- File Size: 1074 KB
- Print Length: 298 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publication Date: April 19, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06WD8BV2D
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #73,439 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Soul Sacrifice: Book Three of the Spirit Shield Saga Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This is an amazing series. The characters are wonderful and the story arc just amazing. I have the whole series and just love to read it. I recommend this book and its companions to anyone who loves a good story.
If it were something more than the mundane affairs of her's and Cayden's she'd come to use her own mortal presence to draw in the culprits. Her presence and the power of her tattooed body to contend with the killers would only work to draw to her the creatures with more than the untainted mortal souls. Her body markings, her attire and the unique weapons are all legacies of the temple designed for more than just the high priestesses, regardless of what those with ambitions beyond their capability and standing in the spirit shield realm, that marked her with the true essence of the soul incarnated at her birth; as to Cayden's. Since their God Born, or godling, souls had revealed their true selves the spirit shields had altered her's and Cayden's incarnations so completely that they each suffered identity crisis in their own individual ways.
For her the melding of her true self with the more reserved original self has been more seemless than it has for Cayden. Much more comfortable in her new body and purpose she didn't however have the detrimental effects wrought by the perverted soul snatch dolls, which undoubtedly play havoc with both Cayden and Mordecai's beings. Avery's spirit shield abilities and capacity has been getting more pronounced since their confrontation with the new combined Godly form of their soul sister Artio. Avery and Cayden lived their twin lives with the presence of each other in their telepathically linked minds before the arousal of the spirit shields. Thus meaning they had the same sort of bond before the renewal which reflected similarly the bond their original immortal souls had before they made their sacrifice to become mortal, in order to protect the functions they served.
But Cayden has been uncontactable since the altercation, cutoff telepathically by wherever Helga kept him, he would possibly also be cutoff from his soul-link to his beloved, Ziona. It all had started leaving Avery feeling more bereft than at any other point in their shared existence as godlings and holistically since before their ascension. They each nedded to consider and get more used to the notions that some of what came before is irrevocably different, and might only be attainable again in mere snippets if they should both survive Helga's dark desires. Of course this is among the nefarious plans of their adversaries who would take control of all the spirit shields to rule in unison, potentially making their past and present sacrifices meaningless unless they find a way to prevail, or at the least ameliorate. Whilst the mortal contenders would have all spirit shields destroyed so that the Gods would no longer have any influence over the affairs of humankind and the like, their desires are shortsighted and lacking the understanding of what their success would mean for life as they experience it.
Little do they know or remember that without celestial involvement through spirit shields over crucial mechanisms, that all life would cease to exist inside the mortal realm. The thirst for power has warped not just certain shields but also the rule of man, as those seeking it would call it. How quickly their history has forgotten that with the exclusion of their dark mistress the mortal interests were not removed from their governance, the three other original godling shields irreparably damaged had lived alongside and in coalition with mortals; not as only Helga would have it. And yet many see fear but also self serving interests as those only the dark mistress will provide, making them as blind as those they belittle. But even then, although she seeks to unify ruling, Helga's machinations and corrupted meddling seeks something that ultimately relates to the original gods and not inherently with mortal rule for the sake of only itself. Whilst it will have absolute influence over mortal kind it isn't for that why she seeks her endgame, it's to get back at the gods for punishing her.
When it did arrive, the Charun attack Avery instigated came silently at first. Avery's readiness won out quickly and definitively in that first single instance, showing her to be so much more capable than she was before she was reborn. Her bone knife struck true and where normal blades wielded couldn't fatally wound or kill, her weapon combined with her power could do what others couldn't. The next three that appeared, however, sought to provoke her failure through words. Avery's resolve is far beyond the years and capacity of the body still so young in many ways. The Charuns' blighted existence was created by Helga's soul thefts, which she then sent into the abyss to be bonded to pieces of the darkness to create the blights, instead of permitting their natural entry into the well of souls for those who'd live good lives and contributed to the process of life. These that circled her now knew she could despatch them which promptly changed their confidence, where nothing else but facing their mistress could. They would use her connection to her twin brother and the way that Helga could now pull on his strings in order to make her susceptible to an error that could cost her dearly.
Their one weakness in the absence of a necessary bright light to keep them at bay is that their mistress wanted Avery's capture, not her death. So whilst they had to hold back in order to wound but not kill, she has no such limitations which gave her an advantage she meant to exploit to its fullest. Thankfully too, Achak's timely arrival would see him capable of defending himself from their unnatural blades whilst giving her the chance to move in on those he kept from striking at her, as she was likewise distracted before his arrival. It was enough to turn the tide, as with each distracted blight Avery could weave between, to flip and move with advanced agility to bury her blade again, causing those she stabbed to shriek and pop from existence, returning the darkness in them to the abyss. She did feel something akin to remorse for the souls that'd been twisted by her sister but which she couldn't afford to let it sway her. Being the cowards they are, once the odds were no longer in their favour they rent the fabric of space and opened a portal again, so that they could retreat to a likely disciplining by their mistress.
Meanwhile beneath the usual lay of the land where life still exists, Helga has trapped Cayden and Mordecai in a pocket sealed with the substance of the abyss. Anything alive that touched the black tar like seal of his cave is disintegrated. For anything daring to near, the tar would stretch and grab any life or the souls released by the death and ashes that resulted. The Underworld mechanisms have their place in the cycle of life, meant for those souls intended for Helga's care because they could not learn to contribute to life. But Helga nonetheless plays a very dangerous game in seeking to manipulate that which should exist in only the bowels of the world. When the true purpose of the substance, to trap and keep in its domain those bad souls isn't realised properly, a slippery slope can be created by her meddling into places never meant for occupation by things with life, including godlings. But in her unquenchable thirst she would brook nothing but total dominion, whether she is capable of actually leaving appears to be incidental.
The cyclic arguments Helga has with Cayden leave him bereft over the frustrations and the power to escape where she's trapped him that is no longer his to control. His access to the well of souls now cutoff leaves him inept and unable to do anything about it, or to use his godling heritage and power; even with Mordecai's company they are still powerless and he is lonely without his links to Avery and Ziona. If not for the fact that Mordecai too has been trapped, both suffering injuries far more dangerous because of the soul fetches, then hopelessness might surely sack his will. When his and his twin's souls were immortal they'd respected and valued the mortal contributions of souls to the continuance of life. Having given up their immortality to be reborn as mortal godlings awaiting a reawakening, the godling twins now knew the contribution of mortal understanding even more greatly because of their changed natures. But before, after, during, none of it mattered to Helga who'd only ever been immortal and embittered, disgruntled at a betrayal which has cut her off from any meaningful life outside of her hatred.
For Helga the depths of her planning knows no bounds. Controlling the two soul fetches that took care of two adversaries, and her recent deal in expanding her dominion over the daimons too meant that success is more guaranteed. Control and manipulation have been the tools that would permit her to smite the intentions of the Gods, and to smite them as they have her. Once they'd punished the only one of them who really cared for the realm of mortals, in large because of his involvement with a mortal woman, they'd abandoned it and turned their backs. A failed experiment of creation they did not care if its happenings led to its distruction. But she'd teach them her lesson once she finished accruing the control that would give her power enough to show them, and to escape her prison. She'd become as powerful whether it caused the destruction the shields feared is incidental once it released her from her bondage. Confined as she is Helga has created minion after minion to burrow and mine to the depths she was never meant to have gone, discovering things better left undiscovered.
For Artio, in her wrathful current form for the part of her betrayed by her sister, but which has been misdirected in ways that she cannot see, she only sees its the twins who're responsible. If successful in her bid she would deleteriously remove those capable of helping her to reach true justice. Part of her new body was betrayed before it was used to house her soul, a giant animal demigod betrayed by the gods, the beings with a great many debts to pay. Bereft of a love she's partially forgotten because of her time in the stars, the lover now bonded to her true betrayer who had jealously attempted to steal the happiness of her life and love that had once been the epitome of Artio's existence. But to keep what her immortal soul would've eventually lost, she was manipulated into building the beginning of what would cost her all that she had.
She'd essentially empowered her nemesis to take what was hers. Her wrath now consumes her every waking moment but it will never find true expression if its never aimed at the responsible party. Revered by an assembly of primordial clans, they might give her an additional strength to commit unknowingly the aims of her betrayer. Together with the twin souls that once called her sister, they're all victims of misdirection as much as, if not more than, the damage done by the godling responsible. The primordials who returned part of her to a new kind of existence are also in essence using her. To reach the supremacy of their belief system over their contenders', those who traditionally had seen her sister as their benevolent ruler have now switched alliance. But in some ways she's now living an existence that was never meant for her, and it could be the undoing of those who summoned her from her celestial burial place. Or perhaps for her twin siblings, or maybe even the sister who truly owes the blood debt she's determined to collect. Artio the bear demigod could potentially be snuffed out by her original killer once she's served her purpose, or she might hopefully become a pivotal actor in the game that could see it go the way of her innocent twin siblings.
Ramifications following the outcomes of the previous book are rippling through the environment like the undulations on the surface of pond water, like when a pebble is dropped into its centre so that ripples permeate away from the disruptions. From the obvious that affect the major players to the incidental that have more far reaching subtle effects, such as the release of the geas or enchantment that enforced mindless obedience from the armies of men, who'd been under a spell on behalf of the now deceased usurper Alcina. Maybe even that which entraps Artio's soul lover, Genie.
But where the head of one of Helga's minions falls there always seems to be more that poke up in the absence. If nothing else, Helga's capacity for preemptive strikes and backup plans show her level of intelligence, whilst the depths for which she'll reach show her depravity, naivety, and hopefully the false belief that she can control everything. The conflicts happening among the mortal races and power players continue to grow whilst many blindly march toward to their own destruction. They claim not to require godlings or spirit shields, and yet the efforts they make show that something or someone needs to be holding the reins, lest their greed be the thing that costs so many innocent lives.
In this new book the fingers in the pie are at an all-time high. Machinations left, right and centre are in play. Misdirection, like in so many real and fictional examples continue to be the endeavours with the most nefarious goals. The greed and attempted reach of those interested only in the artificial factors of life, in power, authority and control, continues to climb heights as yet unknown. Plans upon plans upon backups permeate the plots in a complex interplay of mystery, tension and intrigue. With much of the groundwork now complete or firmly in place its the varying consequences that start to show. In true epic fantasy style all that has come so far has been intended to reveal just how complex and detailed the games are.
Those you want to win are overwhelmed in trying to play catchup, let alone being able to go on the offensive or to go on to make a leap forward to get that necessary one or two steps ahead, those that'll let them make real headway in the battle for life. As can often be the case, for the good that hope to prevail its an inability of transcendence that holds them back; they simply cannot conceive the ways evil thinks and plans because its outside the scope of their abilities to look at the world in the same way. Thus they must often first experience a magnitude of losses necessary for them to start being able to plan accordingly. For everything that happens that cannot be defended against its often because the planners have done things they cannot themselves ever imagine doing so. In this factor of life it's why sometimes you need fire to fight fire.
With never a dull moment or a hiatus in the action the Spirit Shield Saga is of comparable character to the other really large sagas that epic fantasy readers seek and are accustomed to expect, like in the really good examples of them. In true empathetic style, even those you don't want to win have reasons that whilst being enormously out of bounds with regard to acceptable desires, they nonetheless have factors that don't justify, but do explain at least some of the why's. Susan's style is easy to slip into and carries you well into the story. With sneak peaks into the mystery there's tidbits that captivate you into finding out how they will turn out. With lovable and contentionable characters both, in a complex and rich environment its easy to slip into the worlds of imagination that carry you away. The notion of spirit shields and the lore that underpins this world is a strength, as are the characters. So if epic is your thing, or if you just love a good, long, and really detailed story then this saga will cross off the boxes you want to tick.
This may not be the ending everyone is expecting but you will be happy with it.
I cannot wait to see what you come up with for me to read next Susan Faw
What a wonderful book. It was such a pleasure to read . I was totally captivated by the story. Sadness, love, greed and kindness. A melting pot of emotions and for a change , the good guys win.
May the force be with you.
I am sad it's over and I will re-read at some point.
Thank you for creating such a treasured trilogy.
This is definitely a trilogy to get your hands on. The characters are loveable and the storyline is epic. The conclusion is very sad but there couldn't have been a better outcome.
Well done Susan Faw 3 for 3.
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