Cover art illustration by: Patrick Foster
Reaper by Will Wight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Cradle (Book #10 of 12)
Genre: Fantasy, Progression Fantasy, Xianxia
Pages: 465 pages
Published: 2nd November 2021 by Hidden Gnome Publishing (Indie)
Will Wight, I’m so tired of saying this statement on so many books in Cradle, but once again, Reaper is the new best book of the series so far.
“An ant had a better chance of resisting a boot.”
I’m an ant, and Will Wight is the human wearing a boot named Cradle to stomp me. By this stage of the series, it’s not possible to resist adding Will Wight and Cradle into my list of favorite authors and series. Ever since Blackflame, the third book of the series, Wight’s increasing fame with this series has been earned due to his consistency in his work for the series, both in release output—two books per years—and quality. Rating wise, everything from Blackflame to Reaper ranges between 4 to 5 stars rating. And yes, Reaper undoubtedly received a full 5 stars rating from me. Read this series; it is a worthy investment.
“I consider the things I’ve given you to be the best investments I’ve ever made.”
I won’t be talking about the plot of Reaper on this review; this is book number ten in the series, after all. But I will elaborate—as spoiler-free as possible—upon my point on why this series and getting to Reaper is worth your investment. Reaper, even by Cradle standard, is special. I’m serious. I’ve talked about this a few times before, but I don’t usually agree with the majority of the fans of the series when it comes to the matter of which book is the best installment in Cradle. I did agree on Underlord, but that’s about it. I almost never see Skysworn, Uncrowned and Bloodline being considered as their favorite volumes, but I consider them to be some of my favorites in Cradle. On the other hand, I think Wintersteel, the fans’ favorite before Reaper came out, is the third weakest book in the entire Cradle series. We do, however, agree on two things. First, as I said, every book since Blackflame has been incredible regardless of which one is our favorite. Second, Reaper is the best of the series so far.
“I wanted to raise up peers. In theory, it was possible. If you started from the beginning, you can raise a generation of truly unparalleled sacred artists who would never leave each other behind.”
Unlike the previous books, there are some different things about the storytelling structure in Reaper. The first quarter in Reaper is “the calm before the storm” moments; this allowed Wight to create the right footing for the relentless pacing, development, and revelations that occurred beyond the first quarter. There’s so much packed into Reaper, and one of the revelations—those who’ve read it will know what I’m talking about—immediately increased the reread value of the entire series. I do believe if you’ve read Reaper, rereading the series from Unsouled will provide a new increased experience. I am genuinely impressed by this. I never saw Wight as a writer who planned his series, at least not on this level. But this revelation made it obvious now that Wight has been planning this since the early stage of the series. Whether you predicted this revelation or not, I guarantee you, the confirmation of it is still staggering.
“We don’t have much time left. If this is going to be the end, then remember one thing from me: I loved every second with you all. I really, truly…had so much fun.”
Wight conveyed emotions in Reaper excellently. Lindon, Yerin, Eithan, and the characters in the series have come so far. It felt great to see how far they’ve come in their journey. Friendship and teamwork continue to be some of the key driving points of the character’s development, and I think it will be hard for Wight to top the friendships and banter displayed in Reaper. Remember how weak Lindon was in Unsouled? Now, I wish you good luck trying to keep up with his barrage of weapons and skills. I actually can’t keep track of all his skills anymore, and just like his opponents, I’ll just let Lindon do whatever he wants now. The balance between serious and humorous moments was magnificent. The humor was hilarious, the tension felt so real, and the wholesome moments were emotional. Everything reached its peak in Reaper. The stakes of the plot were epic, and my goodness, the battles were insanely over-the-top, and it’s out of this world awesome.
“The truth? Here is the truth you deserve. You do not decide who lives and who dies… That’s my job.”
Will Wight is currently participating in a marathon with himself; he’s going to keep on pouring out books that top his previous best at this point. And once again, Reaper is the best installment in Cradle so far. It is emotional, explosive, and mind-blowing. It is quite likely that Cradle will end next year. As I mentioned, Wight has been very consistent in releasing two books in Cradle each year, and at this rate, Dreadgods and the final unnamed book of the series will be out in 2022. I know one thing Cradle fans will be doing until then, it’s time to cycle our madra (a.k.a patiently waiting or rereading the series) again, y’all. We’re going to need it after that reaping.
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