The Sorcerer's Bane by C.S. Wachter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Sorceror's Bane is an enthralling, action-packed read. And I use enthral in both senses of the word. This first novel in a planned series of four books follows young Prince Rayne through his kidnapping and enslavement at six and his journey to becoming a master assassin.
The fact that I read this in one sitting says a lot. And no, this isn't a quick 2-hour light read. It was one of those sprawling life epics--okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration--that take up like 5 or so hours of your time. I legit started reading during late dinner at 9 pm (duh, because you need to read something while you eat alone, right?) and finished at almost 3 am, because I am an idiot that way.
Good versus Evil, Light versus Dark
At its core, The Sorceror's Bane is a sword and sorcery tale of Good versus Evil. In the vein of fantasy epics such as Eddings' Belgariad and Gemmell's Legend, Wachter utilises prophecies and faith to spur the actions of her heroes, even when a subconscious action on their part.
The Sorceror's Bane holds echoes of Wachter's Christian faith. There is a single god known as the One that rules over this universe, represented by the light. There is an evil, or a darkness, that opposes the One and his believers, embodied by Sigmund. There are seven scrolls, or prophecies, to each of the seven worlds in Ochen, reminiscent of the words of the Lord to the seven churches in the book of Revelations.
Wachter is masterful at pulling at your heartstrings. Just as soon as you see a glimmer of light for our poor young protagonist, just as soon as you think things will not get worse, Wachter breaks your heart as Sigmund and his evil cohorts find new ways to break Rayne's spirit over and over again. Yet threaded subtly through all this darkness, Wachter manages to always leave the reader with a glimmer of hope--whether via Rayne himself or through his friends Anne and Warren--reminding you that although evil abounds, the One is in control.
I'm really looking forward to reading the rest of this series and I hope it doesn't take too long to come out!
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