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The Soul of the World

The Soul of the World - Joshua Silverman Book 2 in the Legends of Amun Ra series picks up a few years after Book 1 ends. The characters we got to know on Potara have aged under the rule of Kem and Shirin. Meanwhile, Leoros back on Earth has spent considerable time trying to find his way back to Potara, often at personal cost. In large part, Book 2 is about development of the main characters we met in Book 1. Much of the action takes place off-screen, with the exception of a few skirmishes and the final battle. In contrast, Book 1 had a lot of action that the reader was put directly in the middle of.

While Leoros spends about half the book trying to get out of his foster care hell and back to Potara, plenty is going on with Axios having an active part in an underground rebellion, Dio drunk and having a pity party, Atlantia trying to find Leukos, etc. The chapters switch around between the characters, so you never feel like you get bogged down in any one single storyline. However, I did get a little confused in that so much seems to happen on Potara between Leoros chapters, yet when Leoros finally joins his Potaran friends, everyone has aged the same amount. So, for about the first half of the book, days would pass on Potara compared to hours on Earth (for Leoros’s storyline).

The story picks up after Leoros gets to Potara and there is this one really intense scene where an ancient game, the truth, and deadly ghosts come into play. I think this was one of my more favorite scenes from the book. And I really liked the mythological beasties that came into play – many more than we had in Book 1. Atlantia and Leoros have some pretty intense conversations. And then there are Kem and Shirin. I really like Shirin as this total control freak and often-times bad guy. In this book, she has one of Kem’s relatives to contend with while Kem is off on a male-bonding expedition with the Brotherhood of the Rose to find an artifact that will let him rule the world.

Overall, I liked Book 1 more. This book was mostly character development and setting things up for something big in Book 3 (hopefully). There were long stretches that had little action and I could have used a few more scenes watching these characters in action. Dio’s drunken pity party went on for ~90% of the book, and I was pretty ready to lock her in a cold shower at 50%. My favorite characters did get a lot of page time – and that would be Kem and Shirin in this book. They have a complex relationship and Shirin is a pretty complex person. Will I read Book 3? Yes, definitely. There is plenty I would like to see wrapped up. And with all the development that happened in this book, I need the validation of something big happening in Book 3.