The elation and great sense of wonder I felt when finishing Illborn earlier this year made my anticipation for the sequel that much greater. Author Daniel T. Jackson is a self-published author on the rise and this triumph of a sequel novel all but confirms that Aiduel’s Sin tops the iconic epic that Illborn was and throws it down a dark path no one will see coming. This series is climbing my all time series ranks with no idea what to expect in future novels. This will be a spoiler free review but I will be touching on events in the previous novel.
Leanna now finds herself anointed as a living saint after surviving the Holy Churches attempt to burn her at the stake. Now being the target of powerful people both good and bad, Leanna finds herself thrusted into the middle of a Holy War with both sides trying to find her. Although the stakes are high, Leanna finds solace with the one person you would not want to make angry. Arion did witness the miracle of Leanna’s rebirth but he still cannot shake the dreams that haunt him everyday. He continues to be more drawn away from his wife while still having thoughts of Allana whom he sent away for her safety in the previous novel. The war is about to arrive on Arion’s door step and he will have to make the most difficult decision of his life if he wishes to survive.
Allana now finds herself on the complete opposite side of the war with Arion and his people. Using her powers of desire and coercion, Allana has the Duke wrapped around her finger making all the choices she wishes to be done. Allana is still in love with Arion and will try to make contact with him as the army marching will be too much for him to bare. In Karn, Corin has united the northern tribes and has made the other tribes leaders swear fealty to his rule. The united tribes believe he is a god reborn and with his Felsin Blackpaw at his side no one will want to stand against him. That is until a southern tribe makes its plans know to Corin about its upcoming invasion putting the northern tribes at risk of death. Corin has no choice but to travel north to the gate he keeps seeing in his dreams to learn the truth and to heal his wife of the sickness that is haunting her dreams.
Each chapter just bled into the next until I was up late every night over the span of a week. The best parts of this book were the shocking revelations and character moments I never saw coming. I obviously can’t go into spoilers but I will say that I really loved that we got to see more of Caddin in this entry. For those of you needing a refresher, Caddin is the mercenary who killed Cillian in the prologue of Illborn. Cillian was a young boy who also showed magical powers just like the other four Illborn but Caddin put an end to him. That scene gets a lot more insight as well as glimpses into Caddin’s past and I was amazed at what was to be discovered. Corin continues to be my favorite character and even though he uses his powers to destroy his enemies in more ways than one, he has a good heart and wants to protect those he holds dear. Allana’s storyline starts to go down a much darker path than in Illborn and Arion is the pawn hanging in the balance. Each of the four Illborn continue to see the dream but we now have an extra wrinkle added: Only one can be given the power once they enter the gate. The Illborn’s powers are growing and it may cause the destruction of the world as we know it.
There is so much more I can talk about with Aiduel’s Sin but I do not wish to ruin any of it for you. The interlude chapters are fantastic just like in the first book with the one being a real doozy. Easily a five star read for me and top five book for 2023. Pick up this series now if you have not done so already and you will thank me later.