Monday, December 10, 2012

Review: "A Soul for Chaos" by Crista McHugh

                                                              Life is dull without a little Chaos.

Trouble is more than just a nickname for Arden Soulbearer. It seems to follow her wherever she goes, and no one knows this better than her protector, Devarius Tel’Brien.

Dev thought that by moving Arden to Gravaria so she could learn how to control Loku, the chaos god whose soul inhabits her body, life would be simpler. Wrong. Not only is he continually torn between his duty and his growing feelings for the Soulbearer, but he also has to contend with the rival prince who wishes to claim her heart. Adding to his problems, a group of powerful mages have banded together to rid the world of the disembodied chaos god once and for all. Of course, that means they have to destroy Arden in the process.

"A Soul for Chaos" is book #2 in "The Soulbearer Trilogy."

Arden Soulbearer continues to work on her partnership with Loku, the soul of the God of Chaos, which inhabits her body.  In the past, Loku has driven the other soulbearers crazy over time, eventually causing their deaths.  Luckily for Arden, Loku and her seem to be the perfect match for each other.  It was great watching them both grow throughout the series.  Arden used to be a timid barmaid, cast out by her family and friends due to her different looks and abilities.  She's now in a land where magic is not only permitted but encouraged and it has given her a new feeling of confidence. Loku, who once made it his mission to drive his soulbearers to death as quickly as possible, is learning that not only can he tolerate Arden but that he's coming to care deeply for her.  They have both made huge strides since the last book.

Book 2 in "The Soulbearer Trilogy" also continues with the Arden-Dev-Kell love triangle.  Arden has had strong feelings for Dev throughout book 1 but after not having the feelings returned, she found comfort in Prince Kell's arms.  Not wanting to be parted from Arden when she leaves for Gravaria to continue her training, Kell accompanies Dev and Arden on their journey.  Not only does Arden have her romantic relationships to worry about and her issues with Loku, but now someone appears to be out to kill the new soulbearer.

This series has a little bit of everything, which makes it an exciting read.  It is built around an amazing fantasy world which reminds me a little of a historical romance mixed up with an intricate magical fantasy with a little mystery, suspense and humor on the side.  I have to say, as much as I loved the first book in this series, this one is even better.  It didn't hurt that we get to find out a lot more about Dev and Arden's backstories.  The side characters are very well written and add a lot to the main story as well.  

The next book in the series, "A Soul for Vengeance" will be out next  spring.  The synopsis for the book talks mostly about Kell, but Crista McHugh says we will get plenty of Dev and Arden too.  Whew!  I was a little worried there for a minute!  I hope this last book heads in the direction I'm hoping that it will.  

If you haven't checked out this series, now is a great time to pick up the first two books.  Bonus, you won't have to endure the evil little cliffhanger that I had to after book 1 in which I may have sent a late night message cursing Ms. McHugh.  Okay, okay - it may have been more of me whimpering than cursing.  You can check out my review to "A Soul for Trouble," book 1 in the Soulbearer Trilogy, here.  Be sure to check out her "Tears of Elios" series as well.  You can find the review to the first book here.  The second book in that series will be coming soon.

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