Rothgar has joined forces with the Brotherhood of the Eagle following the loss of his home to the invasion of the Vorund Clan. Led by the ruthless Adalrikr Asmarrson, the land of Laskar is thrown into chaos as evil spirits, known as the durath, return to the land of the living once again. Rothgar and his teacher Joldir possess knowledge on how to destroy the durath but they are outnumbered and must race to forge alliances before it is too late. Bottom line is this is a solid sequel in the Brotherhood of the Eagle series with the ground work set for a climatic final volume. This will be a spoiler free review but I will be touching upon certain events from book 1.
Betrayed, tortured, and left for dead at the hands of the Vorund Clan as well as his own people, Rothgar was on his last breath until his rescue by Etta. While in hiding, Rothgar discovered his gift as a Sightwielder while being taught to use his powers with the mage Joldir. This ability allows Rothgar to witness events from the perspective of other Sight users across the land including his sister Nuna. This also means however that other mages with the Sight can find him as well and the leader of the coven Nereth is out for revenge on Rothgar for killing her sisters.
Joldir, Rothgar, Etta, and the rescued child Leif have forced a fellowship with the goal of helping the landless Brotherhood reclaim their lands and to defeat the spiritual enemies of the durath and Sundered Souls. Meanwhile, Rothgar’s servant and love interest Desta has now been married off to his childhood friend Haarl. Desta’s father, Humli has come across a lost pregnant woman once possessed by the durath and decides to look after her in this time of great peril. This woman turns out to be none other than Leif’s mother and the baby will be sought after by factions on both sides of the conflict.
What I enjoyed most about this book is it hits the ground running from where we left off in Hall of Bones. Enemy soldiers are attacking from outside and inside the Brotherhood and everyone will need to be on their toes. In order to cover more ground, the Brotherhood eventually will split and we get to see the conflict Rothgar is in while getting updates from other members of his fellowship through the Sight. This was a great addition to the story and a good plot device to drive the book forward.
My favorite part of the book started in the prologue where we are introduced to a shadowy figure with a big role to play. The reveal of who this character is and what knowledge they posses was a big surprise and one I didn’t see coming. It just adds layers of complexity to the plot and worldbuilding in a fascinating way. One slight negative about the story is the names of several characters in the novel being very similar to each other and me having to go directly to the glossary repeatedly. This could possibly just be a me issue, but I wanted to mention this in my review.
Every aspect that made Hall of Bones a smashing success is present in the Sundered Souls. Although a slower read, the tensions, stakes, and conflicts have reach their peaks with plenty more to come. Tim Hardie continues to show his skills and magic with a pen and whatever is in store for our beloved characters, I will be there to go once more unto the breach.