Thursday, 23 March 2017

The Shield of Soren

The Shield of Soren

by D.M. Cain

4 out of 5

Ten-year-old Soren Nitaya's marked talent makes him the youngest soldier ever to become an apprentice to the legendary warrior, Raven Lennox. As a prince of Alcherys, he will be expected to fight in the eternal war against the Brotherhood of Shadow when he reaches sixteen.

But is the young prince up to the task when he's more interested in causing mischief than in mastering weapons?

When one of Soren’s adventures goes off course, he unwittingly unleashes a deadly threat. It appears that an age-old prophecy is finally coming to pass, and Soren and his family must take a perilous journey deep into their enemy's land. Does Soren have what it takes to save his country before the Brotherhood destroys everyone and everything he loves?

Soren is determined to be one of the greatest warriors of the Children of Light. High aspirations for a 10 year old, but this young prince has plenty of promise.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
This is the first book that I have read in Cain's Light and Shadow Chronicles. I was a bit apprehensive coming in at the second book in a series that spans millennia, with angels and demons etc; but it all works really well.
Shield of Soren is a very solid book that tells of the start of Soren's story, and sets the scene with his immortal family and the battle between the Children of Light and the Brotherhood of Shadows. It works well enough as a stand-alone, but the way it ends feels like a platform for what happens next.

I was also cautious about reading a book with a central character who is only 10 years old, because I don't like children, they're horrible little creatures, and I wondered whether this would be aimed at kiddies.
Rest assured, this is not a kiddie book.
The opening scene establishes that.
Enter some crazy scientists, working on genetic mutations and viruses, who are void of ethics. Nobody is beyond torture - I mean testing. Even strange young girls and their own children are subject to their cruelty.

The rest of the book carries on as a family adventure, as Soren sets out on a mission with his older brothers and mother.
I really liked how these relatives were real people with real problems. You often find that when the central character is so young, anyone out of that generation is just a token character.
The Shield of Soren gives a whole cast of well-rounded characters with tonnes of history between them. And I liked that it was a team effort involving them all, rather than Soren leading the way and saving the day, it made it much more realistic.

The plot is fairly predictable, but enjoyable. I got the feeling throughout the book that it was setting up the foundation for something bigger. 
Which is good, I suppose, Cain has created a really big world with a lot of mythology and history attached. The Shield of Soren is a pleasant way to ease into this bigger story.

I look forward to the rest of the series, and I'm definitely checking out A Chronicle of Chaos!

Goodreads link
Amazon UK

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