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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Book Review: The Godborn, The Sundering, Book II, by Paul S. Kemp

This is an engaging fantasy where a sliver of hope struggles for good to overcome the forces of dark and shadow.
The Godborn, The Sundering, Book II
by Paul S. Kemp

  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast (October 1, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
In the 2nd book of the multi-author Sundering series launched by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, the shadow legacy of Erevis Cale lives on even as his old foe Mephistopheles seeks to stamp it out at any cost. Cale’s son Vasen—unmoored in time by the god Mask—has thus far been shielded from the archdevil’s dark schemes, alone among the servants of the Lord of Light who have raised him since birth

Living in a remote abbey nestled among the Thunder Peaks of Sembia, Vasen is haunted by dreams of his father, trapped in the frozen hell of Cania. He knows the day will come when he must assume his role in the divine drama unfolding across Faerûn. But Vasen knows not what that role should be . . . or whether he is ready to take it on. He only knows what his father tells him in dreams—that he must not fail.

Enter Drasek Riven, a former compatriot of Erevis Cale, now near divine and haunted by dreams of his own—he too knows the time to act is near. Shar, the great goddess of darkness, looks to cast her shadow on the world forever. Riven has glimpsed the cycle of night she hopes to complete, and he knows she must be stopped.

At the crossroads of divine intrigue and mortal destiny, unlikely heroes unite to thwart the powers of shadow and hell, and the sundering of worlds is set on its course.

This is another extremely engaging epic fantasy but does not pick up the characters and story from Book 1. The story may deal with the same world and time but on a completely different level. This story focuses on the battles of archdevils and minor gods. There is a battle between the Dawnlord, followers of light and goodness, and the Shadovar, those bringing destruction and darkness.

Several mortals received small parts of the powers of the godling, Mask, when he was defeated by the archdevil, Mephistopheles. Rivalen has been entranced by Shar, a goddess of darkness who destroys worlds.  Rivalen has come to believe that immortality is meaningless and he plots to use the god powers he received to help Shar complete her mission.

Drasek Riven also received god powers but he finds great loneliness and boredom with his immortality. He stills steps into influence human affairs - looking like a dark, shadowy pirate.   Erevis Cale also received a small sliver of power but he has been imprisoned in ice. His wife and unborn son, Vasen, were whisked forward in time to protect them from the enemy. When Vasen was born, Riven made sure he found safety to be raised in a the Dawnlord Abbey and to have his father’s dark blade held ready for him to use when he became a man. It seems Vasen is the key to find Erevis and bring the forces together to defeat Shar and save the world.

The story proceeds with a certain dark twistedness, but always there is a slim light of hope for a brighter future. I really liked Vasen’s character and the blend of inherited darkness and trained faith in light and hope. Vasen always shied from his dark side and disciplined himself to follow the light paths. I appreciated how the author shows his ultimate understanding that his being consists of both elements and he can use both to accomplish what he wants. Vasen makes a friend before his adventure away from his Abbey home begins and Orsin is a wonderful character too. He is a man with his life written all over his body although he holds his secrets tightly.

There are many additional characters, good and horribly evil. I enjoyed the diverse characters like the obsessed and bitter Brennus with his pet homunculi. I was repulsed by the gruesome, evil, soul eating Zeeahd. There are several lines of action moving the characters along to the ending  and it took some attention to track the rather convoluted interactions. But I was compelled to keep moving with the good action, hoping that the “light” would triumph over the seemingly overwhelming forces of dark.

I found the story gripping in its own right even if I never quite made the connection between book 1 and book 2.  Since I had never read either (any) of the authors in this Sunderling series, it appears that I do not know some of the background that does tie the books together. However, from reading these two it seems that they are bound by the time of struggle from Spellplague to a new world with less and changed magic forces.  Even without knowing the history and characters I can recommend these first two stories as gripping entertainment to those who enjoy fantasy adventure.

I received this through NetGalley for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds like a very interesting story. I have added it my list. Thanks for sharing your review of it.


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