast, and his beloved village suffers from the same spell. Aerie-Smith offers Gwen a trousseau and some hope, if only Knife will keep him company on his island for the span of a year and perform one “regrettable task” at year’s end.
Knife is unprepared for the form the island’s curse takes on his own misshapen body. In one moment of magic, he is given the body of his dreams—and he discovers that where flesh meets spirit and appearance meet reality, sometimes the only place to find truth is in the darkness of a lover’s arms.
I read this book last year (not listened), and really enjoyed it, giving it a rating of 3.5 stars. I’m not sure if it just hit me at the right time, or whether the audio version made that much of a difference, but I lovedthis book the second time around. It’s an amazing journey and really comes full-circle, not stopping at the happy/easy possible ‘end’ point, but instead, pushing past to give us an even more developed story. Not having an ‘easy’ HEA made our characters multi-faceted and we got to watch them deal with some real world issues, both individually and together as a couple.
“I had lived without pain, and I had lived with love. And that sort of thing gives you courage of an unexpected metal.”
Both these characters show so much vulnerability, both throughout the story as well as at the end. They were so complex and wonderful, and in no way perfect. The narration by Nick J. Russo was phenomenal!All the emotions were performed perfectly, and the voices unique. Russo portrayed Neaf’s attitude with a dash of bleak charisma and a heap of scorn, while Aerie-Smith had a gentle arrogance and a kind heart that showed through. I haven’t loved all the books I’ve heard from Russo, but he nailed this one.
This book is an amazing journey and despite the fantastical elements, it felt incredibly real. It addresses issues of self-worth and what it means to be beautiful. It contrasts the ways in which we treat people, some showing incredible hatred while others incredible kindness. I wasn’t bawling the whole time by any means, but there were two particular scenes near the end where there was a break through moment, where I had to wipe my eyes.
I would apparently recommend the audio version very highly, since my rating jumped so much!