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Unsouled (Cradle, #1)
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(Cradle #1)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  15,977 ratings  ·  791 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
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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

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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,977 ratings  ·  791 reviews

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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
I just read Wintersteel and then went back and had to read the series again. I enjoyed the story again, but after knowing the rest of the series, the first book is rather weaker. It starts off so slow. I decided to change my rating to 3 stars.

A good friend recommended this series to me; she enjoys reading self-published and independent published works. I mostly read stuff from big publishers, but I trust her and I found the first book on Amazon for free.

It is a fresh take on fantasy. It seems
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)
David's enthusiasm for the book was infectious!
I had to read it!
Francesca Tacchi
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Dave Ricchiazzi
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This read like an anime aimed at young boys. Was not a particularly large fan, despite enjoying most of Wight's other work.

T.L. Branson
Nov 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Unsouled was an okay book. It took me forever to get into it. I must have read a chapter and put it down like 10 times.

The nature of the story and the customs of the people like constantly saying “this one” instead of saying “I” just drove me nuts. Plus, there's a lot of terminology and prose that just confused me so I skipped a lot paragraphs that plainly had no impact on the story.

Probably the worst of it are these weird interjections at random places that are like database entries, but there'
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
Oct 18, 2020 rated it liked it
Nothing too serious. Fun and entertaining. I will definitely continue the series.
Steven Naylor
Dec 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rating 4.0 stars

I really enjoyed this book. The underlying foundation of the story is not a new one. It boils down to the main character being surrounded by a group of people so much more powerful than he is and has to strive harder to catch up, and by doing so he may just end up stronger than anyone else. While not as common as an MC starting off so much more powerful or having a talent no one has seen before, it is a standard story point.

The main character is Lindon and he is something call
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Rob by: Malcolm Perry
Executive Summary: This is a short, fast-paced fantasy adventure series in the vain of many shonen fighting series, especially Naruto which definitely puts this series into my wheelhouse. I really enjoyed it and plan to continue reading.

Full Review
A good friend of mine who I innendate with book referrals almost constantly has been telling me to check out Will Wight for awhile, but like most (all?) of you on this site my backlog of books to check out is huge and I just never seemed to get to
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lindon is an Unsouled. He cannot manipulate his spirit energy beyond very basic maneuvering. As a result, his society looks down on him because he's useless in their eyes. Despite his deficiencies he works hard and doesn't think cheating is beneath him to get ahead because in his culture cheating is honorable. Then, one day, his life changes after he is saved by a being from "heaven".

I LOVED this book and couldn't put it down despite a few cliched tropes. I bought Soulsmith before I even finish
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
10/02/2020 Notes:

Ha! I didn't realize that I read the book in October for the first time last year. An unintentional tradition? I did not enjoy the re-read of the story as much as I did the second time I had read it, but it's still pretty good.

I'm feeling like it's a tossup between 3.5 & 4 stars. I'll leave it at 4. Latest addition is coming out and I figure I'll re-read the series before I dive into that one.

10/17/2019 Notes:

Rating raised from 3.5 Stars to 4 Stars on 2nd Read

10/7/2019 Notes:

Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an unexpected gem for me.
I liked the setting, the main character, the interesting skills and combat/magic system. The primary and secondary characters have a soul. They felt natural and made the world come to life.

Last but not least, I liked the writing style very much. I am posting this review in Book1 but it applies to all 3 books. Read the books one after the other as fast as I could.
Mar 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy
A shounen manga in book form, with some of the smoothest writing I've ever seen. As in, this book won't win any literary awards but it will keep you glued to the pages as you can clearly visualize the adventure. Easy, fun reading that's just a delight.

'wait, what's shounen manga' - ah, right! Time to be specific. Adventure fantasy, typically aimed at a YA audience. Unsouled is this to a T!

Plot details: in a world where everyone has magical abilities, our protagonist has none. He's the ultimate u
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As expected, I loved this book. I've heard it described as an anime in book form and it is definitely that. I really liked that it had those elements from anime I like, but you get more detail and insight into the world and characters.

The world building was really good. The magic system, the myths and legends, the sacred beasts, and the celestial beings are all really well integrated into the story. This is just a personal thing, but the descriptions are great in this. We get natural updates abo
Sep 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
Its got potential , but felt like it was targted at a way younger audience than me. Characters and story were fairly plain with little to no world building. The ending was a bit more interseting and sets up the next book , but I am not sure if its enough to get me to read the next book honestly unless I run out of interesting books to read.

Hard to reccomend unless you really have some specific reason to read it, also as usual reminder to myself not to trust good reads ratings when the number of
Jul 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I'm having a lot of fun with this progression fantasy series. An underdog, fighting against all odds, figuring out his own path, and that sometimes your elders simply do not know best.

The series is heavily influenced by shonen anime. It's a quick read, entertaining and filled with so much potential thanks to the exciting world-building.

Don't go into this expecting serious, complex fantasy. Go into this expecting a good time with a fun book.
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review and others can be read on my blog, Black Forest Basilisks

“Don’t know why you’re crowing about it. Any day where I haven’t beaten a Remnant to death with its own limb is a holiday.”

After having read the first two books in Will Wight’s Cradle series, it felt unfair to review them separately. While the first book, Unsouled, was interesting and provided a solid foundation for the series… it fell a little flat for me – particularly when compared to the second book, Soulsmith. I enjoyed Un
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Other books in the series

Cradle (9 books)
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  • Blackflame (Cradle, #3)
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