Author: Joshua Silverman
Genre: Fantasy. Science Fiction.
Publication Date: November 1st 2013
Publisher: Enchanted Forest Press
Pages: 384Rating: 4.5/5
The ancient powers lost to Potara have returned. The Brotherhood of the Black Rose rises to bring Thoth into disorder. And, while the Brotherhood reclaims their power, chaos reigns among the survivors. Six individuals have emerged from the aftermath struggling for control over their lives and a divided land. Kem and Shirin, who abolished the five thousand year reign of the Amun Priests, rule from the golden throne of the Oracle’s Chair in the Hall of the Nine. Dio and Axios struggle to piece together a resistance worthy to challenge the ancient magic which resides in the Great Temple of Amun, and Leoros and Atlantia try to remain true to their hearts and their cause despite tragedy.
But when the Book of Breathings is discovered, the path to immortality is revealed. Leoros and Kem race to capture the Soul of the World unaware of the challenges awaiting them. This time, the gods themselves will intervene.
In a tale where boys become men and girls become women, where treachery and deception are around every corner, and where primeval mysticism finds its way back from the grave, victory is reserved for neither the good nor the evil, but the powerful.
The Soul of the World continues with the story of Leoros , Atlantia and the many other characters we grew to love in The Emerald Tablet, if you wish to see my review of that you can find it here. In summary, the first book was incredibly fast-paced and mixed fantasy and science fiction with mythology, archaeology and romance and the second book does not disappoint.
This sequel takes place two years after the first one so it was nice to see each character develop with age and experience, though Leoros and Atlantia remain as my two favourite characters in the series. As well as the return characters, we also get to meet a bunch of new and interesting characters- I have to admit, I’m becoming quite fond of Kevin. This being said, one of my absolute favourite things about this book is that we get to see both sides of the story- it’s not just the ‘heroes’ that we get to see into the minds of, we get to see the ‘villains’ too. In my opinion, this makes the story even better as we get to see all the dimensions to each main character rather than just seeing them from another’s point of view. I have to say though, Shirin is just completely insane- which, of course, makes her even more enjoyable to read, but really, she’s crazy.
I think this series is one of the most detailed series I’ve read. I’m being completely honest when I say that I don’t think anything is left out and if a particular detail is, then it’ll probably pop up somewhere a little bit later on. There is so much to take in- all the different stories for each character, and the world itself but also the development of the plot and characters, but I don’t think it’s too much or that it’s boring. Instead, I find the little details really interesting. There is even this incredible detail in each scene, I feel like all of this would be translated really well into a film, it just has that cinematic feel about it. Continuing on with the detail, there are all these references within the writing- references to the first book but then also references to other mythology and pop culture. I think sometimes authors spend too much time retelling past books or just don’t reference them enough, but I think this was a nice average. More than that, the references to pop culture add a bit of humour to the book which otherwise is quite serious.
The one thing I will say is that this book deals with incredibly heavy subjects. There’s a lot of violence, mentions of suicide etc. I don’t believe it’s a book that you can read in one sitting, despite how incredibly interesting it is- there are moments where you definitely need to put it down for a moment and do something else. Finally, I’d definitely say that there are moments in this book that are definitely for mature audiences- maybe others won’t think so, but I think some of the descriptions of violence are incredibly graphic. While that personally doesn’t bother me, I wouldn’t suggest this book for any children.
Other than that, I think The Soul of the World was an amazing sequel and I honestly cannot wait to see what happens in the next book! Thanks to Joshua Silverman for supplying us with a copy again.