Paperback, 596 Pages
Adult/ Grimdark Fantasy
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 1/2
By: Michael Sliter
Solace Lost ★★★★ 1/4
Wisdom Lost ★★★★ 1/2
“A snake that fears biting others is a snake that ultimately consumes itself. And you, little girl, will be consumed.”
Disclaimer: Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.
🌟 A friend recently commented that it seems like I read many self-published books. I told him that I consider myself lucky because authors want me to review their books and because most of these books have been well written! I know that there is a general idea that self-published books are bad but I can recommend a bunch of books to prove the opposite for anyone claiming that. This is one example of such books!
🌟 My overall rating of the book is higher than book 1 because I felt it improved. There are things I liked better in book 1 though and I am getting to them in this review. I want to start with the beginning of the book, Sliter actually provided us with a summary of all the important events and characters in book 1, it was a separate part and so people who are not into summaries can skip it, but for me, this is something I wish all authors did. Many virtual salutes for the author for that! And if any author is reading this, then please provide summaries, it encourages people to read your books!
🌟 And then we get the prologue which I loved very very much and my first thought was this is going to be a 5 stars book if it continues like that and although I did not give it 5 stars, it was close to that! I just felt it was very smart. And speaking of smart things, Sliter decided to add interlogues in this book following a certain character and each one discussed one of the Seven Deadly Sins which is something I like a lot and the way they were written is just fantastic! Those were worth 5 stars for sure. And they provided some philosophical issues that made me think.
🌟 Sliter’s prose like book 1 is very smooth, very easy to read and I find myself being able to speed read through it while enjoying it and retaining the info at the same time. Books in this genre can be dense but I felt very comfortable while reading this book. Also, the author has his own touch and as I said in my review of book 1, he will occasionally use some fancy words that I don’t think I will casually read in any other book, examples of those are proselytizing, cognizant, amalgamation!! At the same time, the book has some funny quotes and some pirate-level cursing that always amuses me!
“Have you ever even killed before? No? It is not something to easily shrug off. It stays with a person.”
🌟 I thought that book 1 was mainly character-driven and while I stick to that notion, I think this book focused on the plot more and on developing the magical system. I will be honest about the characters here, many readers (including me) said that Merigold and Fenrir were more developed in book 1 while Emma and Hafgan were not on the same level. This book significantly improved Emma’s POV and tried to do so with Hafgan. For some reason that is unknown to me, I can’t find myself getting attached to Hafgan’s story. It is not that it is bad-written, I think it even has good depth but I think for now, it feels detached from the main story and when it gets more integrated into the main arc then I will like it more -at least I hope so- BUT I think while trying to do this Sliter kind of affected Fenrir’s POV!! So currently the order of my most favorite to least fav POVs is Merigold, Emma, Fenrir and then Hafgan!
🌟 Another thing that I felt missing from book 1 is the darkness of the grimdark fantasy. Don’t get me wrong, this is not sunflowers and rainbows kind of book, but it is significantly lighter than book 1 and it may be a good thing according to how much dark do you like the books in this genre to be! I just felt that the things that the characters went through in book 1 made me feel them and get emotionally attached to them. I need to be fair though and mention that if they went through more trauma then it may have been too much for them because they really suffered in book 1 and it may become unbelievable if it is taken to the extreme! I just think there is a balance that needs to be achieved regarding the character’s POV and how dark the book is and when that happens I think it will be a perfect grimdark read!
“Throughout it all, Emma felt nothing. Not anger. Not fear. Not guilt. Throughout it all, Emma felt empty.”
🌟 The plot in this book picked up where things finished in book 1 and built upon it. There were wars and fights and politics and betrayals and everything that needs to be in a good adult fantasy novel. The magic system was also more explained and expanded in this book. The magic system is very simple yet very vibrant! I really could imagine the magic in my head with colors and motion and everything which I think is another strong point when it comes to the writing! But since the plot got bigger, there was a shit ton of new names of people and places and I just wish there was a glossary because it was getting harder and harder for me to retain everything!
🌟 The pacing, however, was certainly better than in book 1 and was faster. I finished the book in no time and wanted more and I can’t believe I have to wait for long before I can continue this story.
🌟 Religion and faith are important things the book discuss and it does so in a very respectful manner and I just love that! The discussions continue in this book and we learn more about Yetra and Ultner. There was a clever story about some people who worship walls. Walls? WTH! But then we got the story and it made much sense and it is just something that I frequently think about!
“I am beginning to believe that faith is little more than a way to spread values among the people. Traisen spread the value of war and combat with just a hint of honor. Oletta embodied the value of wisdom, knowledge, and logic…”
🌟 Summary and Prescription: Wisdom Lost is an improved version of book 1 with new characters, expanded world-building, faster pacing, improved magic systems and effing great interlogues! I think the characters and darkness need some delicate changes and I am sure that if Sliter hits the right balance, it will be an even greater story (And I know he has the potential to judging from some of the chapters here). Still, strongly recommend for fans of the grimdark genre!