Book Reviews

Review: The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

The Unspoken Name is one of those stories which consistently plays with your expectations. Characters you have written off return with a vengeance. And situations evolve into battles that leave deep scars.


What if you knew how and when you will die?

Csorwe does — she will climb the mountain, enter the Shrine of the Unspoken, and gain the most honored title: sacrifice.

But on the day of her foretold death, a powerful mage offers her a new fate. Leave with him, and live. Turn away from her destiny and her god to become a thief, a spy, an assassin—the wizard’s loyal sword. Topple an empire, and help him reclaim his seat of power.

But Csorwe will soon learn – gods remember, and if you live long enough, all debts come due.


I couldn’t pass up on a queer portal fantasy revolving around the story of a sacrificial bride who becomes an assassin. The Unspoken Name is a story about new beginnings, loyalty, and sacrifice. We can think that our entire life leads up to one moment, going down one path. Then one day we realize the only things that have been keeping us inside is a door of our own making. This type of character development is my absolute favorite. Characters whose entire life become transformed when they question everything they once knew, the path before them.

What would we do with our life if we didn’t have to die? Just when we think we have grasped something, Larkwood reveals even more about the world. The Unspoken Name is a fantasy full of portals, necromancy, and magic that binds us. I was entranced by the magic, the orc priestesses, and the flying ships. But what kept me reading were the characters. Whether it be characters I ended up not liking, ones I wanted to know more about, or my favorites, they were what stayed with me after finishing. Not only is it a f/f fantasy, but there are other queer side characters.

There are some intriguing themes within The Unspoken Name like the concept of duty and obligation, the danger that lurks within us, and our craving for acceptance and praise. Our society can influence what we view as honorable, as a privilege. Is what is considered honorable, really a privilege we want? Or are we just being led to the altar without ever doubting ourselves and knowing where we belong because we have no other choices?


The Unspoken Name is a story of duty and obligation, sacrifices and family, desires and ambition. No matter what someone sacrifices for us, our souls just belong to us and us alone. Our lives should be our own to risk, to give, and to take. Sometimes we can begin a quest for approval and acceptance that leads us chasing a high we can never grab. The constant questions. Wondering if our love, our deeds, will be enough this time. There were some places where I wished there was more character growth and time, but I hope that in the sequel the characters I’ve grown to love have the space to do so.

Find The Unspoken Name on Goodreads, Amazon, Indiebound & The Book Depository.


Do you know any more books with orcs?

Share this post

One thought on “Review: The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.