Holy moly, this series was seriously fun and addictive!
I was initially planning to read an ARC for a soon-to-be-released book, but temptation drew me to start Skysworn instead, which I duly finished in just over a day. Verdict: Will Wight has a new fan.
In Skysworn, the narrative continued to reveal more about the fantastic world of Cradle and its awesome magic system. The author did this ever so skillfully through the storytelling while dropping hints and teases about even more epic stuff to come. Trust me, the power levels in this series were insane! And it kept on levelling up from one book to another, making it immensely fun to read. This was how I fell in love in fantasy in the first place – new intriguing worlds with powerful magic (and skills) beyond imagining. What made it better in Cradle was that there were rules and a structured system in place to achieve power upgrades. As side note, those two Chinese characters depicted on the book cover translate to “power”.
From dreadbeasts to Dreadgods, and Underlords to Overlords to Archlords/Sages to Monarchs – keeping up with the complex and imaginative worldbuilding of Cradle took my breath away. There was just so much about this world that is fascinating and so cool. On top of that, the action scenes and the imagery of the sacred arts were superb. Let me give an example. Each Path manifests a distinct Goldsign when its sacred artists reach Gold. For the Path of Grasping Sky, this Goldsign is a pair of shimmering emerald wings. Of course, as a symbol of power, the wings would become larger and more impressive as the sacred artist advanced through the sublevels of Gold and on to the Lords stages.
The characterisation continued to improve as well. While the story was primarily about Lindon’s journey, I would consider Yerin and Eithan as part of the main cast as well. A good thing for sure, as I can put my hand to my heart now and say that Eithan is my absolute favourite character of the series. He was such a wildcard amongst the whole lot of serious and uppity Underlords; I loved how his irreverent demeanour annoyed most of them. Out of all the characters, he was the one who made me laugh, alongside with the fire-breathing turtle whom I am growing fond of. (Yes, you read that right – a fire-breathing turtle!)
By the end of this book, I had an inkling about Eithan’s grand plans, albeit no idea how it can be done. I’ve also begun to wonder how long this series might be. The power-up to achieve his plans will be a monstrous leap, and I suspected that two more books will not be sufficient to make it believable. But then again, I kept being surprised, and delighted, with new knowledge with every instalment so far.
I know I will suffer if I start and finish the next book while the sixth book is still in the works. Resistance is, however, futile.
Review originally written on 4 January 2019.
You can purchase the book from Amazon US.