The Spirit Shield Saga Complete Collection:: (Books 1-3 Plus Prequel (Spirit Shield Saga Collection) Kindle Edition
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Overall, I'm not satisfied with this one😣
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All parties have sought knowledge and advice from a great seer of the swamp people, in the hope that their interests will prevail. She confirms the changes coming, in no more than three generations time if the balance is not righted. The first road leads to a great war and the death of all mortal life. The second leads to the death of magic and all things relating to the gods, including the godling brother and sisters and therefore the pathways to reincarnation. And the third leads to the death of everything, including the land's ability to sustain possible future life. She remains neutral, imparting the knowledge and items all four godlings have sought and therefore has not acted to stop which will come. Life on earth is at a crossroads and whomever are successful will determine what path is walked. Either way immortal and mortal life regardless of any outcome will change.
Sometimes the best choice is only ever the better of poor choices. Only in segregation can the evils of one party go unchecked. The proverbial 'keep friends close, but enemies closer' is often only fully realised in hindsight, when it is too late to see how truly apt it is. As things pass from the world they take with them the things reliant upon them. Even the smallest most insignificant knat can be a life changer if enough things rely upon it: biology and ecology, among other examples, refer to their living varieties as keystone species. The prequel herein shows many themes, including the aforementioned and how the greatest harm can come from the greatest of intentions.
Soul Survivor sets the context of the world to come in stunning clarity, just how soon it'll arrive is the penultimate question. The pace is fast and furious, and the reach of the story is grand. The writing technique is clear and easy to understand. Detail is vivid and the story both finishes and opens its doors, some now in the past and others yet to happen in the future. Only in the latter is there now room to wiggle and maneuver. A changing way of life is heralded from the best of poor choices; but how much is lost can yet be regained. The level headed thinking shown in the closing moments paves the way for a future to possibly return what is no longer possible. As long as the wheel of life continues turning who knows what it may bring through its endless revolutions.
The tension and suspense which grew in the closing chapters of Soul Survivor continues in Seer of Souls, in spades. Fast pacing and vivid detail keep you perched on the edge of your seat. Intrigue and frequent changes in the many perceptions of the cast are accentuated in the alternating points of view. With a smaller focus on the magic of the realm coming about because of its fall in the prequel, the moments when it begins to once again express its presence are increasingly appreciated. The personal growth of characters continues to elicit greater empathy, culminating in points when goose-bumps rise upon your skin. The delivery of information is strategically written until the gaps between breathers continue to decline. This and the aforementioned aspects of technical skills, combined with an entertaining number of storylines, make the plot progressively more captivating. I thoroughly enjoyed the prequel, and I loved its sequel; the icing on the cake is the knowledge that more is yet to come.
Spirit Shields have been installed by creation to ensure that for those who work within and for the designs of the processes of life and death, then there is a system in place to ensure those willing to play the correct parts can live and be reborn. Empowered by celestial gifts to maintain the processes that ensure the wheel of life are held sway over by those intended to be the caretaker roles. When one or more caretakers go wrong, whether it be free will or for some assumed wrong, then the lives of the spirits necessary for incarnation and reincarnation are placed in harm's way. Perhaps being considered the 'true twins' ensured that Caerwyn and Alfreda, now the mortal Cayden and Avery, would be incorruptible and willing to give up their celestial person for the mortal if that's what was necessary to safeguard the spirits they're responsible for. Helga and Artio don't seek just dominion over the aspects they were empowered to have control over, they wish ultimate dominion over all in the case of the former, and in simple vengeance in the latter. The human usurpers and those influenced by celestial beings are no better or worse than their counterparts of the primordial peoples who seek passive or outright control over the Spirit Shields, things that were never there's to have any influence over at all. The systems those ruled by greed, covetess, jealousy, and embittered hatred and rage, seek to have will mean death for all life, not just those whom they seek to wrong.
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; steps that'll let them make crucial 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 with the ruthlessness their combatants use freely. For everything that happens that cannot be defended against its often because the planners have done things the recipients cannot themselves ever imagine doing. In this factor of life it's why sometimes you need fire to fight fire, or a bloody big hose.
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, equal to the really good examples among 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 can justify. Which do explain at least some of the why's, if nothing else. 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 having to find out how they will turn out. With lovable and contentionable characters both, in a complex and rich environment its easy to slip into worlds of imagination that carry you aloft. The notion of spirit shields and the lore that underpins this world is a strength, as is the cast. 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 seek to tick.
Seriously, if you only buy one box set in your life , buy this one. You won't be disappointed. Thank you Susan Faw for creating this wonderful tale.
Most recent customer reviews
Four siblings, godlings - this idea rock!
The way we follow the story sometimes is a little to shattered, so it needs a little concentration to...Read more