I read the brilliant The Wind Reader late last year where Jarka is first introduced, and I would highly recommend that you read it, although The Wysman, which follows after the events in the first story, can be read as a standalone. This is a gripping Young Adult fantasy story, brimming with danger, magic and intrigue, set in a richly imagined world, with a superb cast of characters.
Jarka, a former street child, has been taken into the royal household after he demonstrates that he has the gift of wind-reading: an ability to see visions of future events. He has become an apprentice Wysman to Adrya who counsels the King.
When Rena and Laren, two young street children, who Jarka has brought to the refuge which has given them safe haven, run away from it, they point to their fear of the sinister Grabber who steals children away. Is the Grabber merely an ancient legend, or is this a real threat to the children of Rin City?
When six-year-old Rena is found unconscious, Jarka’s worst nightmares are realised. Determined to save her, Jarka embarks on a quest to discover the perpetrator … a quest which weaves an intriguing path from political machinations to the harnessing of deadly elemental magic. The path which Jarka must follow it not an easy one as it sees him face great loss, danger and sacrifice. It is a path which leads to the revelation of long-buried secrets, and to the uncovering of great wrong-doing which threatens to destroy everything Jarka holds dear …
Jarka is an incredibly sympathetic character. Born with a crooked foot, seen as payment for the gift of wind-reading, he has lived on the streets as his home was not a safe place for him. Even though he has gained the favour of Prince Beran, his life in the Castle is far from easy. He faces prejudice and jealousy from others which leads to emotional and physical pain. Jarka empathises with street kids and cares about them, encouraging his friend, Lady Lineth, to establish a refuge. He is kind-hearted, loyal and protective of his friends, with a keen sense of justice, even when this may lead to the loss of his dreams.
The Wysman is an incredibly enjoyable story with a fast-paced and intriguing plot which is a wholly satisfying read.
Thank you to the Laura at Inspired Quill, for an e-ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.