Unsouled by Will Wight
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The young of the Sacred Valley come twice a year to be tested. Children the ages of 6-8 have the content of their souls evaluated to see what sort of sacred artist they will become in life. It's a test that no one is supposed to fail, but Lindon failed. He was labeled unsouled, powerless and unworthy of teaching in a society that power is as important as honor. Lindon isn't giving up though, he's determined to find a way to become a sacred artist.
Unsouled left me unsure of what to expect. It was clear that young Lindon had been deemed unworthy and would be treated practically as a cripple. It was clear that he'd strive to gain power, but short of that things were very different than I anticipated.
I don't know how anyone couldn't feel for Lindon. He's been deemed to lack the one thing that is valued in his society. He's seen as having no value. An elder, who has known him most of his life, told him to simply stay home. The reason being is, if a stronger member of another clan killed him, Lindon's clan would have to apologize for the inconvenience. As an unsouled Lindon isn't even permitted to marry out of fear he'd pass his defect on. Lindon doesn't quit though most of the world views him as trash. He's clever and hardworking.
Unsouled felt like a long introduction in some ways, but I think it's laying the groundwork for a strong story.
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