Review : Broken Web by Lori M. Lee

I know my worth. I do. Yet fear is not a river, crossed once and then overcome. It is a sea, and every storm weathered is armor gained against the next to come.

  • Release date : June 15th 2022
  • Publishing house : Page Street
  • Series : Shamanborn
  • Pages : 384

Spoilers ahead

Characters :

Sirscha Ashwyn : As in book 1, she was a compelling character and was as selfless and brave as in Forest of Souls. She is still coming to terms with being a Soulrender and the implications of having such a power. If people knew what she was, she would be hunted until her death. Losing control could mean destroying many lives and maybe her friends’.

Her relationship with Saengo was touching, especially the guilt she is feeling for having made Saengo her familiar. Even if she tries to reassure Sirscha that she won’t leave her side and won’t hate her, she can’t help but think so. I felt like Saengo was the means for Sirscha to keep a moral compass as her friend always steers her in the right direction. Without her, she would be lost and subject to the Soulless’ manipulation.

The Soulless : In this book, his character was much more developed. I thought he would just be the typical bad character that needs defeating but his story is traumatic and I understand why he would want to destroy those who orchestrated all that. The experiences all Soulreaders were subjected because of the Empire drove them crazy and they had to be put down. The Soulless had to kill his brother who had lost his mind, so I kind of understand his desire to take his revenge.

Story :

Broken Web picks off just after the end of Forest of Souls. The Soulless is now free and is regaining his strength in the Dark Wood after Sirscha killed Ronin, the only one who has been able to keep him prisoner, because the Soulless’ magic had corrupted him and he wanted to destroy the kingdom. With some friends, she travels to the Nuvalyn Empire to find a way to cure Saengo, whom she turned into her familiar. Everyone thinks she is a Soulguide, a magic wielder who hasn’t been seen since the creation of the empire and the person who may be able to kill the Soulless. Meanwhile, Queen Meilyr is gearing up to wage an all out war with the other nations.

In terms of world-building, we travel quite a lot in this book. We leave Evewyn (the humans) to go to the Nuvalyn Empire (shamans) and the Kazahyn clans (shadow wielders). As always, it was interesting to discover the habits and customs of other nations. I still loved the Dead Wood with all the trapped souls, it must be such a frightening sight!

The Nuvalyn Empire set up a scheme to clear itself of responsibility. While they conducted experiments on the Soulrenders to see if they could use their power on humans, it wasn’t made to be used on humans and it ultimately drove most of them mad and they tried to kill everyone around them. The Empire rewrote the history by claiming it was the Soulless’s fault to suit their narrative and their image.

Broken Web remains a fast-paced adventure with an emphasis on political intrigue. There were some nice plot twists, others that I had guessed, but overall, it was a nice experience. I’m looking forward to the last book, especially after the ending! There are some things I could point out but I would be nitpicking.

Note : 3.5 sur 5.

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