The Power from Forgiveness
The Shrine of Arthis Book 2
David A. Gustafson
Genre: High fantsy
Publication Date: February 15, 2016
Victimized and betrayed, for two hundred years the spirit of King Arthis has been entrapped within the Shrine. From this mountain perch he has looked on in dismay as his daughters abandoned his teachings of symmetry and acceptance. Instead, they have each built a city where only their preferred earth power is nurtured. Helpless to intercede, Arthis has watched the rise of the Sortiri, supernatural creatures who wantonly attack his descendants and steal the soul from those they capture.
Jerrid, a Stone Shaper gifted in the earth power called “Amber,” is tormented by the memory of his mother’s fall to the Sortiri. Exiled with his grandfather to a new city being constructed as a refuge from future attacks, Jerrid longs to escape a life that has grown lonely and mundane. A rare excursion away from the “Hidden City” leads him into a confrontation with his father. Believing that a strategy of isolation cannot succeed, Jerrid resolves to tame Feor, a wild horse with unmatched speed that carries him beyond his father’s control. Emboldened by this new freedom, he meets a young woman named Audain and visits her home in Gladeis, the city where “Emerald” enables the Foedan there to live in close connection to the Forest. Though intrigued by the wonders of Gladeis, when confronted again by unyielding authority, Jerrid finally understands. With renewed purpose he ventures forth, determined to connect with the other two earth powers; Opal for wind and Sapphire for water, and seek a better way to overcome the Sortiri.
This is book 2 of the Shrine of Arthis series. For my review of book 1 click here.
Book 2 picks up right where book 1 left off. That’s a good thing, but there were no reminders for me, so it took me a while to remember the events of book 1. If you’re able to, I’d recommend reading them straight through. You won’t be disappointed that you did.
The descriptions of magic in this installment really had me hooked. I almost felt as I were the one channeling the raw powers of the elements. I love it when I’m drawn into a fantasy world like that. Also the vivid descriptions of the world itself gave me an excellent view of the characters’ surroundings. There’s just enough to give me a feel for the world without slowing down the story, which is fast-paced with some very nice action scenes.
I was most delighted to see Jerrid grow and change during the course of the story. His magic evolves, and he becomes wiser, growing from a headstrong boy into a man. I also enjoyed getting to know Rendel better in this installment, and the addition of King Arthis (though his part is small) was a nice touch. Last but not least, there is also a more detailed look at some of the bad guys, which I always enjoy.
I was surprised this book ended up being so short. At only about 130 pages there was certainly a lot within the pages. I know I would have been happy with a longer version, even if it only meant stretching out some of the action scenes. However, I didn’t feel that anything was lacking, and the story comes to a tidy conclusion.
I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
4 out of 5 stars
About the Author:
David Gustafson graduated from Purdue University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Shortly after he began work on “The Shrine of Arthis,” but life got in the way. After being married for nearly thirty years and raising three kids, he began re-writing the novel and introducing his life experience along with an ever growing love of nature.
When not writing, David is the Energy Resource Manager for the Board of Public Utilities in his home town. His hobbies include hiking, day dreaming and long walks through the woods.
David’s works have been inspired by authors like Frank Herbert, Ursula Le Guin, Steven Donaldson, Robert Silverberg, and, of course, J. R. R. Tolkein.