The Giant Among Us

The Giant Among Us is the second book in Troy Denning’s The Twilight Giants trilogy. Tavis the Firbolg and Brianna, Queen of Hartsvale, are back for another adventure teeming with giants. But like any Denning tale, things are never easy for our heroes. This time the threats come from within as well as without. Can Tavis save the women he loves, or will he be destined to loose his golden arrow to save the entire kingdom from a horrible prophecy of doom?

The story kicks off with a suitable introduction. Giants besiege a small town, killing all that they find, even the most innocent of victims. The cover (newer one)  illustrates what becomes a chilling and dark scene. It’s a sign of things to come. No longer is there a peace between the people of Hartsvale and the giant tribes. A shadow has crossed the land.

Brianna finds herself trapped for most of this story. Cut off in a castle surrounded by giants, she struggles to protect her people. It’s up to Tavis to go get help. Most troubling of all, Tavis has to leave Brianna in the protection of a stranger. Even worse, the stranger has come to court Queen Brianna, and the Queen actually considers his offer. Of course she doesn’t love the stranger. She actually goes as far as to offer Tavis a role as a secret lover. Yet even if he wanted to, Tavis can’t accept the offer. Being a firbolg, he can’t live a lie. Thus he’s stuck in a bad position that just gets worse.

The action, prose, and characters continue to shine in the series and Denning does a wonderful job of following up to The Ogre’s Pact. If you enjoyed the first one, you’ll definitely want to check this one out.

Now to delve into some spoilers. Be warned, if you want to remain spoiler free, tread no further.

Part of this book is a real torture test on the emotions of the reader. We all want to see Tavis and Brianna have a happy ending together. Yet Troy does his damndest to use that very desire against the reader. Brianna plays the role of the practical minded ruler. Her wishes to do the best for her kingdom lead her to believe that she needs to find a king. This leads her to Prince Arlien. The prince is a character that you can’t help but hate. He’s Tavis’ opposition. But things are much worse than just a troubled love triangle. Prince Arlien is really an Ettin in disguise who ends up drugging Brianna and causing trouble all around. Not only is the reader left waiting for Tavis to kill this despicable character, but Brianna’s drugged state makes her pretty much helpless throughout the book. Brianna is a very strong willed and capable person. To see her rendered useless is painful. Even good old Basil gets shelved for much of story since he gets in trouble for stealing some books. Helplessness becomes a big theme for each character and the heart of the story is their struggle to overcome each obstacle put before them. As a parting shot to pain the reader, there’s one very big question raised in the end and left unanswered. Did Arlien have his way with Brianna? Has the dark prophecy been fulfilled?

Sometimes emotional roller coasters can be pretty fun, and The Giant Among Us is definitely an emotionally provoking story. I give it a five out of five metal bikinis for being an outstanding fantasy story filled with action, adventure, compelling characters, and sweeping emotion. It certainly kept me entertained.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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