Ahh! I got to read book two! Early! For free! I’ll try to avoid spoilers for the first book in the Numina Trilogy (which I reviewed here), but some will be unavoidable. This is your warning: if you want to avoid spoilers and haven’t yet read Smoke and Summons, (I highly recommend you do!) turn aside now.
I like the cover, I just wish it had a different colour scheme or something to better differentiate it from the first book. That being said, I think the trilogy will most likely look striking and amazing when it’s whole
Wall Street Journal bestselling author Charlie N. Holmberg builds her bewitching world of beasts and betrayal as the Numina Series continues.
Sandis has escaped Kazen’s grasp, but she finds herself unmoored, reeling from her thief friend Rone’s betrayal.
Kazen has been hurt but not stopped, and he’ll do anything to summon the monster that could lay waste to the entire world. Sandis knows she must be the one to stop him, but with her own trusted numen now bound to another, and finding herself with no one she can trust, she is in desperate need of allies. Rone seems determined to help her, but Sandis has no intention of letting him get close to her again. What she doesn’t know is how much Rone gave up to protect her. Or how much more he is willing to give up to keep her safe.
As chaos mounts, Sandis must determine whom to trust. After all, the lines between enemy and ally have never been less clear…and corruption lurks in the most unlikely of places.
I thoroughly enjoyed Myths and Mortals, and while it didn’t quiiiiite take my breath away like Smoke and Summons did, not many books do (seriously, go read it). The conflict introduced between Sandis and Rone is not ignored in this book, the cliffhanger we were left on in book one leads neatly to some of the conflict, and while the pacing in Myths and Mortals at times seemed a little jerky, I was interested and engaged the whole time. If it weren’t for several life events getting in the way, I would have finished and reviewed this book for the blog even sooner.
Kazen’s history is drawn into this book a little, and we learn more about the vessels Sandis essentially grew up with. It’s interesting to see her interact with the people who were once her peers, and really highlights the ways she has grown.
The growth, temptations and struggles that Sandis faces in this book are well-written, each chosen to test another aspect of her personality. Her relationship with Rone, Talbur, Ireth and the other vessels are all explored in a little more depth, and she once more proves herself as a worthy hero. I don’t know why I didn’t suspect some of the things she would do in this novel, but they were foreshadowed so perfectly that once they happened I was grinning and cursing myself; she’s a badass! Even though Sandis is a powerful character, it never reads as though she is being given special treatment or unreasonable strength. What she has, she works and suffers for (neatly avoiding the unsatisfying special treatment of many main characters).
Rone had a lot of big character moments in Smoke and Summons, so it makes sense that in Myths and Mortals he takes a second seat, allowing Sandis to take centre stage. That being said, he still faced several challenges, and came to a couple of important realisations over the course of this novel, so Rone by no mean stagnates.
Bastien’s introduction in this book was interesting and effective, but I get the feeling that he’ll become more important in book three of the trilogy, as there’s a lot about him that remains shrouded in mystery. His dad-jokes and helpful information served an important role in this book, providing comic relief and effectively moving the plot along. I wish we were given a bit more insight into his motivations, because the lack had me convinced that he was either about to drop dead or stab Sandis in the back (I’m not going to tell you if he does either, because that would be a spoiler. Go read the book!)
A lot happens in this book, no seriously, a lot. At one point I thought the book had pretty much wrapped up, and then the actual finale happened, and I swore a bit. A huge twist and a major reveal or five happened, and then the book ended on another cliffhanger even bigger than the first one. Trust me when I say I was impressed.
Myths and Mortals develops the world and mythology of the world of the Numina Trilogy, with the Dark Market, rules of the mob, corruption of the Scarlets1 and the hierarchy of the Church all coming into play at various points to move the plot along.
One minor complaint I had is the way the book almost seems to follow the same path and characters as Smoke and Summons, even when it seemed less effective in a narrative sense. I think it may have been more effective for several scenes to be combined, or just be shuffled around a little bit to improve the story’s ‘flow’ and drive tension with more near misses with Myths and Mortals’s primary antagonist.
All in all, Myths and Mortals was an amazing read, a fitting sequel to Smoke and Summons, and has left me eager to read book three. I’d recommend the Numina Trilogy to fans of Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy (Sandis is actually a lot like Elend), the Queen’s Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner, or Steeplejack by AJ Hartley (another book I should review). If you like entertaining, action packed urban fantasy, with a character driven plot, check out Myths and Mortals when it releases, on the 19th of April, 2019.
1The police force