Wednesday, April 28, 2021


Wintersteel (Cradle, #8)Wintersteel by Will Wight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Uncrowned King tournament comes closer to conclusion while a Dreadgod is preparing to rise. Monarchs and their followers scheme and train to see who will claim a power great enough to destroy a Dreadgod.

Wintersteel was a very enjoyable story. It was the longest book in the series and that allowed the author room for a lot of developments to take place. The story begins with Yerin, Mercy, Eithan, and the other uncrowned train for their upcoming matches for a month. Lindon is left out and is grasping for ways to advance on his own. He has caught the attention of Northstrider and Lindon isn't sure if that's a good thing or not.

This book made up for all the political maneuvering that the previous book left out. I wish some of this information would have been shared earlier as it would have provided needed context to Uncrowned. Still better late than never.

I have to say I love to see the ingenuity and training in this series. Characters developing new ways to make themselves powerful is always fun. Some characters made significant jumps which was fun to see.

Wintersteel was really good and perhaps the best thing I learned is the series isn't finished yet. There's at least one more book coming. I'm excited to see where things go from here.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021



Uncrowned (Cradle, #7)Uncrowned by Will Wight
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every few years the Monarch's gather their strongest young underlords and have them battle in the Uncrowned King Tournament. These fights aren't simply a matter of pride, they determine what happens in each of the Monarch's lands going forward.

Uncrowned was a good book overall, but until the very end it didn't present the same weight to it as the prior books. The importance of the tournament is certainly mentioned, but it's hard to have a true understanding when the full balance of power hasn't been displayed. None of the books have put on display the tension betweens nations outside of the Dreadgod Bleeding Phoenix's attack. We are told the golden dragons are extremely dangerous and we witness a little of that in the book, but not enough to give the tournament the weight that Akura Charity tried to press into Lindon.

While the previous books focused significantly on advancement, this book focused on refinement. It starts early as Eithan and Yerin are sparring. He shocks her with his abilities and says, "People think that the way to improve your power is to push for advancement, but that's not always true. A child and a veteran swordsman, given the same weapon are vastly different opponents." That as much as anything is what pushes the book forward. Characters growing in skill rather than advancing.

Uncrowned while not being what I had anticipated, was still quite good.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021



Underlord (Cradle, #6)Underlord by Will Wight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The great clans of the world often measure themselves by the strength of their youth. Because of this a tournament is coming. The participants will be young Underlords. The Blackflame Empire has been ordered by the Akura Clan to prepare themselves. They have been given the opportunity to train in an Akura family territory that is rich with vital aura, but there is a catch. They will be competing for the training ground's resources and spots in the tournament against the Seishen Kingdom. Each faction must produce young Underlord candidates for the tournament or else. Worst of all, Akura Charity knows what Lindon did in Ghostwater and she's not going to simply let it go.

Underlord was undoubtedly the most sentimental book of the series to date. Some unexpected events hit me right in the feelings while reading this. Lindon, Yerin, and Orthos have grown so much since they were first introduced. Watching them change has been one of the best aspects of the story.

The advancement to Underlord also led to the strength of the story. Other advancements were strictly pushing the current limit to the point of bursting and then moving forward, but Underlord is different. Sacred artists must be at the peak of high gold, but they also have to open their soulspace and know the reason they practice the sacred arts. Not just a nice sounding reason, the reason they do it. It creates quite the challenge as only artists who know themselves can advance to Underlord.

I truly enjoyed Underlord and the depth of the series thus far. I can't wait to see what comes next.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2021



Ghostwater (Cradle, #5)Ghostwater by Will Wight
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lindon, Yerin, and Mercy are once again under the employment of the Skysworn. They are still treated as disposable and as enemies by Skysworn leadership. The team is sent off to investigate the pocket dimension Ghostwater, created by the Monarch Northstrider. The pocket dimension is collapsing due to the rising of the Bleeding Phoenix. Lindon and Orthos find themselves trapped in Ghostwater while Yerin and Mercy struggle to save them.

Ghostwater is the book I've been waiting for. I felt like the story really came together for everyone. Lindon and Orthos are trapped without any clear means of escape. They are forced to rely on each other. Lindon has often been protected by plot armor, but he really grew and developed in this book largely thanks to Orthos. He wasn't reliant on luck in Ghostwater. Orthos really shined in this book. He showed off his physical prowess and took a mentoring role with Lindon. He had his typical lines regarding what dragons do, but he also taught Lindon much more mentally. He also called him on areas he was ignoring in his overall development. Orthos was simply stellar.

"Once, you were weak. That boy is long dead, but his Remnant still haunts you....Your weakness, Lindon, is thinking you are weaker than you are." - Orthos

Yerin and Mercy's story was more straightforward. We learn more about Mercy and Yerin continues to have more memories from her master's remnant.

The world as a whole expanded in this book. We see other factions such as the Akura Clan, the Gold Dragons, Redmoon Hall, The Beast King, and the Monarchs. All their plans are far from clear, but they are all intriguing in their own rights. They of course don't all get along even when they have truces with one another. Each of these factions seem to be stronger than the Blackflame Empire as a whole.

Eithan takes a bit of a back seat and even he gets to show off a bit. It's interesting to know that he doesn't want anyone to know the extent of his abilities, especially considering how powerful he is whenever he demonstrates them. All with a smile on his face. He loves to irritate his opponents.

Ghostwater has a really excellent book and I'm excited to see how the series continues from here.

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