Rating: 4.5 stars
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Caelan Talos has come home to Erya. But the Empire’s forces are still in power and his people are suffering. Despite having the God of Storms rattling around inside his brain, Caelan knows he doesn’t have enough power to overthrow the interlopers. He needs to bond with Tula, the goddess from whom generations of Talos rulers have drawn their power. However, it’s a task that’s easier said than done.
By Caelen’s side are his stalwart advisor, Rayne; his bodyguard, Eno; and his best friend, Drayce. They’re the only ones Caelan can trust as he navigates a quagmire of corrupt politicians and violent unrest while trying to save his country. And even if he manages the impossible, the gods have yet more to ask of him.
Breath of Life is the second in the Godstone Saga, following Steal the Wind. This is a series that needs to be read in order. Breath of Life was a strong sequel and I found myself enjoying it slightly more than Steal the Wind. The story was tighter and more focused, and the action was purpose driven. While the series still lacks a certain fantastical flair, I found I was able to immerse myself more completely in the overall world this time around.
Drayce remains, in my opinion, rather the odd man out from an otherwise strong cast of characters. He just seems more immature and a tad silly when in comparison to both the crisis and companions around him. He doesn’t seem like a strong fit for Caelan, but I keep hoping this situation will improve and somehow he’ll end up being the kind of man Caelan needs. Eno and Rayne are the more compelling couple and the evolution of their romance is one of the strongest parts of the series. Equally interesting is the relationship between Caelan and Rayne, as both are burdened by increasingly complex responsibilities.
It’s clear that some sort of endgame monster is waiting for Caelan, though there do seem to be some mild plot holes regarding how it’s all going to come to pass. I’m sure future volumes will end up resolving some of these questions, but this aspect does seem to be drawn out rather excessively. I may change my mind about that as the series continues though.
Breath of Life was an excellent follow-up to Steal the Wind. While Drayce is still a dark horse, the characters are intriguing and well developed. The story is richer this time around and, while I still want more of a fantasy element, the plot continues to expand and improve. The next in Godstone Saga is due out soon, so I’m looking forward to seeing how this series continues to evolve.