Beneath the Forsaken City by Carla Laureano ~ Book Review + Giveaway

June 28, 2021


About the Book

Book:  Beneath the Forsaken City
Series: Song of Seare, Book 2
Author: Carla Laureano
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: June 8, 2021


With a storm on the horizon, who will stand against the darkness?
Conor and Aine have barely escaped Seare with their lives. Conor knows he must return to find the harp that could end the Red Druid’s reign of terror, but he must first see Aine safely to her family home on the isle of Amanta. When an unnatural storm tears them apart, they find themselves in even more danger than that which they fled.
Because magic is not the only thing to fear in Aine’s homeland, where the Sofarende invaders harry the coasts and shifting clan alliances make it impossible to know who to trust. Conor and Aine must cling to the whispers of Comdiu’s plans for them and their enduring love for one another, even when the future looks darkest.
But with betrayal at every turn, will they give into fear? Or will they learn to depend on Comdiu completely … before all hope is lost?
Click here to get your copy!

My Thoughts

This is the second book in the Song of Seare series. I have not read the first one at all but decided to push through and read it anyhow. I did add the first book to my TBR list to read at a later time. I do recommend you read the first one as it will introduce you to the culture and religion of the realm you are reading about. Plus you won't be as lost as I was in the beginning of the story. I was so intrigued by everything thought that it was easy to get submerged into this story and be captured by it!

In this story you continue the story with some amazing characters. Granted for me it was the first time I was meeting them and I thought they were superb. I sadly don't know how much growth they have gone through since I just met them but I loved seeing the development of their gifts throughout the story. There is not shadow of doubt on who is good and evil in this book which I really appreciated it. There is plenty of action to keep you engaged. 

A fantasy book has to grab me from the beginning for me to even read it. That's why books like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Narnia stand out for me. I really enjoyed the magical world that the respective authors have created in these books. Carla has done the same with this book and series. She has created an amazing magical world. I am always in awe at the authors that can do this. I mean the imagination that they have is utterly amazing and I can appreciate that. There is talk of dark magic in this book and I know there are some that immediately that is a turn off. If that's not your thing then I completely understand but don't bash it. To me it was very clear that the Gospel of Jesus is written throughout and conveyed in this story. I definitely saw great lessons in this story that demonstrated God's faithfulness. 

Overall I thought the author did an amazing job at creating this magical world. I can't wait to read the first one and the last one to see how it all began and how it all ends. If you enjoy fantasy books, especially Christian Fantasy then I would put this at the top of your list!

My Rating: 4 Stars

I received a copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to post a positive review. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.

About the Author

Carla Laureano is the two-time RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy.A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.


More from Carla

Fictional Magic… and Why It Matters to Us

The first book in the Song of Seare series introduced the culture, religion, and characters of my fictional universe, but it’s this second book, Beneath the Forsaken City, that really delves into the magic of the world, both light and dark.

The light magic in the series comes directly from Comdiu (their version of the Christian God), given as gifts to his people to be used in His service. I approached the creation of this magic much as the real-world church views spiritual gifts: everyone might have a different gift, some people may have more than one, but all of them are meant to be used within the context of God’s commands and promises. They come from a purely good source, but when used for our own glory or for selfish ends or even just without full understanding, they have the potential to be twisted into something that’s harmful or ineffective. In Beneath the Forsaken City, Aine learns how carefully she must wield her powers in order not to sow discord in those around her; Conor must come to grips with the limits and the boundaries of his own abilities, battling the ever-present temptation of pride.

The dark magic, on the other hand, comes from the Adversary either in the form of sorcery or in the powers of the sidhe, the spirits who haunt the isle of Seare and beyond. For this, I delved both into the Celtic myths and fairie tales as well as neo-pagan rituals, particularly for details on scrying. I approached the topic thinking it was a somewhat harmless, if ineffective, practice and left with a deep sense of spiritual unease—this is the type of thing the Bible warns against when it forbids divination and witchcraft. Consequently, when Conor is approached with the opportunity to scry for an answer he desperately needs, he battles the temptation of his own desires against his very clear understanding that it’s dark, forbidden magic.

Some of this may seem academic to the modern Christian reader—most of us aren’t going to be tempted by dark magic or pagan rituals. But I meant it to reflect a warning and a lesson in our larger walk with Christ. Things that come from darkness can never be used for light, even when our intentions are good—God has forbidden them for a reason, because of their danger to ourselves, others, or the integrity of our own souls. Even the gifts and abilities that have been God-given for the use of His kingdom can be corrupted by sin if we’re not anchored to the heart and purpose of Christ.

That’s why my deepest wish is that readers of Beneath the Forsaken City will look beyond the fantasy elements of Seare to the real-world lessons beneath—and be both warned and encouraged in their own spiritual walks.

Blog Stops

Truth and Grace Homeschool Academy, June 26

A Modern Day Fairy Tale, June 27

Worthy2Read, June 27

Musings of a Sassy Bookish Mama, June 28

Inklings and notions, June 29

Texas Book-aholic, June 30

For Him and My Family, July 1

Mypreciousbitsandmusings, July 1

Because I said so — and other adventures in Parenting, July 2

Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, July 3

deb’s Book Review, July 4

Locks, Hooks and Books, July 5

Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, July 6

Blogging With Carol, July 7

Labor Not in Vain, July 8

Mia Reads, July 8

A Baker’s Perspective, July 9


To celebrate her tour, Carla is giving away the grand prize package of a limited-edition hardcover of Beneath the Forsaken City and a sterling silver Celtic pendant!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

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