The next author to share a review from one of her prevous books is D.Wallace Peach for Soul Swallowers (The Shattered Sea Book 1)
About the book
When swallowed, some souls gift insights, wisdom, a path to understanding. Others unleash power, proficiency with a sword, and indifference to death. One soul assimilates with ease. But swallow a host of the dead and risk a descent into madness.
Estranged from his family over the murder of his wife, young Raze Anvrell wields his fists to vent his rage. Then a chance at a new life beckons, and he retreats to the foothills of the Ravenwood, the haunt of unbound ghosts. He and his mentor build a freehold, a life of physical labor and the satisfaction of realizing a dream. They raise horses and whittle by the fire until the old man dies, and Raze swallows his first soul.
When his brother reaches out, open wounds begin to scar. But the tenuous peace won’t last. While those who rule the Vales yield to the lure of their ambitions, slavers of Ezar roam the countryside, hunting for human chattel. While one man manipulates the law, another heeds the souls of violence howling in his head.
Raze too listens to his soul’s whispers, and as danger intrudes on his quiet life, he has no choice but to return to his father’s world and join the fight.
In this completed series, epic fantasy blends with the wisdom of old souls to create a unique coming of age story of courage and honor in the midst of evil. Slavery is pitted against freedom, anger against forgiveness, and a desire to live peacefully against the necessity to take up the sword.
It’s a story of bitter estrangement and broken hearts, of deception and unfettered ambition. For Raze Anvrell it’s a journey of violence, redemption, and his soul’s growth as he transforms from a reckless youth into a man with a rich legacy of souls.
Magic, politics, love, and madness collide in this fantasy adventure. For lovers of beauty and battle, and complex characters willing to risk everything in the fight for their souls.
An extract from Soul Swallowers
Winter monsoons scoured the freehold with less ferocity and the days lengthened. Spring arrived later than in Kestrel, but it climbed up the Ravenwood foothills nonetheless. Raze finished a tisane brewed of dried mint from Lanya’s garden. Sleep eluded him, and he lingered alone by the hearth, the remainder of the freehold tucked beneath woolen blankets. In no mood for company, the solitude suited him. Briyon’s soul catcher dangled from a cord twisted through his fingers.
Labor had filled the long daylight hours of grief, and his body ached. The freehold thrived, buildings in good repair, a new room on the cabin, expanded pastures, the start of an orchard, a growing herd of palfreys. Briyon had accomplished every goal and then died, leaving Raze to fend for himself.
Lanya and Vax had puttered through the day’s heartbreak and allowed him his space, and when Lanya retired to her room, the sound of her weeping seeped through the cracks in her door. She and Briyon had shared an intimate fondness over the years, and Raze didn’t envy her sorrow.
His grief unearthed old ghosts, his mother among them, an ageless portrait suspended in the gallery of his mind. Not so his memories of Mirelle. Those lingered with infinite fluidity, entangled with visions of the past and dreams of a future that would never be. Six years had shuffled by since her death, five since he’d joined Briyon at the freehold, and yet he’d found no lever long or strong enough to pry her from his heart. Loneliness punched the breath from his lungs and sapped the strength from his back. At twenty-two, he was master of the freehold, a tired soul, angry at a world he couldn’t control.
He rolled the pendant over in his hand, keenly aware of its delicate beauty. The white soulstone had transformed, no longer solid but translucent with pale tendrils of color swirling like morning mist. Copper wire, no hardier than a strand of hair, coiled around it, holding a round sliver of amber in place with a final twist of two tiny leaves. It glowed with soft light, indicating the presence of a soul. A soul he loved.
With great care, he unhooked the tiny copper leaves, unwound the wire, and removed the brown gem capping a small hole. Inside, an iridescent sphere resembling a pearl shone with a brilliance that startled him. Were all souls so bright? He didn’t know, this soul-catcher his first. He rolled it into his hand. Would he swallow it? Did he want what Briyon offered? Was there anything to fear?
The sphere glimmered in his palm, sharing no insight. He placed it back into the pendant. No need to choose, no decision pressing him to act with haste. The round gem refitted, he coiled the wires, paused, and then uncoiled them. In one fluid motion, he uncapped the pendant, tipped the luminous pearl into his mouth, and swallowed.
A rush of heat streamed up from his belly through his heart and into his head. It coursed down his limbs to his fingertips and toes. His body trembled, the sensation alien but not frightening, and it subsided as quickly as it overtook him. Eyes closed, he accepted Briyon’s soul. In the quiet of night, he exhaled a long breath, crept to bed, and dreamed another man’s dreams.
One of the recent reviews for the book
This book is like finding a rare and lovely color while combing a beach for seaglass. It makes you glad you took the effort to scope out indie books in the first place.
Soul Swallowers opens with a bang – an arranged marriage and a bold act of defiance in the first two pages – and it scarcely lets up from there. There are slow scenes that explore characters and setting, but they are spaced perfectly and add flavor to the epic. The world is believable and well defined, with an interesting political landscape. There’s a sizeable number of characters with points of view that come together to tell an exciting story. Most importantly to me, the essential characters are likeable.
I already intend to pick up the sequel for my next read.
Read the reviews and buy the book: Amazon US
And: Amazon UK
A small selection of of other books by D.Wallace Peach
Read the reviews for buy the books: Amazon US
And Amazon UK: Amazon UK
Read more reviews and follow Diana: Goodreads
About D. Wallace Peach
I didn’t care for reading as a child – I preferred Bonanza and Beverly Hillbillies reruns, Saturday morning cartoons and the Ed Sullivan show. Then one day, I opened a book titled The Hobbit. Tolkien … literally changed my life.
I love writing, and have the privilege to pursue my passion full time. I’m still exploring the fantasy genre, trying out new points of view, creating optimistic works with light-hearted endings, and delving into the grim and gritty what-ifs of a post-apocalyptic world. Forgive me if I seem untethered in my offering of reads. Perhaps one day, I’ll settle into something more reliable. For now, it’s simply an uncharted journey, and I hope you enjoy the adventure as much as I.
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My thanks to Diana for sharing this extract from Soul Swallowers and I hope you will head over to buy the book.. thanks Sally.