4 out of 4 stars
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If you like magic, sorcery and witchcraft, and things like elves, trolls, barbarians and swordplay--then you should teleport yourself into the world of Arteriea, and there enjoy the adventures of the Children of the Zodiac. Frozen Souls (Children of the Zodiac: Book 2) by Steven N. Mouland is the second book of a three-part series. It is preceded by Frozen Path (Children of the Zodiac: Book 1), and it will soon be followed by the third and final installment, Frozen Mystic (Children of the Zodiac: Book 3). The first book, Frozen Path, was reviewed here by our very own Kappy--to the tune of four stars. I liked Frozen Souls so much that I have since gone back and purchased the first book, and I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with Kappy's assessment! This is a fantasy series, and an author to watch for.
Frozen Souls picks up exactly where the first book left off, and I am happy to report that i had no issue following along. The author did a great job of making sure that you could still enjoy the book, even if you had not read the first part of the series. After having read the first book though, I am glad I did as there was a lot of backstory that I am now glad to be privy to.
To recap, Arteriea is an earth-like world that was once ravaged by a devastating war. This world is filled with different kinds of beings: humans, barbarians, dwarves, elves, trolls and the like. There are also different forces at play in the world: the strengths and weaknesses of humanity, Shadow magic, Light magic, and the ever-present mystery of the Zodiac. The Light and the Shadows were both born from the Tree of Life and are said to combat the power of the alien presence of the Zodiac. The Light, Shadow and Zodiac powers come in the form of crystals which, when found by the correct person, embed themselves in the host. These Powers seek out their avatars, or human bodies to posess, with the demise of each previous avatar. Our main characters are either those searching for their Zodiac crystal or friends sent along to protect them. The Light and the Shadows interweave themselves throughout our band of main characters and side characters. Although we feel like we are on a quest for good, it is never entirely revealed what the intention of the Zodiac powers are. All we know is that the civilized races: humans, Zarians, elves and dwarves, must fight against a growing darkness while hoping that the Light and the Zodiac powers will help them overcome.
One of our main protagonists is Jeremisias Mystal, a young half-elven Elementalist (one who learns to control one of the elements of the earth with magic) who is on a quest to find his Zodiac crystal. There is also something different about him that one can never quite place. He is accompanied and protected by his lifelong best friend Reichan, as well as a mysterious warrior named Gallowyn. Caitlan is another one of our characters, a beautiful, young blond girl on a mission to prove herself worthy of any challenge, no matter the cost. Next we have Aramus, another mysterious character, but one who already possesses his Zodiac crystal. He watches over the group, but to what end--no one knows. Our only main character not in this group is Andromika Delarus, princess of Ice Haven and secret keeper of the Pisces crystal. She is called away from protecting Ice Haven in her father's absence, to meet him at his new fortress known as Darkwood Castle. She has not seen her father in quite some time, and is curious to find out why his dealings have become increasingly questionable and secretive.
This is a very well-written and engaging book. It is fast-paced and detailed without any long, boring passages. Kappy states the same thing about the first book, and having read it as well, I have to agree. This also tells us that the author has done an amazing job with his first two books, and will be one to keep an eye on in the future. Both books do end with cliffhangers, but that only made me want to read the series even more, and with that the author succeeded. Luckily for those who don't like to wait, the first two books are out, and the third is soon to follow. I can't think of a thing that I did not like about this book, and I rate it just slightly higher than the first book.
I give Frozen Souls (Children of the Zodiac: Book 2) four out of four stars. If you have tastes similar to mine, which a lot of you do, then I highly recommend this book, and on top of that, this author. Do what you must, fellow readers, but I will be here patiently awaiting book three!!
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