Remember 2 weeks ago when I praised The Fifth Vertex, the first book in Kevin Hoffman’s series The Sigilord Chronicles? And how I said that what I expected from the cover was not what I got, but what I got was an amazing and tightly-written story that stuck with me?
Well, I finally got to read the second installment, Blood Sigil, and let me tell you, this series is the stuff. In this chapter of Urus’s story we meet even more interesting characters, and the characters we already knew grow by leaps and bounds. See, Urus has discovered his power but he still isn’t quite sure how to use it. Unfortunately, the fate of the multiverse depends on him getting it together. Enter Luce, the beautiful girl from another universe who knows how to use sigils and can teach Urus a thing or two. As long as they can stay alive long enough for him to learn. Because another sigilord has been found on Urus’s home planet and it’s up to Urus and Luce to rescue him before the arbiters find him and put him to death. Cailix is still searching for Anderis in order to exact her revenge, and Anderis is giving her ever more reasons to seek vengeance. Murin spends most of the book searching for Urus and finds, instead, monsters from Hell. Literally. When they all come back together in the end, the battle is explosive.
The really cool thing about this particular book is that it has even more depth than the first. I don’t know if Hoffman planned it that way or if his writing is just improving with practice, as that of all authors does. As I read this exciting adventure, I was often struck by how much More I was getting from the story, how much deeper into the science behind the multiverse and time-and-space travel I fell, how much stronger each of the characters seemed. Don’t get me wrong, that is not to take anything at all from the first book. The first book was incredible. It’s just that it doesn’t often happen that the second book in a series excels above and beyond the first.
The best part? The truth about Murin–that strange, mysterious, cryptic man who led Urus into all this to begin with–who and what he is knocked me straight off my feet. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so hard while reading a book. Hoffman did an excellent job of keeping that truth from the reader until it was exposed, all the while leaving very subtle hints that made it all seem perfectly probable. Skills, people. Hoffman has them.
All I can say, Kevin Hoffman, is please don’t make me wait another year to see how this all plays out. I am all impatience and anticipation.
If you have a little who loves adventure, fantasy, and a little bit of sci-fi, this is the story for him or her. If you want to teach your littles about strong character and plot development, this series will give you loads to work with. Plus, it’s just plain fun.