Ghostwater is a worthy winner of the Reddit r/Fantasy 2018 Stabby Awards for Best Independent Book; I am now a huge fan of the Cradle series.
The author kept on surprising me with his inexhaustible imagination and the ever-increasing, mind-blowing, magnitude of magical and martial power in this series. All without ever making me think that it was ridiculous. Well, okay, it was – just ridiculously fun and exciting, that is.
I have mentioned in my previous review about the monstrous leap in power and ability that would be required to achieve Eithan’s mysterious grand plans. And also that I was uncertain how many books that would take for our main characters to get there. Ghostwater provided quite a leg-up in that respect. The amazing part was that with the foundation of the worldbuilding and magic systems in place and all that was possible, it didn’t even seem improbable anymore. This was due to Wight skillfully seeding and nurturing these two key elements into the story over the past few books. As a reader, I did not feel that I needed to suspend disbelief when a huge advancement occurred. While on this topic of worldbuilding, Lindon’s story in this book predominantly took place in an underwater pocket world created by one of those insanely powerful entities called Monarchs. How cool was that?
Character-wise, Lindon took centre-stage in this instalment, given that he had the most to catch-up on in terms of growth in power. Fortunately, I have progressively grown to enjoy his characterisation more with each book. He continued to push himself to the brink and one had to appreciate how far he had come from sheer determination. Granted that fate was on his side, but ever one to seize an opportunity against the odds, the gifts did not simply fall on his lap. It took some serious hard work, a lot of suffering, and savvy to get there. And where Lindon was, there would also be Orthos, the fire-breathing turtle – a partnership that had been gone through many trials and was ever the stronger for it.
While Yerin was almost shoved to the sidelines in Ghostwater, she continued to shine with her grit and tenacity in the fewer pages allotted to her POV. An interesting new character introduced in the previous book, Mercy, was also gaining importance in the story. Coming from an immensely powerful family, her pleasant disposition contrasted starkly against the supreme arrogance of her relations and was probably the cause of her estrangement. Mercy was a great addition to the team together with Lindon and Yerin – a team that Eithan was now most eager to train and groom for whatever ends he was planning for.
While I had a fantastic time reading Ghostwater, I was quite disappointed that Eithan did not appear much in this book. He was so brilliantly manipulative that he lent himself to be underestimated by peers and opponents alike. Whenever it was time for him to show his cards, the scene would inevitably become one of my favourites. I still wondered how much more of his powers, ability and knowledge that he was keeping a secret. All the same, you get the sense that he was doing all this for some greater good, or at least I hoped that is the case.
And now, I wait…
PS: Not much longer now, as Underlord will be released on 1st March.
Review originally written on 6 January 2019.
You can purchase the book from Amazon US.