Areum is living proof that whoever says, “birds don’t make good pets,” is dead wrong. Actually, on second thought, we probably should call Areum a ‘pet’ . . . or even a ‘bird’, for that matter. Areum is much more than your typical talking animal sidekick. And no, not just because can grow to a height of seven feet. Ever since Riley won her trust during a highly questionable Horangi initiation ritual, Areum has been by her side ever since, providing guidance, emotional support, and (sometimes) free rides across town.
But now, as the goddesses plan their final revenge on Riley, and the Godrealm leaking over into the Mortalrealm, Riley and Areum’s bond will be put to the test like never before. When the going gets rough, will this bird choose fight or flight?
Again, we should reiterate that Areum isn’t just a bird. She’s an inmyeonjo, a creature with the body of a bird and the head of a woman. Inmyeonjo can travel freely between the Godrealm and the Mortalrealm. You probably wouldn’t want to encounter an inmyeonjo in the wild, but as long as you leave them alone, you should be fine. Just as long as you’re not wearing any reflective material. There’s nothing that an inmyeonjo hates more than seeing their own reflection. So, protect your mirrors, cameras, and maybe even your glasses just to be safe. And if you notice they have a piece of food stuck in their teeth . . . you should probably just keep that to yourself.
While other young Horangi attempted to tame Areum with violence and fire, Riley instead choose healing and empathy to get on her good side. Seeing how Areum’s story reflected her own, Riley was able to recognize Areum as something more than simply a wild creature. Riley was even the one responsible for giving her the name Areum, a Korean word for ‘beautiful’ (aww, isn’t that sweet?).
Ever since that fateful day, Areum and Riley have been nearly inseparable. Great news for Areum, who finally has a home and family to call her own. Less great news for Riley’s dog Mong, who must now live with a magic bird that he absolutely isn’t allowed to chase around the house.
Figure of Speech
Don’t let the chirps and squawks fool you. Areum is one of the most well-spoken mystical creatures you’re bound to meet. Even if we get the feeling that she would rather communicate in “bird talk,” Areum is perfectly fluent in English. Odds are, she knows even more words than you do! And she’s polite enough to call humans by their full names.
Areum’s eloquence, along with her many other talents, only serve to make her initial capture by the Horangi clan even more tragic. From everything we heard, divine creatures living in the Godrealm aren’t exactly treated with dignity and respect. Is it any wonder why she’s so worried about being caged up again? We’re as grateful as anyone for the freedom and acceptance that Riley gifted to Areum. but so much of her past remains a mystery. We can’t help but wonder what life was like for Areum before she joined Riley’s crew.
Who knows? Maybe Areum has a few old friends from the Godrealm who knew her from way back when. Maybe a certain three-legged crow is looking to reignite an old flame? You’ve heard Areum squawk and scream, but could you imagine there’s someone out there who could actually make her . . . giggle flirtatiously?
Is Areum finally ready to leave the nest and take flight with a new lovebird? Would Riley be able to say goodbye to her most trusted avian ally in order to finally give Areum the freedom that she’s always longed for?
Do these questions even matter at all if the goddesses get their way and bring an end to the Mortalrealm once and for all?
Find out what’s next for Areum and the rest of Riley’s team and discover how it all ends when The Last Fallen Realm, A Gifted Clans Novel hits stores 6/6!