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Book Review: Shadow Bound Souls

Table of Contents

The Sagean Lord has emerged.
While the Wrythen’s influence grows stronger, the Sagean and his power-hungry acolytes, the Court of Dragons, are intent on delivering the gem of souls to the Temple of Ama; where the Sintering Fountain can transform the acolytes into Luminaries.

Meanwhile, the band of heroes find themselves separated in a world starting to tear itself apart. Having suffered a huge loss, Ellaria and Elias must escape the Mainland with the Sagean’s agents pursuing them. When Elias becomes sick, Ellaria decides to hide amongst the Showman’s Traveling Show of Wonders. But their journey is shadowed by darkness and when troupe members turn up murdered, Ellaria struggles to find the killer amongst her company.

Far away in the Warhawk Mountains, the three young rogues are stranded with the Tempest Stone. Aimless about what to do, their paths take a turn when they discover the horrifying magnitude of the Sagean’s return to power, the Scree.

Shadow Bound Souls continues the steampunk saga with a sequel that takes the plot to greater depths, while expanding upon the immersive world; with a ending that hurtles the series toward the coming World War.”

Title: Shadow Bound Souls

Series: The Luminance Saga #2

Author: Steven Rudy

Page Count: 560

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 5.0/5.0

Date Read: May 116th, 2023



 I had the opportunity to read book one The Binding Tempest via NetGalley back in 2021. Sadly, book two has been on my radar for far too long and I hadn’t worked it into a monthly TBR. I finally buckled down and put it on the list for May. I’m beating myself up now for waiting so long to continue this great story!
 
I’ve found myself getting into these types of stories more and more lately. It’s branching out from my more traditional fantasy with magic into a bit more technology advancement. This doesn’t necessarily mean modern but these worlds find a way to use the magic available to advance either military or quality of life inventions.
 
The pacing that Steven Rudy deploys just works so well for me. These are meaty books but in no way do they seem thick or chonky to me. They just flow so smooth. There is rarely any point in the book that I feel we are just kind of plodding along to get to the next bit of action. Even when there isn’t any kind of fighting or battles, things always seem a bit on edge as our heroes try to find out how to save this world.
 
The world building continues to shine in The Luminance Saga with book two. There were so many times I lost myself in reading, when it felt like I was right there with our characters. We certainly have some grand distances covered across this world but even more so the level of detail the author gives us along the way is what draws me into this world.
 
The character development was another bright shining aspect to book two. We have many returning characters but we see so much more of them this time around. Our younger characters continue to grow into their own, while our heroes from the old war show more of their vulnerability to elude to a changing of the guard so to speak. We are introduced to some really great new and supporting characters in Shadow Bound Soul as well! One thing that I truly feels can carry a book above just good is the quality of it’s villains. Shadow Bound Souls nails this for me! Not only on the first level of things but even beyond. We think we know who the real villains are only to find out there are always worse out there!
 
I want to wrap on just a couple of additional things. The first is that chatting with Steven, I found out he is currently plugging away on book three. Hopefully we will see this out later this year! While discussing when the hardcover version of book two will be available, I hadn’t truly noticed the details on these covers. I will say, looking back at these covers now that I’ve read these books, there is SO much going on. Littles pieces of the stories scattered throughout these covers!
 
As I’ve mentioned earlier in this review, I’d recommend this series to readers of fantasy that like a little bit of technology sprinkled in. This has still been quite the epic tale along the way. I just want people to know this is a bit different perhaps a low or no magic setting or even just your more traditional sword and sorcery tale.

World Building 4.5/5
Pacing 5/5
Character Development 5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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