Twenty years ago, there was a large war. After the war, the towns and kingdoms worked on restoring order and livelihoods.
Twelve years ago, they gathered to elect someone to unite them all. Unanimously, it was decided that Duke Ethan Essex of Kel Tora should be the one.
King Ethan Essex is married to a full blooded elf, Tala. Due to custom Tala can not be queen. She has two children, twins, Autumn and Lucien. Everyone assumes that the King is their father but he is not. Their father, Karn, was killed during the war and is a national hero.
Karn has two other children, Megan and Nathan. They were born to the mage, Opal who killed Karn. Due to that magic is banned in most of the land. Opal fled to islands taking other magic users with her. On her twin’s 21st birthday, Nathan killed Opal and now calls himself Khaos.
Khaos comes to Kel Tora claiming Kel Tora is his birthright. There is a darkness within him which is evident. Megan follows her brother for revenge against killing their mother. Lucien wants only to follow his father, the king’s wishes. Autumn is carefree and has her eye on the Captain of the Guard, Vasche.
Chaos and war erupt as the kingdoms, towns and Khaos all wish to be in charge. Even the ground seems to protest. Who will live and who will win?
This is the second book in Kevin James Breaux’s Soul Born Saga. I’m not sure if you need to read the first one to really enjoy and understand this one or not. Some things felt very clear while others weren’t as well thought out.
One of the first things that struck me within a few pages was I have no idea who the target audience of this book is. I’m guessing mid to older teens due to the simplistic sentences and vocabulary. That doesn’t make it a bad book just a youthful one. Also, the dialogue is very formal and rigid. It’s as if all of the characters are in court all of the time. However, the actions of Autumn are those of a young child such as doing acrobatics while running to the docks. The town people’s reactions reflected the indulgence that grown-ups give mischievous children.
Even the interactions between the king and Tala were off. There agreement was that they would only have sex twice per year. After 20 years of marriage, the king finally gets around to asking Tala to have a child of his own. There were several other instances that had me wondering if we were really suppose to believe this. However, if this is aimed towards children, this could be plausible.
Okay, enough on who is suppose to read this book.
The characters were okay. They could have had more depth. Lucien was probably the worse done. He was all about following the rules, the king and doing the right thing. However, the emotional pull was not there at all. Autumn was the exact opposite. On the cusp of war, she wants to go on a picnic with Vasche! It was if she ignore the problems, they would go away. Megan knew magic was outlawed in Kel Tora yet she went about doing it without any real protections. Khaos was evil through and through. Not much to like there.
However, the plot was okay though dramatic. King Ethan was dying and a new king needed to be found. He wanted his son, Lucien. The rest of the kingdoms/towns wanted to vote like they had when Ethan was voted king. To solve it a tournament was called but before it even started an earthquake type even happened. War broke out and chaos reigned. That’s the simplistic version. Throughout this is deception, death and alliances made and broken. Sometimes things felt over the top.
I think a teenager might enjoy this book though there is a lot of violence. Of course, there is a war going on too so there should be lots of violence. There is enough to spark the imagination and keep a younger reader’s interest. However, for many older readers of fantasy, they may find this book without a complex, intricate plot and with characters that are almost single dimensional.
There exists an ancient elven proverb, dating before the time of man. Life and death, like day and night, meet at a point where they blend into one. It is that brief moment when anything is possible.
There was a time when four sparks of life burned brighter than the sun itself. Megan was born with power, Lucien born with station. Autumn was born full of life, while Nathan was entwined with death.
Peace has come and gone... The conflicts of old have returned-rejuvenated and driven. This is the beginning of the end. The children of Karn have come of age, and now they will take part in shaping the fate of Illyia.
Will they join forces, or with blood will they be divided?