The Second Blind Son, by Amy Harmon

c3rys's review against another edition

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adventurous medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


onemanbookclub's review

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The Value of a Star: Ratings Explained

Whoa. Wow. Holy cow. What a story!

The Second Blind Son was....powerful? Passionate? Gripping? Romantic? Really, really cool?

Yes. Yes it was.

I was impressed with The First Girl Child, and I don't impress easily. Just the Norse-Mythology based worldbuilding alone deserves praise for it's careful detail and seamless incorporation into the narrative. It's smooth. And it's awesome. It was very well imagined, wonderfully built, and perfectly executed. Theology, culture, government, the magic system, and even societal expectations were delivered clearly, and in a way I would have expected from a much longer book. Skilled writing, indeed!

The characters and their relationships were some of the best I've read. Amy Harmon's ability to get her characters to connect to each other and to the reader has earned her legions of loyal fans. I had plans for the characters from the first chapter, and there was a delicious slow burn as the pages turned themselves to the satisfying end.

So, ya. I was impressed.

Then I read The Second Blind Son. If I was impressed with The First Girl Child, then The Second Blind Son had's better than impressed? Blow away? Shocked? Gloriously surprised? Perfectly satisfied? Left with a huge, goofy grin? I don't know. One of those. All of those?

I wasn't sure what to expect. The First Girl Child didn't need a sequel, and a brief scan of the synopsis gave me the idea it was going to be a stand alone story set it in the same world. So okay, cool.

But I was wrong. It's even better.

This is a retelling of the events of The First Girl Child, told from the perspective of a tertiary character you'll recognize and a brand new character your going to love. LOVE! I figured it out in the first few pages, and the book nerd in me starting doing cart wheels! Well, in my head, anyway. It's not a sequel or a stand's a retelling from new perspectives and that. Is. Awesome.

All the things I loved from The First Girl Child were there, but more. The characters were more. The relationships were more. The good guys. The bad guys. The magic. The mythology. The romance! It was all more!

Amy Harmon writes romance like Steven Spielberg makes movies. She hints, she teases, she gives subtle clues. A touch. A longing. A glance. You know it's there, and you know it's coming. But when the shark finally jumps out of the water and eats the boat, you are still left with your mouth hanging open and your heart swells and you can't stop reading! Wait. No, there's no sharks. But the feeling is the same. There was some passion in these pages!

The events of the two books intertwine, then separate, then cross again. Each book is it's own story, but it's also the same story. And when the narratives collide at the smashing finale, I again found more: more closure, more satisfaction, and more oh-my-gosh-I-really-loved-this-story!

I think both The First Girl Child and The Second Blind Son can be read as stand-alones. I can't think of any reason you HAVE to read The First Gild Child before The Second Blind Son. But I will say the two books complete each other...neither book is whole with out the other. Read one, and you'll enjoy a good book. Read them both, and you'll LOVE the story. I would love to hear from you if you read The Second Blind Son before The First Girl Child--I'm dying to know how things come together for you!

There is no language, a bit of violence, and the passionate lovers get really passionate with their love three or four times. The descriptions are not physical or detailed, but you definitely know what's happening and when it happens. I wouldn't want to read it out loud with my teenage daughter. So for that, I'll say The Second Blind Son is best for 18 and up.

Happy Reading!

staceynerdin's review

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I find Amy Harmon's writing consistently enjoyable. She is particularly good at developing engaging characters and a well-paced story, even if it spans several years. The Second Blind Son is set in the same world - with a new perspective of many of the same events - as The First Girl Child. I admit, there was a lot I had forgotten about The First Girl Child, but the foundation was enough to appreciate this book. I deducted one star because I did get a little glassy-eyed at all the politics and palace intrigue, but I loved watching the growth of Hod and Ghisla independently, and their love story together. I also appreciated getting to know some of the "minor" characters from The First Girl Child better. There is both ache and warmth in this book, with an ending much bigger (and better) than romantic love.

thebookscript's review against another edition

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All the stars. Not enough stars. A new favorite. ♥️

Every time I step into one of Amy’s book I am completely transported. She has this ability to transfix you with her words and completely envelope you in the story at hand.

I took my time traveling through Saylok. This dark land full of North Mythology and Viking-esque lore. Stepping back into the same world from The First Girl Child was highly satisfying and while this second book can be read as a stand-alone...I highly recommend reading the first to get a more fully fleshed out experience for The Second Blind Son.

The characters? Completely on point. Hod is the blind hero we have desperately been looking for in stories. His kindness and bravery and gentle nature stole my heart. A new favorite character of all time...seriously though. And Ghisla? She is tough and unafraid and loves fiercely. The coupling of these two souls was the heart of this book and I COULD NOT GET ENOUGH.

“Don’t worry Ghisla, I am just a blind man. Everyone looks past me”

“I didn’t”

“No...I felt the moment you saw me”

“You put your hand on your heart”

I loved it. The gritty, raw and dark nature of this story...and honestly I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I was swept up in all the magical and political elements that just kept adding layer upon layer of depth to this story.

I’m so sad it’s over but I sincerely hope Amy writes a third book for this series. There is a certain couple id love to see more of in the future.

Thank you Amy and the publisher for this gifted book. I am so very grateful.

**violence and mature romantic content

wolfmantula's review against another edition

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katecutup_lovesbooks's review against another edition

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adventurous medium-paced
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A


iambookish_brooke's review against another edition

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I literally couldn’t put this book down. Not surprising with an Amy Harmon story. Hod and Ghisla! I loved the soul rune connection and the way she gave him sight through song and rune. Such a unique and beautiful idea come to life.

And talk about a lovely slow burn romance too- growing up together but apart for a decade. The need and longing shared from both sides. Wew

I loved being back to Saylok and all the concurrent events with First Girl Child. I need to go back and re-read that one now, because while I remember Liis/ Ghisla, I cannot remember any mention of Hod. Curious to go look.

Oh- book nerd moment- SO APPRECIATE the pronunciation guide at the beginning for all the names. Too many books out there with unique names and I have no idea if I’m reading them properly.

kcsunshine25's review against another edition

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I absolutely loved The First Girl Child so when I heard there was to be another book in the series, I was delighted.

The Second Blind Son’s story runs alongside TFGC, it’s not a sequel. It skips back to when Banruud is trying to break the curse that has plagued Saylok. The only girl born is Alba and he is to take a girl from each clan to live at the Temple and be protected.

Ghisla is a Songr with a beautiful singing voice, but all of her family died, she is the last one from her village to survive. She wants to die too but she is rescued by Hod. He is blind but gifted. He was rejected as a Keeper but he has been taught the runes and hopes to return to the Temple. The two become great friends with an unbreakable bond.

There is fighting between the clans, and blood will be shed. Oh brave, brave Hody, you sweet, lovely guy.

Amy Harmon is a master storyteller. Once again, I felt like I was on Temple Hill with them all with my heart in my throat as I watched battles raging and arrows flying. I already loved Bayr and Ghost and Dagmar, now I have all the love for Hod and Ghilsa too.

If you read TFGC, you sort of know where the plot will go but it’s still an amazing adventure that takes a completely different path. Fantastic read. Just fantastic.

aubreydawn's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny hopeful inspiring reflective sad tense medium-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes


bloodruby29's review against another edition

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Once again Amy Harmon delivers with yet another sublime creation. The First Girl Child is my favorite standalone fantasy book. Therefore, when I find AH to publish another Saylok book, I have no reason not to be enthused. Books written by Amy Harmon always give me a strong purpose to devour, yet I often hold off since reading them tends to plunge me straight into a reading slump. And The Second Blind Son just proves my case!; I cannot stop thinking about Ghisla and Hod days after I was done reading this.

The story took the setting concurrently with The First Girl Child’s timeline. There are many aspects of the first book that are naturally interlaced and being retold here. I don’t feel necessarily bothered with the repetitiveness, rather I adore it as it brings out new perspective of the conjoint conflict. I also love how the characters in this book are flawed and show buildup in their personalities, taking how robotic and one-dimensional Bayr from TFGC is.

All are rewarding until it dawned on the third part in which the author starts unbuckling her solid foundation and seems unsure about how to treat the ending fitfully. She reinforced the plot with brusque and a lack of imagination to fit the underlying narrative. It feels rather unengaged and lazy. I rip off 0.5 from the perfect rating accordingly.

Rating 4.5