In the 2nd book of the multi-author Sundering series launched by New York Times best-selling author R.A. Salvatore, the shadow legacy of Erevis Cale lives on even as his old foe Mephistopheles seeks to stamp it out at any cost. Cale’s son Vasen—unmoored in time by the god Mask—has thus far been shielded from the archdevil’s dark schemes, alone among the servants of the Lord of Light who have raised him since birth.
Living in a remote abbey nestled among the Thunder Peaks of Sembia, Vasen is haunted by dreams of his father, trapped in the frozen hell of Cania. He knows the day will come when he must assume his role in the divine drama unfolding across Faerûn. But Vasen knows not what that role should be . . . or whether he is ready to take it on. He only knows what his father tells him in dreams—that he must not fail.
Enter Drasek Riven, a former compatriot of Erevis Cale, now near divine and haunted by dreams of his own—he too knows the time to act is near. Shar, the great goddess of darkness, looks to cast her shadow on the world forever. Riven has glimpsed the cycle of night she hopes to complete, and he knows she must be stopped.
At the crossroads of divine intrigue and mortal destiny, unlikely heroes unite to thwart the powers of shadow and hell, and the sundering of worlds is set on its course.
The Godborn by Paul S. Kemp (published by Wizards of the Coast) is book two of The Sundering , an epic, world-spanning event in the Forgotten Realms. The first book is The Companions by R.A. Salvatore. Though both books detail events leading to the Sundering, reading the first one is not a requirement to enjoy and follow The Godborn.
Some books just make you giddy with anticipation. As a long time Paul S. Kemp fan, I have been waiting for Vasen Cale’s story for a long time, and now after so many years the story is told. While there are previous books that detail some of the events that lead up to The Godborn there is enough backstory to bring new readers up to speed on previous events and characters yet not bog down the story for veteran fans.
Vasen Cale, son of Erevis Cale and Varra, is a very interesting character. Baring his father’s shade heritage, but raised in the legendary Abbey of the Rose, he serves Amaunator, the Lord of Light. His dusky skin and yellow eyes set him apart from others, but does not shake his faith in the god he serves.
We meet up with old friends, Drasek Riven, Magadon, Rivelin Brennus, and the Lord of Cania himself, Mephistopheles, and meet new ones as well. As much I as enjoyed reading and learning more about about Vasen Cale, I equally enjoyed the supporting characters. Their stories added great depth to the book. I want to keep this review spoiler free so I will avoid detailing any events, but I will say that they are rendered with Paul’s signature “darkness” that I have enjoyed in his previous books.
The book is fast paced, with several different groups of characters caught up in a maelstrom of events that ultimately lead them to a final epic scene. The prose and pacing were tight and each chapter pulled me further into the story, making it impossible to put the book down. There are many sad moments in The Godborn. Scenes that are so heartbreaking they take your breath away, yet just as Vasen walks the road between shadow and light, there are moments of overwhelming joy.
I highly recommend Paul’s previous work. To get the entire picture of how awesome Erevis Cale and company are you should read the series from the beginning starting with, Shadow’s Witness, then The Erevis Cale Trilogy and finally The Twilight War (Shadowbred, Shadowstorm, and Shadowrealm). The Godborn will not be released until October 1 so you have time to catch up on the story thus far. But as I stated earlier, none of these are a requirement to enjoy The Godborn. It stands on its own.
The Godborn is a must read for all Paul S. Kemp fans. He brings us the story that we have been waiting years to read. The wait is over, and trust me, it was definitely worth it.