By David T. Valentin
Book three of the Green creek series
By T.J. Klune
Narrated by Kirk Grave
If Wolfsong, book one, was a bit weak for the first book in the series, and Ravensong, book two, was the better of the two, Heartsong, book three, is the strange medium between the two which, I can imagine, divided fans of the Greencreek series.
Ravensong follows the point of Robbie Fontaine, the former second to Alpha Michelle Hughes who has become one of the worst enemies to the Bennett Pack. Immediately, we’re disoriented during Robbie’s point of view, seeing him back in Maine with Alpha Michelle and a strange, powerful old witch named Ezra. When Robbie goes on a mission that shifts his reality, he begins to unravel and realizes chunks of his memories are missing. As the plot moves along, we learn Ezra isn’t the kind old man he makes himself out to be, and soon the Bennett pack will be tested in how far they would go to get back a member from their pack.
I call Heartsong a mixed bag of quality between Wolfsong and Ravensong because I’m not particularly a fan of memory loss as a plot device. It feels like a forced plot device that forces conflict in a way that wouldn’t naturally happen otherwise.
That being said, I’m not sure how else Klune would have progressed the story without memory loss as a plot device in Heartsong. While I would have enjoyed seeing Robbie and Kelly’s relationship develop, and not in hindsight, it was still enjoyable to really see these characters pushed to the brink of desperation. I don’t say that sadistically but more so that it really highlighted the strength of much of these series and that’s the themes of found family.
Each character has their chance to shine emotionally—displaying both their best traits and their worst. It makes the reader realize just how far we’ve really come with these characters and how close and intimate we are with them at this point.
Heartsong, like Ravensong, also delves deeper into the lore of the world—the way the magic system works, the deeper relationship between wolves and witches and how far the magic of both can be pushed. It builds on the worldbuilding of Ravensong in an authentic and fun manner that never feels expository.
Had the book continued to stumble through its second act—with Robbie’s memory loss being more aggravating to me than emotional—I would’ve given the book three stars. But given the continued depth we get through each book with a different point of view each time, even cheap memory loss as a plot device evolved into something more complex, almost fun and certainly emotional.