Secrets in the Underground: Book 2 of the Secrets of Gwenla series
Author: Laurie Penner
Genre: Fantasy, YA, Coming of Age
After the fortress walls of Victory Valley fall, Julyiah and Delwyn Sarroll travel on their disappearing horses, encountering new dangers and wonders on the Outside. Coming back to the valley with exciting opportunities, the Sarrolls find their home fraught with turmoil. Valley dwellers are again divided over how to hear the Music, while young women are disappearing, presumed taken by the evil Underground lord, Darse.
Leader Zuriel urges all to listen for the true Music, but a popular new leader, Lansel, teaches how to hear music at will and remain in good places. Zuriel’s good friend, Dawnli, keeps remembering her wretched childhood in the Underground, so she follows Lansel’s tempting ideas to find joy. But when Zuriel organizes a group to help the Underground poor, Dawnli feels drawn to the effort, which brings her under Darse’s watchful eye and her own personal danger.
A few valley men and Underground residents scramble to rescue the missing girls from the lower realm, but conflict grows as Darse targets those who betray him. Worse, the dark lord carries a weapon that gives him extraordinary power no one else has.
When key members of the community also disappear, additional valley forces must gather to wage a battle in the Underground, but who will lead the inexperienced men in real combat, and will they succeed?
With Christian themes and a strong allegorical thread running through the story-line, Secrets in the Underground picks up where Secrets of Gwenla left off and moves the story forward while exploring questions of faith as symbolized by the true Music.
- Is it enough to sing only the songs that other Valley dwellers sing?
- Should only one person’s experience of music be heeded, or must everyone seek to listen to the true Music for themselves?
- Can the true Music be heard even in the Underground?
- What happens when those who seek the true Music explore beyond the bounds of the valley? Will the true Music also find them there?
With a mighty clash between good and evil, these questions and more will be answered.
What I loved about the story:
I loved the themes of redemption and reconciliation. I also loved the horses that can turn invisible (they play an important part in the story).
I thought the beginning was a little slow at first, but the story picked up, and I became hooked.
From the way the story ended, I suspect there may be another book in the works. I hope so…