My rating: ❤❤❤ of 5!
Not too long ago I watched the British TV series “Merlin” and I loved how they’ve interpreted the famous Arthurian legend. However, after finishing the series I felt kind of empty and in my haunt for the next great story, I threw myself into Arthurian books.
Sometimes when you read a trilogy or a series it can be hard to not see the middle books as “fillers” that’s just there, to prolong the moment you get to the epic finale. Sometimes you’re lucky enough that the author has managed to not have suck books in the series, because they manage to make them all relevant. However, it’s a risk and unfortunately it didn’t pay off for me this time.
Soul’s Blade, the second book in the Legends Reborn series was good, but it was a far cry from the fantastic first book in the series. There was a little new information released in the book, about a secondary villain, but that was all taken care of, so really, the book was just a filler to carry us over to the grand finale in Dragon of Destiny.
Soul’s Blade picks up almost right where Magic Waking finished. Emmaline (the reincarnation of the legendary sorcerer, Merlin) managed to protect her King once again (this time around he’s called Darton). Arthur’s soul keeps getting more and more awake, while creatures of Darkness are hot on their tales, with them wanting to consumer Arthurs soul. Even after the 1500 years the reincarnation cycle has lasted, Emma/Merlin still doesn’t know exactly why they want Arthurs soul so badly, or why her original Fae father took a special interest in Arthur and his lineage. On top of that, not only are the Darkest Fae stirring, it turns out her most loyal subject is back and doing what she can to free her mistress, that Emma/Merlin sealed away in their first life.
For a sorcerer as strong as the legendary Merlin, with living all those life times (reincarnating like every few decades for over 1500 years), I was a bit disappointed with Emma’s approach to things. I would have thought that with all that experience and knowledge, Emma would be a force to be reckoned with but instead she actually seems weak. Which is never how I would have thought of the legendary wizard. But when you keep making the same mistakes over and over again, without thinking outside the box, the failure pattern is kind of doomed to repeat itself. So, with Emma is so set on doing things her way and alone, that it just makes me think that she hasn’t learned anything from her first time around.
Like that’s not enough, Emma is also trying to guard her heart from breaking, again. Even after all this time she’s still in love with her King, but it turns out he only returns said love sometimes. She says it’s dependent on which body she’s in, but it’s hinted that they’ve previously been lovers while they were both in male bodies. Their connection seems to stretch beyond King and subject, but still, Emma tries to keep a closed lid on her feelings in order to protect herself. I think that was the most disappointing thing to me in the book. I know that Emma knows who she is the second a new life starts, while Arthur doesn’t, but maybe after 1500 years it’s time to try a new approach: open and honest communication.
To me it seems that it depends more on Merlin, than it does on the body he inhabits. Emma does say that things tend to go further, when she lets it, so really that sounds more like she’s the one steering their relationship. Without dual POV we only hear things from Emma’s perspective and I honestly think, I would have liked this book a lot more if we also got to hear from Darton, because Emma’s inner monologues and thought process is kind of broken. I can’t help but wonder, if the fact that they’ve never lived past age 22 has something to do with it, maybe even 1500 years doesn’t grant you maturity if you don’t live to achieve it. But no matter what Emma says, or allows, there’s clearly a bond between the two of them!
With all that being said I will say that I still love the flash backs we get to Emma and Darton’s original life. Eva is so great at getting their feelings across and personally, I really felt like I was there at the side line observing what happened to them.
I still have my original suspicions of who the Darkest Fae might be, so now it’s time to read Dragon of Destiny so I can find out whether I’m right or not.