Series: Soulwoven #1
on February 2014
Genres: Fantasy, High Fantasy
Amazon • Amazon UK
Litnig Jin has spent his life yearning for the power to weave the souls of the dead into magic. His brother Cole has spent his believing in nothing bigger than his own two hands.
When a dragon sinks its claws into their nightmares, their lives will change forever.
A dream of moving statues, shattered chains, and seething clouds of darkness sets the brothers on a journey into the unknown. A prince asks for their help. A necromancer hunts them. The bloom of first love gives Cole something to believe in.
As the brothers travel the world of Guedin seeking to prevent the hatred of a god from coming to life, Litnig discovers he has more power than he ever thought possible. But learning why may cost him his brother, his best friend, and everything he is.
Soulwoven is a proper old-school high-fantasy, complete with dragons, swords and sorcery.
Brothers Cole and Litnig each have strange dreams that lead them to an awful discovery. The heart dragon statue at the temple has been broken, the soulweavers guarding it butchered. If the other heart dragons are broken, the great dragon Sherduan will be released from banishment and wreak destruction upon the world once more. The brothers set out on a journey with various other companions to protect the other heart dragons from the cult that seeks to bring the dragon back into the world.
Soulwoven was written and originally produced on Wattpad (an online storytelling platform), but a Kickstarter campaign helped Jeff Seymour to get the book edited and produced as a self-published work. Self-pubs can sometimes be a bit hit-and-miss, but I am pleased to say that this is one of the best self-published books I think I’ve ever read.
Sure, there is a fairly simple storyline with a group of various young people heading off on a quest to save the world. Sure, there are humans, elf-like Sh’ma and dwarf-like Aleani, but they each feel different enough from their Tolkien counterparts to not be too obvious.
The world that has been created for this story is beautifully described all the way along, and they do cover quite a lot of ground as the story goes on. The traveling parts can get a bit slow, as traveling parts do, but the action scenes – wow, they are amazing! I really loved the sections where the soulweavers are battling each other – I was on the edge of my seat! The magic in this world is also really interesting – it consists of the ability to manipulate the River of Souls, a concept that is described beautifully. I’d like to hear more about the Wilderlengs and their “second river”, as that was never really explained.
This story is told from multiple points of view, and sometimes the same events are shown from different people’s points of view. This actually isn’t as confusing as it sounds. The main thing that I found that happened was that after the major action scene, they all sat around while everyone had a think about what had just happened. It’s probably quite accurate as to what would actually happen after a big battle or the end of a chase, but it really drops the pace and tension. It does mean that the reader ends up with a great idea of what each character is thinking and how their relationships are developing through each event, but doesn’t always keep the pace rolling as the story continues.
I really enjoyed this debut from Jeff Seymour. The second book in the series has just been released – Soulwoven: Exile. I’ll be looking forward to seeing what each of the characters will do next!
– A very well-written high fantasy, it just gets bogged down slightly with telling events from multiple points of view. Brilliant action scenes and world-building though!