Second Spear (The Mkalis Cycle Book 2) by Kerstin Hall: Gorgeous and Lyrical

Kerstin Hall’s Second Spear is the thrilling follow-up to the Nommo Award finalist, The Border Keeper

After surviving the schemes of a vengeful goddess and learning some shattering truths about her former life, the warrior Tyn feels estranged from her role guarding her ruler. Grappling with knowledge of her identity, she unleashes her frustrations on all the wrong people.

When an old enemy returns wielding an unstoppable, realm-crushing weapon and Tyn is swept up in the path of destruction, she must make a choice about who she is and who she wants to be.

With gorgeous and lyrical language, Kerstin Hall’s second book in The Mkalis Cycle is as rich and beautiful as The Border Keeper. Switching point of view to Tyn, Second Spear of and protector of her ruler, Tyn grapples with the truth of her former life but even surviving the schemes of a vengeful goddess does not prepare her for the enemy that sweeps up Tyn and her ruler into a path of destruction. Tyn faces hard choices, a hard path and the story tells that beautifully, exploring the character and her journey, fraught with danger and loss. 

What makes this story so profoundly good is the emotions of the characters and the danger they face in a world built like no other, filled with rulers, both gods and demons, and each domain completely different from the next and rules bound by each ruler. The world building is complex and layered, the words gorgeous and lyrical but most of all, the story is rich and beautiful. While the story does feel like there may be more to be told, perhaps different characters or a return to the previous ones, I loved Tyn’s story.

With such beautiful language and complex characters, most readers will enjoy this gorgeous novella. I do think it helps if you have read the first book, The Border Keeper but this novel does an excellent job of continuing and explains more of the world. If you love fantasy with rich world building, this novella is an excellent choice. It left me wanting more. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 rulers.

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