Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Unsouled (Cradle, #1)” as Want to Read:
Unsouled (Cradle, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Cradle #1)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  27,625 ratings  ·  1,580 reviews
Sacred artists follow a thousand Paths to power, using their souls to control the forces of the natural world.

Lindon is Unsouled, forbidden to learn the sacred arts of his clan.

When faced with a looming fate he cannot ignore, he must defy his family's rules...and forge his own Path.
Kindle Edition, 294 pages
Published June 13th 2016 by Hidden Gnome Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Unsouled, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Robert Thompson I don't mean to be rude but if you think this is a rip off of Divergent I hate to tell you, that book did not originate the separating people into fac…moreI don't mean to be rude but if you think this is a rip off of Divergent I hate to tell you, that book did not originate the separating people into factions shtick. That aside Divergent was at best a rough romance novel with hokey sci-fi plot points.

Read the book and enjoy it(less)
Joe Bob The current estimate from the author is 12 or more books in this series.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.16  · 
Rating details
 ·  27,625 ratings  ·  1,580 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Unsouled (Cradle, #1)
Jan 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Progression fantasy & Shonen anime fans
Recommended to Petrik by: Uncountable people
3.5/5 stars

A foundational start to a series that feels like the beginning of shonen anime in prose form.

I’ve promised many readers—my impatient co-bloggers included—that I’m going to read Cradle as soon as 2020 starts, and so here I am. I’ve been eyeing this series for quite a while now, it also has been recommended to me more than thirty times by more than thirty different readers. That number is not an exaggeration; I’ve received that many messages and recommendations from readers around the w
Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews
Nov 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable, quick read that gives this series a good start with much promise

I was pleasantly surprised by this book even though this first entry did not have the "epic" scale that I have heard often described by readers. You get a wonderful sense towards the end of the book at what this series is marching towards, and it leaves you salivating to get reading so you can march on this journey with the main characters. This book has a somewhat predictable arc though most of the book, but then slam
3rd Read,

The 9th book in this series, Bloodline, came out back in April. Reading Will's blog, his has finished the 1st draft of book 10, Reaper, this month and he hopes and plans on having the 10th book out by the end of the year, hopefully in November. I wanted to give the whole series a read through again before it comes out.

I do find, it's quite nice reading this and having a really good idea where the story is going to go and how Lindon is going to achieve his place in the world. It must be
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone who loves great fantasy
Recommended to Eon ♒Windrunner♒ by: TS Chan
A wonderful introduction, Unsouled is a promise of magic to come.

First and foremost, I want to thank my friend, TS, for recommending this series to me as many times as was needed for me to pick it up. You have the BEST taste in books and I endeavor to JUMP on any future recommendations. All hail the book recommendation Queen!!!

This story is set in a world with a strong eastern influence and is a fast, tremendously fun read that features a mix of martial arts and a magic system based around progr
TS Chan
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have heard great things about Will Wight's books. If Unsouled was just a taste of what the Cradle series has to offer, I will say those praises are well-founded.

Cradle is an Eastern-inspired fantasy with complex worldbuilding and a cool magic system that reminds me of the Chinese martial art genres of wuxia (heroic) and xianxia (immortal). The narrative follows a young man, Wei Shi Lindon, an Unsouled who was not allowed to learn the sacred arts of his clan in the Sacred Valley. There are myri
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hamad by: David S Meanderings)
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 Support me

“When a traveler cannot find a path, sometimes he must make his own.”

I have seen this series mentioned a lot as one of the best indie series out there. I always thought it was a long historical fiction series and I was not ready for that kind of obligation. Then my friend David got into the series and he liked it so much and he mentioned it has a great magic system and it turns out that it is a fantasy series after all and tha
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Actually, I've stopped reading this book around 70%, because all its flaws were getting worse and worse every passing page. I've never, never stopped reading a book! But this simply... kept getting off my nerves for so many different reasons, I had to quit to preserve my sanity.
Needless to say, I'm very disappointed. I'm a big fan of Wight works, but this book just didn't have all the creativity I love about the author. Sure, the magic it's interesting, but the plot it's simply nonsensical and t
Sep 20, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: freebies
The young of the Sacred Valley come twice a year to be tested. Children the ages of 6-8 have the content of their souls evaluated to see what sort of sacred artist they will become in life. It's a test that no one is supposed to fail, but Lindon failed. He was labeled unsouled, powerless and unworthy of teaching in a society that power is as important as honor. Lindon isn't giving up though, he's determined to find a way to become a sacred artist.

Unsouled left me unsure of what to expect. It was
Wick Welker
Jan 10, 2022 rated it liked it
Odd and not very fun.

This wasn’t bad and it’s actually quite original and imaginative. The lore and world building is based on chiefdom culture with a mix of a magic system that was pretty well explained. The fantasy sci fi cross over was surprising but not unwelcome. The overall prose was adequate.

My main issues are the inconsistent characterization. Lindon doesn’t always make a lot of sense. He’s very understandable in the beginning and is compelling to read. But by the end of the book his mo
Library of a Viking
Is Cradle worth the hype?

If you have been following indie fantasy releases, you will have seen the Cradle series by Will Wight. To say that this series has become a major success is an understatement. Cradle has sold more than 1 million copies which is crazy. While I didn’t have this series on my tbr, I randomly picked it up a couple of weeks ago. Firstly, I had been told by almost everyone that Unsouled is not the best book in this series, so I didn’t have high expectations when I picked up thi
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars

Unsouled, Cradle #1 by Will Wight lives up to the incredible high standards that he set with his The Travelers Gate Trilogy. As a result of my love for his trilogy I had very high expectations for this book and series and let me tell you, I was not let down. This is simply epic fantasy at it's finest. Will Wight deserves to be mentioned in the same sentences as the genre giant Brandon Sanderson. Both of these men excel in their fantastical story telling, character creating, and depth to
Deborah Obida
Aug 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Buddy read with Snezana

Unsouled has been on my tbr for more than a year, I purposefully refused to read it because I thought it was another generic YA book, how wrong I was. This book is unlike anything I’ve read in forever, it’s so unique and addictive.

“Fate is not fair, but it is just. Hard work is never in vain…even when it does not achieve what you wished.”

This book is set in a world where everyone have a place in society, at the age of six or seven, children do a test that shows them w
David S Meanderings)
Jun 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Update 9/29: Reread

One more week until Wintersteel! So cool to notice so many more little things during this reread.

“When a traveler cannot find a path, sometimes he must make his own.”

I had almost no idea what to expect when going into this book. I knew it was Asian inspired and that a big part of it was the magic system, but that was about it. I started this book with no other expectations other than that I would enjoy it, and oh did I enjoy it!

My favorite part about this book was the magic s
Para (wanderer)
DNF 44%

Tried it cause it was free, I wanted something light and fun, I still need a self-published book for the r/Fantasy Bingo square, and I know a lot of people who love it. I went into it with an open mind - from the positive reception, there was a chance of it winning me over - but it just confirmed that nope, that stuff's not for me. And that I should trust my gut, no matter how enthusiastic friends are.

Like Sufficiently Advanced Magic Unsouled is another book that's built around the magic
Zitong Ren
Sep 02, 2020 rated it liked it
This was pretty cool. There are some really cool concepts and the characters are fairly interesting too. I felt that there were many things that could have been expanded on and perhaps made slightly detailed, so it will be interesting to see in what direction the sequels takes the series in. I want to say RTC but I honestly don’t know if I will get the time to get round to a review any time soon. 6.5/10
Aug 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a first book of a continuing series. So, the author made a promise the world building will be much more grander than what had been revealed on this first book.

The setting is heavily influenced with Eastern fantasy Xinxia theme, although there are some aspects that still fresh, like the storytelling in some chapters that as if the POV is reading from an artificial intelligence.

For now, 4 star.
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Solid first book, wasn't really feeling it at the start, but it really picked up. I'm still confused with where the story is going with Suriel. Looking forward to the second one.

First reread: Really loved it more the second time around. I enjoyed all the foreshadowing all stuff he does early on that I didn't catch at first.
L.L. MacRae
Aug 19, 2021 rated it really liked it
Okay, I’m officially jumping on the bandwagon! I listened to the audio of this (and have already bought the audio of book two), which was brilliantly narrated. Excellent voices, pacing, humour. Easy to listen to and understand!

I’d heard an awful lot about the Cradle series before deciding on a whim to grab the first audiobook. I have a feeling that I’ll be joining the legions of people devouring each book one after another, then going back to re-read the series from the first book.

We follow Lind
Rob Hayes
May 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
So after interviewing Will Wight on the Wizards, Warriors, and Words podcast, it turns out he's not the evil android sent from the future to top all the charts I thought he was. He's actually a really nice guy. So I figured it was time to give Cradle a go as it's his premier series. Turns out... it's pretty damned good. At least book 1 is.

This is definitely a progressions fantasy with the magic system and levels within it clearly defined from the get go. It's about a young boy who has the world
Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*
July 2, 2022: This book and the NEXT FOUR IN THE SERIES are all free for Amazon Kindle at the moment. Clearly this is in celebration of my five-star review. Either that or because book eleven's release is imminent. One or the other.


Believe the hype. I didn’t think I would like it, but I devoured it in two days and it was fantastic. Will I read the eleven sequels? Nah, probably not (but maybe eventually?)

I love a good underdog story and this has that in spades. I love a good train
Aria Kessler-Avington
Jun 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Will Wight always manages to craft such intricate and tasteful magic systems, even when they initially threaten to overwhelm the reader with their ecstatic colour. House of Blades, for example, was initially off-putting to me when I downloaded the Kindle sample. The effect was of a simple, mousey librarian parachuted into the chaos and madness of a Warhammer flash point. Magical airbursts and organic monstrosities erupting around me, I hadn't a clue what was happening. Clapping the eBook shut in ...more
Zoe Artemis Spencer Reid
“When a traveler cannot find a path, sometimes he must make his own.”

That was unexpectedly good. It was not my typical fantasy, but I wanted to read something quick but good, so this was the series I chose. And it didn't disappoint. It read a bit like anime I guessed, not that I have much experience. Except from Attack on Titan, Akame ga Kill, Death Note and Detective Conan, I don't watch anime. Back to Unsouled, the concept was interesting and the world promised to be complex and vast. The
Jun 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book surprised me in a good way. It starts out reading like many other coming of age fantasy stories, this one with an eastern oriental setting. Before long however, it becomes clear this story is going to be more original than I had thought. Linden , the MC is refreshingly different. He can be sly, he cheats, he manipulates. On the other hand, he is ambitious, motivated, determined, unafraid of difficult choices. I like the message of the story at the end about refusing to be limited by ot ...more
Jan 21, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Turns out there is a genre of books called Xianxia and this is an example: a remixture of Chinese folklore/mythology with foreign elements and settings. Who knew?

Unsouled is a classic hero's journey set in a universe of competing clans, godly fighters and monstrous remnants, where the cultivation and control of life energy known as madra is the basis of civilization on the world of Cradle. Through various means of progression, which includes training, ingesting elixirs and spirit-fruits, a sacr
Jim Robinson
Jun 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
4.5* what a page turning and enjoyable ride!

I really enjoyed book 1 of the Cradle series by Will Wight, Unsouled was a real page turning read and I was always keen to get back in to it. I also finished it in really fast time for me, although it is a shortish book compared to most fantasy titles. It isn't easy for me to categorise it into a genre but I guess its sort of an Asian inspired martial arts\technique universe ruled by 1 billion powered super gods and where literally everyone but our poo
Maisha  Farzana (on hiatus)
Mar 13, 2022 marked it as on-hold-for-a-period
~ dnf for now ~

I am not feeling it right now. The world building is superb and the magic system is also fascinating. But I am struggling to keep track of everything. It's such a short book. Yet I haven't been able to finish in a week. So, dnf for now. I may pick it up again another time.....
Jun 21, 2021 rated it liked it

This has promise of turning into something better as the series continues but it didn't tick many boxes for me.

Some interesting ideas as far as the magic system goes. A very weak main character (I mean weak in a powerful sense) that has to use his wits rather than any magic. I found that not a huge amount really happened in the first half of the book and I nearly put it aside. It did improve in the second half but I'm unsure whether the series is going to be my cup of tea. I think the
Richard Nell
Jul 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Lit-rpgish/epic fantasy where a kid born weak starts powering up, and oh yeah maybe the world and/or galaxy and/or universe kinda needs him to hurry the hell up.

Well-written, clever, and 100% has that more-ish pull that makes you kind of angry and sweaty until you buy the next book. God damnit Will Wight.
Jun 05, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: will-wight
A solid start to the series. Probably somewhere around 3.8 stars.

interesting story

pacing (maybe just a bit too fast-paced)

Magic system was okay, served the plot. I will continue reading the series.
Mar 05, 2021 rated it it was ok
DNF. So much jumping around and confusion. I couldn't keep up. ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fantasy Buddy Reads: The Cradle Series - Will Wight [January 2, 2022] 218 92 1 hour, 18 min ago  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Into the Labyrinth (Mage Errant #1)
  • Sufficiently Advanced Magic (Arcane Ascension, #1)
  • Jewel of the Endless Erg (Mage Errant #2)
  • Iron Prince (Warformed: Stormweaver, #1)
  • Mother of Learning: ARC 1
  • A Traitor in Skyhold (Mage Errant #3)
  • He Who Fights with Monsters (He Who Fights with Monsters, #1)
  • On the Shoulders of Titans (Arcane Ascension, #2)
  • The First Step (A Thousand Li, #1)
  • He Who Fights with Monsters 2 (He Who Fights with Monsters, #2)
  • Defiance of the Fall (Defiance of the Fall #1)
  • He Who Fights with Monsters 4 (He Who Fights with Monsters #4)
  • He Who Fights with Monsters 3 (He Who Fights with Monsters, #3)
  • Dungeon Crawler Carl (Dungeon Crawler Carl #1)
  • The Lost City of Ithos (Mage Errant #4)
  • Defiance of the Fall 2 (Defiance of the Fall #2)
  • Bastion (Immortal Great Souls #1)
  • He Who Fights with Monsters 5 (He Who Fights with Monsters #5)
See similar books…
See top shelves…

Other books in the series

Cradle (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Soulsmith (Cradle, #2)
  • Blackflame (Cradle, #3)
  • Skysworn (Cradle, #4)
  • Ghostwater (Cradle, #5)
  • Underlord (Cradle, #6)
  • Uncrowned (Cradle, #7)
  • Wintersteel (Cradle, #8)
  • Bloodline (Cradle, #9)
  • Reaper (Cradle, #10)
  • Dreadgod (Cradle, #11)

Related Articles

  In the realm of reading, there are few experiences as truly immersive as the one you get with an epic fantasy novel. As a genre, fantasy is...
175 likes · 7 comments
“Only storms turn fish into dragons,” 26 likes
“There are a million Paths in this world, Lindon, but any sage will tell you they can all be reduced to one. Improve yourself.” 19 likes
More quotes…