Marc Aplin's Reviews > Soul Born

Soul Born by Kevin James Breaux
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Jan 21, 2011

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All Opal wanted was to be respected as a wielder of magic, but her teachers passed her over time and time again. When a mysterious warlord embarks on a conquest to destroy the lands of Illyia Opal seizes an opportunity to step out from the shadows of her instructors and take her rightful spot among them.

Tala, an alluring young elf, was banished from her tribe, hunted and nearly killed by the beasts that dwell in the deep forests, but more than anything else she is a survivor. Joining forces with an ancient elemental power Tala finds herself in the centre of an unrelenting human war. She never wanted any of this.

Flesh like leather and bone as strong as steel Karn, a veteran from the first kingdom to fall, is fuelled by vengeance. While pushing ever headlong into battle Karn begins to recall memories of another life; ghosts that haunt his dreams.

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All sounds very ‘old school’ fantasy like... right? Well simply put it is. This isn’t a novel that treads new grounds; it isn’t a novel that will create ripples in the genre for its uniqueness – what it is, is an old school fantasy novel written in 2010. Imagine playing Dungeons and Dragons or Baulder’s Gate or anyone of those kinds of PC RPG games. The characters seem blocky; you roll your eyes at the dialogue, but at the same time you enjoy it for what it is and you quickly accept that this is old school and you remember something... you enjoy old school!

That’s how I felt when I first picked up ‘Soul Born’. I quickly found myself thinking lines like; “Human Magic is for Humans,” or “I saw lots of people. I – I think they were ghosts!” for example were a bit cheesy, but after a few chapters I was just enjoying them. Fantasy is popular today because of novels in the Dungeons and Dragons type era... the genre is defined by its blocky roots and its almost pre-defined characters. I very quickly found myself thinking how nice it was to go back in time a bit and read a novel that read like we expect a fantasy novel to read.

The character of Karn is one we have experienced hundreds of times before... a fearless Viking like hero who is aggressive and just wants to destroy evil. Opal is a little more new-age in the sense that she is a beautiful, powerful mage but with a darker side to her and Tala is that female Elve we have all come to love so much.

If you are looking for a Sanderson like writing style or a unique story you won’t find it here. But if you are a fantasy fan, willing to go back and look at what made fantasy great – cheesy lines, over-heroic characters, beautiful and lustrous women, elves, werewolves, dark kings and so on then this is a very good, quick read. I think Kevin Breaux does a good job at proving to write an enjoyable novel you don’t have to do anything ground-breaking, you don’t need to write something in a brand new style, you just need to do something proven to work.

After going through months of reading complicated story lines from authors such as Lynch, Sanderson and Weeks it was nice to pick up a book rich literally says: 'Right... we have magic, we have action, we have beautiful women. Are you ready? Lets go!' And that's it. No complicated world building, no overly confusing twisting and turning story, no complex magic system... just everything we would expect from fantasy like novels back in the day.

For me Soul Born pressed all the right buttons. As I said over in the forums, Kevin Breaux is one of those authors who has the ability to make you say; 'Damn Fantasy is Cool!’ without reshaping or redefining the genre. All round it is well worth checking out.
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Marc Aplin P.S. Looking forward to a sequel! :)


ChristinaJL I'm really looking forward to reading it on the kindle!!!


Marc Aplin It's good fun - Very D&D ;)


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