Darcy Abriel's Haevyn is the 2nd volume of the Humanotica series, and a sequel to Silver, one of my favourite reads of the last two years. It's a book I've been eager to read ever since Darcy first announced the sequel but, like Silver, it's also a book I wanted to take my time with . . . to savour . . . and to enjoy.
While part of me had hoped that Haevyn would continue story of the lovely and exotic trinex named Silver, I also understood that the storyline of the Humanotica series belongs instead to Entreus, the humanotic warrior who links the two stories together. In many ways, Haevyn is very much the polar opposite of Silver, centering on a female human heroine (as opposed to a dual-gendered humanotic); exploring the seedy underbelly of society (as opposed to the high-class elite); and focusing more on the violence (as opposed to the glorious sex). The story even provides us with a character who is the opposite of Silver, another trinex named Sarrogen who is golden (instead of silver), predominantly masculine (instead of feminine), with a pair of ample breasts to highlight his androgyny (instead of a thick cock), and who is somewhat aggressive in his service (instead of demurely submissive).
Haevyn also does more to advance the plot of the series, which is what really matters, and really gives us our first glance at the wider world.
Once again, the world-building here is exquisite, with an amazing attention to detail. Darcy really establishes her dystopian society firmly inside the reader's head, creating a world that you can't help but explore long after you've turned the page. The politics and social manoeuvering is even more complex than in the first book, and Entreus really gets the chance to shine, with his character already fully established, and his struggles already very much out in the open. After a bit of a slow opening, the story moves along at a brisk pace, with enough twists and turns to keep even the most jaded readers guessing. As was the case in Silver, there is a rather unusual love triangle at the heart of the story, but instead of defining the story, here it serves largely to provide some emotional context.
All in all, another great tale from the lovely Darcy, and one that has me insanely curious to see how it all end.