Thursday, May 2, 2019

Myths & Mortals by Charlie Holmberg

We pick up immediately after the face-walloping cliffhanger from Smoke & Summons.  The emotion is high intensity right from the get go and never lets go of your heartstrings.  The raw emotion of Sandis as she puts together the pieces of her life is very intense and a little overwhelming at times.  There is a lot of angst and sense of betrayal.  While being incredibly vivid and real, I actually felt it was a little too much for enjoyable reading at moments.

The action is just as fast-paced and visceral as Smoke & Summons.  Sandis and Rone are on another mad dash around Kolingrad in their ever present struggle against Kazen.  But the game is turned up a notch in Myths & Mortals as Sandis decides to turn her flight into a pursuit.  She is not going to let Kazen make her decisions any more.  She wants to put an end to the non-stop anxiety and restlessness that is dogging her heels.

There are many highs and many lows to be had on the path to her freedom and the world's salvation.  With her new found resolve, Sandis begins to question the order of the universe.  As a devout Celestian, she is an abomination.  But her personal relationship with the vessels and Ireth pulls at her faith.  She is doubtful and seeking.  The answers she has been taught don't seem to clear up any of the questions that are being asked.

This is a book that excellently highlights the struggle of reconciling faith with religious teachings.  I find the title to be incredibly appropriate for the story.  My favorite aspect of this series, though, is the foreshadowing of the conclusion to come--everything we've been taught may not be anything we anticipated to be truth.  And again with the conclusion.  You know it's coming, but it doesn't take away from the moment in any way.

The series is not perfect and perhaps could have been better developed if given more time before publication, but the deep ties to faith and the struggle to believe are too real to nitpick the mortal details.  I can't wait to read Siege & Sacrifice this September.

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