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The Godborn: The Sundering, Book II Mass Market Paperback – March 4, 2014
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About the Author
Paul S. Kemp is a lawyer and author who lives in Michigan with his wife and twin sons.
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Top customer reviews
If you are new to the Erevis Cale series, The Godborn serves as the long awaited climax of the Twilight Wars Trilogy. In those books, Erevis Cale, Drasek Riven, and Magadon the half-devil mind mage try to stop a shade named Rivalen from bringing about the end of the world. Rivalen is a Shadovar prince and a worshiper of Shar, the Lady of Loss. Shar is a goddess who seeks to bring sweet oblivion to the universe by destroying one world at a time. Through the Twilight War, Erevis and his colleagues waged a war against shadows, end up with a piece of a god's divinity, and do battle with the ruler of the eighth hell...Magadon's father.
In The Godborn, the story mostly follows Erevis Cale's son, Vasen. Through dreams and guidance from characters like Riven, Vasen must save his father from the eighth hell. Along the way, he makes some friends who become very enjoyable new characters. Long time fans may be disappointed that there isn't much of Erevis or Mags in this book. However, Riven and the Shadovar prince Brennulus play key parts with some very nice scenes. Some gigantic battles take place, along with some highly personal ones. There's a lot to enjoy.
One of the surprising elements, though, is the horror story twisted within the plot. Two new characters, Sayeed and Zeeahd, take part in the most violent and repulsive scenes in the book. They enter as mysterious wanderers in search of something. But it quickly becomes evident that something is not right about these two. Horrors follow in their wake and Paul S. Kemp gives Stephen King a run for his money. I have to admit I wasn't expecting the horror elements and they seemed a little out of place and over the top. However, the things these two characters do certainly provoke strong emotions. It got to the point where I couldn't wait for them to be punished or better yet killed.
Aside from the horror scenes, divinity plays a big part in the story. From the events of the Twilight Wars Trilogy, Rivalen, Riven and Mephistopheles (Magadon's father) are all part divine, having consumed a piece of the god Mask. Riven finds divinity to be a burden and wants to get rid of it. Mephistopheles simply hungers for more and wants to kill Riven and Rivalen to get it. Then there's Vasen who is the key to releasing the divinity and fulfilling Mask's ultimate plan to avenge himself against the goddess Shar. Yet Vasen posses no divinity. He's not even as powerful as his dad was in most of the series. But Vasen has faith. His faith in divinity, in the divine Amaunator, god of the dawn, is his strength. Balanced with shadows in his blood, he walks the darkness and the light.
For casual readers, this is a fantasy story with intriguing characters and a significant touch of horror. For the longtime readers such as myself, this is the culmination of a great story arc. That also means there's a lot riding on this story. Does Erevis Cale come back to life? Does Mask triumph over Shar? Can the new characters compete with the likes of Erevis, Riven, Jak and Mags? Is there a payoff? Well, I won't spoil anything suffice to say that yes, the new characters are really good and the payoff is well worth it. The Godborn tackles a lot and Kemp gets it done. There is closure at the end, as well as new beginnings. Having read all of the Erevis Cale books, I was very satisfied with the ending. All the twists and turns and emotional pitfalls led to some great scenes, great characters, and a great story. I give it a five out of five.
Kemp excels at "adventurers forming a bond while kicking ass." While it sounds formulaic, He also has a knack for finding new characters with new quirks that makes them interesting and fun to read.
While much of the Sundering is about moving the focus back to mortals and their perspective of the Realms, compared to the first book in the Sundering series (which you don't need to read to understand what's going on here) this book does touch on what exactly is at stake when it comes to the plans of at least some of the gods. In some ways, this makes the fact that big events are happening "off screen" more palatable, because it gives you the sense that what's on screen is just as important as the slower moving tapestry behind the proceedings.
And while godly plans are much more in the forefront, the gods are just distant enough that they don't seem like characters so much as forces of nature, and the focus is squarely on the mortals. The heroes are compelling. The villains are interesting to read. If you like high magic adventuring fantasy, this is a very well crafted example, and you shouldn't be disappointed.
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Characters were good.Read more