Book Review: A Strange Hymn by Laura Thalassa (The Bargainer Series, Book 2)

Continuing on with The Bargainer Series by Laura Thalassa is A Strange Hymn. I immediately started this book after finishing Rhapsodic because I needed to know more. Is the Thief of Souls really gone? We know Karnon was the one behind it to some extent but the women didn’t wake up. Also, Callie now has wings, scales, and claws I’m very curious to see what’s going to become of those. Does their appearance unlock more power, or something else? I have so many questions… which is exactly why I dropped straight into A Strange Hymn to find out what happened next.


Siren and soulmate to the King of Night, Callypso Lillis survived the clutches of Karnon, the mad king, and his twisted prison. But the nightmare isn’t over. Callie wears the physical reminders of her time as a captive, and mounting evidence suggests the Thief of Souls is still out there. When a fae celebration thrusts Callie and her mate, Desmond Flynn, into the Kingdom of Flora, they take their investigation with them. But under the bright lights and striking blooms of the realm, they find there are more immediate issues to deal with. No place is more uniquely savage than the great fae halls, and no amount of bargains can save Callie from royal intrigues. Fairies play dangerous games. Some want love, some want vengeance, some want flesh, and some want things too unspeakable to utter. One thing is for sure: no one is who they appear to be. Not even Des, who only grows more enigmatic with every passing secret. But the Kingdom of Flora has its own secrets, from bleeding trees to branded slaves and missing guards. Something is stirring in the land of all that grows, and if Callie isn’t careful, it will claim everything and everyone she loves—and her along with it.

Book Info

  • Published: August 18, 2017
  • Page Count: 384
  • Genre: YA Fantasy & Romance


A Strange Hymn takes place a few days after the events of the previous book. Callie and Des finally can be together, but Callie is still figuring out how to handle her new body: wings, scales, and claws. Something that she later comes to realize was Karnon’s way of protecting her as much as getting the wrath of Desmond turned on him. As while he was responsible for the missing children to some extent, he is not the Thief of Souls. Someone else is and during the events of the Solstice celebration, this comes to light at the conclusion of the week-long party.

Before then it’s four kingdoms battling over dominance and trust as everyone blames the finger at each other. Fauna blames Night for killing Karnon, even if he was raping the sleeping warriors. Flora claims Night is responsible for the missing male warriors since everyone is taken in their sleep, and some claim to see him or the image of Desmond after Karnon. And Night blames Day since Callie recalls their king as the individual who kidnapped her before she was brought to Karnon. No one points a finger at Flora, but the Green Man gives off creepy vibes. It’s interesting to see the power dynamic of the courts bittering and trying to figure out the mystery that has plagued the Otherworld for ten years.

Without giving spoilers, I’m curious how this story is going to conclude now that the Thief of Souls has been revealed. Not only that but what has become of Callie. Who the Thief of Souls wants. And they fell right into his trap to make her magic compatible with fairy magic.

The story takes place entirely in the Otherworld, first in the Night Kingdom as Desmond shows Callie around and then in Flora kingdom where the Solstice celebration occurs. At first when I realized that I was a little sad that Temper wouldn’t be there. I love that character, she’s sassy and tells it like it is. She’s a great companion for Callie. Plus, Temper is badass and helps Callie figure out things that Desmond can’t or won’t tell her. So, I was very excited when she came back and made a scene. It was epic.

The relationship of Desmond and Callie also starts to move to something healthier, as Desmond finally starts opening up and sharing things with Callie. Something that did not happen in the first book. The two still have a long ways to go, especially after what happened in the end. I’m curious about how the two of them are going to reconcile that. Along with the fact, Desmond is basically ready to have children and make Callie his queen. While she’s still ‘this is new and I am so not ready for any of this.’ Plus, all of the beads of their bargains are now gone at the end of the book. He can’t use those against her anymore to get her to do things.

Overall, I give this book a 4 out of 5-star rating.

Love ya,

Mae Polzine

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  1. Brooke Carrington
    April 15, 2021 / 11:36 PM

    Sounds like another good book! Thanks for sharing!

    • Mae Polzine
      April 15, 2021 / 11:37 PM

      Thanks for stopping by!
      ♥ Mae

  2. April 18, 2021 / 9:44 AM

    Lovely review! I’m glad you enjoyed it 😉

    • Mae Polzine
      April 18, 2021 / 11:01 AM

      Thank you! Yeah, it was a good series.
      ♥ Mae

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