Last Updated on December 28, 2022 by ThoughtsStained
This book was really bloody good.
Like, don’t get me wrong: I expected that, honestly. When Soul of the World first came out a year ago, I was immediately interested. Anything that says epic fantasy and is published by Orbit is something I’m going after, especially if we’re getting multi-POV.
Fast forward a year. Now I’m on Orbit’s reviewers list (!), since I write reviews and they seem to enjoy them. The sequel, Blood of the Gods, in their monthly lists for request for this month. So I request it. What better way to motivate myself to actually sit down and read the first then knowing I have the second book coming to me early?
Then, I get lucky enough to win (!!) a giveaway copy of the first book that Orbit’s Senior Editor Brit E. B. Hvide hosted, in honor of the second book coming out.
After all of this good fortune, I knew it was a sign. This was a book demanded to be read.
So, I gave in.
Most sincere thanks to Brit E. B. Hvide for a copy of this book. I won it in a Twitter giveaway she hosted.
Publisher: Orbit Books | Release Date: June 2017 | Pages: 656
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Fantasy | Format: Paperback | Source: Giveaway
A brilliant debut epic fantasy with a unique magic system and unforgettable characters.
It is a time of revolution. in the cities, food shortages stir citizens to riots against the crown. In the wilds, new magic threatens the dominance of the tribes. and on the battlefields, even the most brilliant commanders struggle in the shadow of total war. Three lines of magic must be mastered in order to usher in a new age, and three heroes must emerge.
Sarine is an artist on the streets of New Sarresant whose secret familiar helps her uncover bloodlust and madness where she expected only revolutionary fervor.
Arak’Jur wields the power of beasts to keep his people safe, but his strength cannot protect them from war amongst themselves.
Erris is a brilliant cavalry officer trying to defend New Sarresant from an enemy general armed with magic she barely understands.
Each must learn the secrets of their power in time to guide their people through ruin. But a greater evil may be trying to stop them.
On the Page
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- If you like epic fantasy, you’re going to love this book. It has everything you want from your traditional epic fantasy, except that all of it is…elevated? I was sucked into this immersive and detailed world, its complexities shown by how different the lives, cultures, situations and beliefs were for each of our main characters. The political structure is intense and complicated, but in a good way. It complicates and pushes the plot forward as each of our characters have no idea about what needs to happen next. And they go after their beliefs and their hopes without abandon. It was impossible not to root for each of them. I definitely couldn’t pick a favorite, between Arak’Jur, Erris and Sarine.
- And that’s by far the strongest element of this book: the characters. Their depth is inspiring. Honestly, I’d love to work with Mealing on how he creates such detailed, complex, three dimensional characters. Especially since, over the course of the entire book, we see them grow and change, and feel it happening.
- There is a lot going on in this book. And I love it. There is never a dull moment and the battle scenes? The military prowess and the way Erris thinks and works as a tactician? I will never get over that and not be impressed by how war was portrayed here. Or the entirely of Arak’Jur’s culture and how excited I am for the direction they are hopefully moving towards? (Because there were some aspects that I, as a woman, was not particularly fond of.) Yet that didn’t detract from how fascinated I was about his culture. Plus, how much I admired Arak’Jur as a person, leader and warrior. Or the fire and passion in Sarine and what she goes after, almost in single-minded determination.
*lets out deep, excited breath*
Friends, Soul of the World is just so, so good.
All I want is the second one. Which, luckily for me, is sitting on my bookshelf right now. And, luckily for you, if you’re reading this the day this review goes live, gets published TOMORROW.
But, most likely, it’s already available at your local bookstore and library, so GO READ THESE BOOKS YOU WON’T REGRET IT.