My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Chosen picks up where Genesis ends: the two Chosen (or Candidates) must further hone their powers and prove their worth to their respective nations.
Sae-Low takes you back into the fantastic where gods and monsters still walk the earth. Is the Black truly evil? Or is he just misunderstood? Do the Ancients really want what’s good for humankind, or are they playing by their own obscure rules? The Vicedonians and the Renzai fight for land and dominance, using difference of beliefs as an excuse—but what if there’s something more—something bigger—that hides behind the name of religion? And in the midst of it all, a new enemy arises.
I didn’t find Chosen as exciting as Genesis—I guess there’s only so much outa you can take before it hits a maximum enjoyment level. However, there’s a lot of character development in this one. Sae-Low obviously believes in the “throw them in the deep end” school of learning, if the way things unfold are any indication. Magical monsters, dark shadows, strange illnesses, mystical seers, dragons, and hidden treasures all make an appearance to force them to grow and change.
This is actually where the Vicedonian empire grows so much more interesting. Renzai already kind of stands for “good”—Raden’s growth is really more about how he gains super moves, retrieves his magic weapon, and learns to trust in The One. But the fracturing Vicedonia is filled with conflict—between father and son, between brothers, within the council itself, and between “trueborn” Vicedonian people and the conquered Gokstads that have been absorbed into the empire. Mebbe I just like the colonised rising up against their colonial masters, eh.
Anyways, still a fun read though the war is far from over!
Note: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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