Published: June 13, 2016
Publisher: Hidden Gnome Publishing
Series: Cradle #1
Pages: 294 (Kindle Edition)
My Rating: 3.0/5.0
Sacred artists follow a thousand Paths to power, using their souls to control the forces of the natural world.
Lindon is Unsouled, forbidden to learn the sacred arts of his clan.
When faced with a looming fate he cannot ignore, he must defy his family’s rules…and forge his own Path.
Where oh where do I begin with this? Well, let me say first that I picked this up for two reasons – the first being that I see it recommended on r/fantasy all the time and the second is that the first six books in the series were free on Kindle about a month ago. I had to see what all the fuss was about, especially since the tenth book was released just a couple weeks ago and I saw SO MANY five star reviews and much hype leading up to the release. I also decided to pay up the extra $2 to get Audible narration to go along with my free ebook.
We start off with Lindon, our main character failing a childhood magical aptitude test, and then proceed to watch as he fails again and again over many years. Lindon is what they call “Unsouled”, which basically amounts to him having very little natural capacity for magic. This is not only a great shame, but also impacts many other aspects of his life (for example, he cannot marry). A solid 90% of this book is leading up to Lindon finding a way to increase his power to a usable/quantifiable level and be recognized as more than an Unsouled. To be fair, I can’t blame him at all because I wouldn’t want to be the shame of the village either. The most interesting part is when an external character is introduced that is to Lindon a higher power. This changes how both Lindon and the reader view the power scale of the magical practitioners within Sacred Valley. They are as infants compared to those outside of the valley, hence the name Cradle.
While this was a fun book, it was also rather juvenile and pretty cringey at times so I’m a little confused by the high average rating on Goodreads (4.15). I do hear that the series gets much better as it goes along and since I have the first six books I would like to continue on with at least one more. If you’re looking for the book equivalent of Dragonball Z, where the characters are constantly looking for a way to increase their power then you might want to check this out. I was not in love with the story, but I didn’t hate it either and it was easy to zip right through the audiobook.