Sirscha’s new powers may help her save that which she holds dear but may also turn her into the monster she fears.
Readers are drawn back into this Asian-inspired fantasy world through the second book in the Shamanborn series which starts off a fortnight after the fight with Ronin at Spinner’s End. Sirscha is coming to terms with her soulrender powers, newly awakened by the Soulless; as the name implies, they allow her to grasp and destroy souls. She poses as a soulguide in order to gain access to information and travel safely through politically charged kingdoms looking to exploit her abilities. As the Soulless slowly recovers his strength, Sirscha searches for a way to stop him. In so doing, she discovers the dark history behind the origins of the powers they share. In this part of the journey, the characters question morality, family loyalty, and sacrifice, and, as in the last book, there is no time for romance, though the storyline does expand on her friendships. In fact, the majority of Sirscha’s time is spent fighting and traveling from one place to the next, perhaps in support of worldbuilding. When she is forced to stay put at certain points in the latter half of the novel, characterizations are expanded upon.
Plenty of action—plus emotional developments worth sticking around for.(Fantasy. 13-17)