The immortal sorcerers - three legendary figures that toppled the empire of Xixis. Each has lived for over a hundred years, leaving a powerful legacy in their wake.
But their children do not share their renowned immortality, and when the firstborn son of Edrick Theas is killed, sorceress Lydia Hastings is called to investigate the murder. When she discovers a sorcerous trail left by a creature of unfathomable power, she quickly realizes she needs outside help. And while Jonan Kestrian - a spy for a rival military power - might not be Lydia's first choice for an ally, she knows that he has the knowledge and skills that she needs.
While Lydia and Jonan trace the assassin's trail, Taelien undergoes the Trials of Unyielding Steel, a series of tests to ensure his entry into the Paladins of Tae'os. As he trains for his trials, Taelien faces his fiercest rival yet: Velas Jaldin, a former member of Orlyn's Queensguard with the power to manipulate motion at her whim. With skills far beyond those of an ordinary soldier, the former Queensguard might be the killer that Lydia seeks - or the assassin's next victim.
©2016 Andrew Rowe (P)2016 Podium Publishing
Stealing Sorcery, the second book in Andrew Rowe's series, The War of Broken Mirrors, is very much a coming of age novel in every way: for the characters, the plot, the antagonists, and, most importantly, the author. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Nick Podehl's rendition of the characters as he took on the growing cast. Andrew Rowe's world is starting to grow from an interesting idea into a more polished and dangerous place. Whereas the the first book in the series, Forging Divinity, seemed a bit cutesy at times, this second book has worked hard to bring more relevance to the characters' actions and driving purpose.
I enjoyed learning more about what drove each of the characters to act as they do. I also liked some of the intrigue, although it still feels a bit forced at times. The magic system is interesting and starting to mature a bit as the fields of sorcery are broadened and expounded upon. Much of the plot seems to be based around a sort of gulf between those that have new/elite/ancient knowledge of sorcery or abilities and those who do not. Even though I believe this gulf could have been exploited a bit more to bring a bit more color and, perhaps, a bit more realism to the story, it nevertheless provides an interesting story dynamic that Rowe is tapping into more and more. It is always fun to learn with a character as they uncover their own capabilities and learning along with Sal is no exception.
As usual, Nick Podehl delivers a great performance. I enjoyed the different accents that Nick chose to embody the different elements of Rowe's society. In fact, I really feel that Nick's narration lifts this story a bit by bringing a bit more lucidity to elements that are still a bit lacking in background information. ~ A great marriage between author and artist here.
I'm a Teen Services librarian at a Public Library. I love fantasy, history, realistic fiction, memoirs, sci-fi, and YA fiction/fantasy.
Great story--complex and puzzling sometimes. I like the characters but was sometimes confused because of the number of players. The narrator was excellent. I loved him in The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss so was happy to hear him again.
While the writing and narration were still excellent, Book 2 lacked the enchantment of Book 1, Forging Divinity. Forging Divinity had a charm about it where the chemistry between Lydia, Taelien and Jonan combined to make the sum greater than the whole in terms of listening pleasure. Stealing Sorcery breaks up the threesome, for the most part, and pairs each of them with other characters, only tangentially connecting with each other throughout the telling.
Taelien is mostly in competition with Velas Jaldin as part a set of tests for Paladins of Tae'os. While he is still portrayed as a naive and noble archswordsman, he is now further shown as arrogant and desperate to make friends and prove his worthiness. He then displays his leadership duncitude as he jeopardizes the purposes of the tests. Regrettably, the jocular, sexual innuendo-strewn banter of Velas toward him seems unimaginative rather than interesting or entertaining.
Lydia, as lead investigator in the murder of the son of one of the world's three most powerful sorcerers, is traipsing throughout the kingdom attempting to uncover leads and evidence as to who the murderer was. This story arc for her is much more of a whodunit role than that of a sorceress.
Jonan, on the other hand, is still working mostly in the background with one of his contacts, Realah/Shiva, to provide defense for the sorcerers remaining family members.
Still, I did find the novel worthy and still look forward to next book in the series.
Nick Podehl used some excellent voices for many characters. Some voices were exactly how I imagine they should sound, which really enhanced the listening experience.
The final interaction between Reala and her father at the end of the novel.
This book is a lot better than its predecessor . While it helps add additional context to this story, the previous book is not necessary to understand everything that is going on here. There is not a ton of action happening in this book because it primarily involves a murder investigation and day to day activities of the main characters. As such, the tension rises very slowly but is still very enjoyable because the overall plot is interesting. I look forward to the next book in this series.
The publisher's summary is somewhat misleading. It claims that "Velas Jaldin", a former Queensguard might be the murderer or the next victim. She was never considered for either by Lydia, the investigator, it was the other former Queensguard who was considered to be the next victim. This probably shouldn't even be in the publisher's summary because this revelation happens about halfway through the book and should take the reader by surprise.
can't wait for the next book. lots of questions that need answers. Thx for great story.
Slow in a couple of spots but overall very engaging story line. Good character development and several well structured plot twists. Can't wait for the next one!
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