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Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite
Broken Souls is the first book of the Seasons of Cycle Series written by Troy Calkins and illustrated by Worm Tail. It delves into the stories of two people, Bothvar Beorcolsson and Lura Syllana, as they go through their lives, experiencing tragedy, sacrifice, and danger. Both of them are haunted by regrets. Bothvar goes through his life empty inside and his weapons dripping with the blood of his enemies. Despite his skills and his reputation, he is haunted by the loss and the tragedy he experienced in life. Lura Syllana’s father wanted a better life for her. He did not want his daughter to repeat the mistakes he had done but Lura disagreed. She thought her father was a hypocrite who abandoned her uncle when he needed him the most. In a twist, her own choices and mistakes lead to her family’s capture. Desperate and devastated, Lura will do anything she can to save them but at what cost?
Broken Souls is a dark fantasy with a Viking culture-like setting. The story is told in two first-person points of view, Bothvar’s and Lura’s. Their captivating but dark adventures led me through an intricate and enthralling storyline. They confront their mistakes and become stronger in the face of such tragedies. The challenges they faced and the struggles they went through were heartbreaking but Troy Calkins' tale had me hooked from the start to the end with impressive detail and vivid scenes. The pacing was steady and the transitions between the different POVs are smooth. Both of their stories followed an interesting plot that had me devouring the book. Reading about how Bothvar and Lura grew in the first book was an honor. I felt so many mixed emotions as I read their individual developments and I had a lot of heartache over the losses they experienced along the way. This book has left a deep impression on me and I am looking forward to more of Bothvar and Lura’s story in the sequel. Outstanding work!