Soulsmith by Will Wight
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Series: Cradle (Book #2 of 12)
Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia
Pages: 286 pages
Published: 26th September 2016 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)
A great sequel that build upon the foundations laid in Unsouled.
Soulsmith is the second book in Cradle series by Will Wight. Continuing from where the previous book left off, Lindon has left the Sacred Valley in pursuit of advancement and accessibility to stronger powers. An ancient ruin has risen, and many sacred artists—Lindon included—gathers and they fight for the treasures inside. As I’ve mentioned in my review of Unsouled, it seems very likely that each sequel in this series will better than their respective previous installments, and Soulsmith is the first proof of that. Admittedly, I’m still not a huge fan of the main character himself, but Yerin and the new characters being introduced here—especially Eithan and Jai Long—were so entertaining to read.
“In his experience, practically anything became an adventure if framed properly.”
Seriously, Eithan immediately became my favorite character of the series so far since his first appearance. One of the reasons this happened is that it felt to me like Wight did a terrific job in writing Eithan’s and the other supporting characters—both from protagonist and antagonists side—internalizations, especially when it’s compared to Lindon. There aren’t any mysteries surrounding Lindon’s character, and there seemed to be no complexity in his motivations; his development throughout the series so far has been constricted to only getting stronger. Meanwhile, Eithan, Jai Long, and Yerin brought conflicts, complexities, and tensions that the series needs, and I’m happy for it. Remember, this is a great feat by Wight, especially after considering that these characters are so much more powerful than the main character himself. Plus, the inclusion of the terrifying Arelius Family and The Blackflame Empire also made the series more engaging.
“That’s the nature of any acquired skill. It will feel like breathing through a wet rag for a while, and your body will tell you to stop. But one day, you’ll look back and wonder how it was ever difficult.”
Although I have said for two reviews now that I’m not a fan of Lindon, I still have to admit that I loved his rigorous training section. No pain no gain, we’ve heard of this before; this has been what Lindon continuously faced in his path towards stronger power, and I admire his tenacity. Lindon’s determination is iron-strong, and despite being regularly surrounded by Sacred Artists who are much stronger than him, he survived—luck is involved but still—and he never gives up. Lindon continuously undergoes rigorous training to advance to the next level of strength; I love this, Wight never stop emphasizing the importance of hard work, perspectives, and knowledge, maybe even more important than natural talent at times.
“These two weeks had been the worst in Lindon’s life, but half a month of agony was nothing compared to a lifetime of helplessness.”
My reviews for the series so far have been relatively shorter than my usual reviews, but I think people who’ve read this series will understand just how painful it is to stop reading and write these reviews. I’m honestly halfway through Blackflame already as I typed this review, I can assure you that the overall quality of the series has improved significantly and it gets so much addictive to read. Wight progressed the series as good as he progressed Lindon’s advancement; Soulsmith expanded the world-building, characterizations, and magic system of the series introduced in Unsouled and at the same time includes new characters and dangers that sets the stage incredibly well for Blackflame.
“Sacred artists. Without risk, without battle, without a willingness to fight, you will stay weak. And weakness means death.”
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