Soul Bound is a moving fantasy tale, a short story that just begs for a sequel because of the intriguing universe and fascinating characters.
Two desperate men, each in need of a magical solution to a horrible fate. They meet on the road to enter The Marvel, where the person chooses to undergo a series of trials to earn the right to a prize of their asking. However, the chances of being awarded the right to enter are limited and even less are those who survive The Marvel and exit to win the prize.
Cari Z’s story drew me in for many reasons. She did a wonderful job creating a world where magic had gone, or was disappearing. What was left was a world of the mundane, the suffering, poor people, the powerful and the rich. We understood the characters, especially that of the warrior Caz. A scarred mercenary hiring himself out to help where needed, how he became cursed immediately puts us on his side. As does his actions every day. He’s a good hearted man, weary of being a warrior.
The other one wishing to enter The Marvel is a courtesan, Lias. Lias is traveling with a tiny bird companion on the way to the Marvel when they meet. His history is revealed slowly through out the story and conversations with Cas.
Of the two characters, for me , even when important details are revealed about their lives and reasons for the need Marvel trails, Cas remains the more sympathetic personality. I can see clearly how Cari Z’s story will play out, although not the minutiae.
But she’s such an empathetic writer, that, even knowing how it will most likely proceed, I’m still invested in the characters, their emotional state, and their relationships.
I like the world, the people and want them to succeed.
Was I ever fully on board with Lias? Probably not. Was I still satisfied with the ending? Yes. Sometimes that’s the way it happens.
I’m recommending Soul Bound by Cari Z for its sympathetic characters, moving scenes, emotional depth , and fascinating themes.
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Love the cover.
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Magic has faded out of everyday life. Only in the darkest corners of the world, or the richest coffers, does the power of magic endure.
Everyone says it’s for the best.
When rogue magic lashes out, though, there’s only one place the afflicted can go to solve their problems—the Marvel.
Whoever is chosen to enter the Marvel has to endure a trial unlike any other—a trial that most people fail, leaving their hopes and their bones behind to feed the wild magic of the place.
When two people are chosen, soul bound, to endure the trial simultaneously…well, either the gods have a sense of humor or the magic is angling for a feast. Can warrior Caz and courtesan Lias, men with wildly different magical problems, survive the trials if they work together?
Or will the magic feed on two souls instead of one?