The Book of Whispers is a YA historical fantasy that follows Luca and Suzan throughout the historical event of the Crusades. Luca is a young heir to his father, the Conte de Falconi. As his father prepares to leave for the Crusades, Luca is supposed to stay behind. However, Luca can see demons and he also has a dream in which he sees his father die, so he worms his way into going on the Crusades as well. Suzan is a young girl raised in a convent with her mute mother who is forced to leave. When her and Luca encounter each other, they work together to figure out an ancient book and what it is trying to tell them about the demons.
I’ll admit that I’m not sure my timing on reading this book was the greatest, and I wasn’t very invested in it early on. However, I kept reading and I came to enjoy the story. It builds slowly, but realistically shows the development of Luca and Suzan’s friendship and relationship. It also shows a lot of historical information, and the nitty gritty of the Crusades. At times it is very violent, as is the actual historic event, so be prepared for gore and the intimation of violent acts. The story has interesting pacing, as well, with fast-paced battle scenes, then slower traveling times, and it eventually picks up the pace for the last third or so of the book, and gives a satisfying conclusion. It is open to perhaps turn into a series, but there is not a cliffhanger here.
There were some things in the book that didn’t quite work for me all of the time, but I really enjoyed it overall. The character development was done well, but I didn’t really fall in love with any of the characters. By the end, I had a fondness for Luca and Suzan, and if there were a series, I may read another installment, but it would also depend on what the story of that continuation was. Also, the demons were an interesting addition to history, but there were just so very many of them and I wanted to see that more developed. I wanted more lore surrounding why they were there and how they attached themselves to the humans, so a little more worldbuilding may have helped me in that regard.
Overall, if you enjoy historical fantasy, you would probably like this book. The historical aspects are well done and realistic, and the addition of the supernatural elements was intriguing as well. Luca and Suzan are solid leading characters and it is nice to see things from both of their points of view. If you decide to pick this one up, I genuinely hope you enjoy it, too!
Note: I received this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.