Monday, September 30, 2013

The Godborn by Paul S. Kemp [Review]

The Godborn (The Sundering #2) by Paul S. Kemp
Format: ebook
Source: provided by Wizards of the Coast through NetGalley
Date read: September 17, 2013

The Sundering
1. The Companions
2. The Godborn - Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle
3. The Adversary
4. The Reaver
5. The Sentinel
6. The Herald

Paul S. Kemp
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Synopsis (Goodreads):
In the 2nd book of the multi-author Sundering series launched by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, the shadow legacy of Erevis Cale lives on even as his old foe Mephistopheles seeks to stamp it out at any cost. Cale’s son Vasen—unmoored in time by the god Mask—has thus far been shielded from the archdevil’s dark schemes, alone among the servants of the Lord of Light who have raised him since birth.

Living in a remote abbey nestled among the Thunder Peaks of Sembia, Vasen is haunted by dreams of his father, trapped in the frozen hell of Cania. He knows the day will come when he must assume his role in the divine drama unfolding across Faerûn. But Vasen knows not what that role should be . . . or whether he is ready to take it on. He only knows what his father tells him in dreams—that he must not fail.

Enter Drasek Riven, a former compatriot of Erevis Cale, now near divine and haunted by dreams of his own—he too knows the time to act is near. Shar, the great goddess of darkness, looks to cast her shadow on the world forever. Riven has glimpsed the cycle of night she hopes to complete, and he knows she must be stopped.

At the crossroads of divine intrigue and mortal destiny, unlikely heroes unite to thwart the powers of shadow and hell, and the sundering of worlds is set on its course.
Thoughts on The Godborn: I had a tougher time getting into this book than I did with book 1. A lot of what was happening felt like it relied on a bit of knowledge of events that came before (in previous series books). I freely admit that I might be wrong about that but I had a hard time keeping people straight and figuring out how they related to one another.

I did like the overriding idea of balance and that events have a quiet way of putting the people who need to be together in each other's path. Vasen and Orsin are a prime example of this. Fate (or the gods) threw them together at a time when they needed to lean on each other's strength.

While I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as book 1, I did enjoy the utter depravity of the random bad guys. Carnage, carnage, carnage, with a side order of blood. Nothing's as bracing after a long day of trekking through a shadowy land as killing a village for fun. Also, I might never look at cats the same way again.

Blood, death, vengeance and one crazy guy who thinks letting someone swallow the world is a good idea. Which it's not, just in case you were wondering. Heroes, gods, and devils sure are a volatile mix, aren't they?

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