That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason. Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.
Or so she believes.
Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.
Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on. Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.
Eye of the Soul
Pool of Souls #1
Pub Date: 1/9/17
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The first in a republished duology, Pool of Souls, is light fantasy for readers new to the genre or looking for a quick jaunt in a mystical world. Eye of the Soul follows a young girl on a journey that turns her whole world upside down.
In Terri Rochenski's Eye of the Soul, young Hyla is quested with saving her people. The 'Natives', green eyed with pointy ears, are taken captive by high priest Belwig who has declared their god Fadir is false. In the aftermath, they're all taking captive except for Hyla. She's tasked with going to the Pool of Souls, a place that her people are unaware of because many of them have stopped truly believing in their ancestral beliefs. War is on the brink and Hyla may be the key to saving many lives. It was ironic that the Natives are persecuted for their differences yet many have lost faith. They are scared to even acknowledge the few who are aware that they possess special gifts, like Hyla's ability to perceive the deeper emotions of one's soul and Conlin who can travel his soul to great distances.
As I read I felt myself transported to Hyla's world. Though most of her time was spent on the road I still got the impression of a medieval like setting. The style of dress and language added to the world building. True to form, the story takes on various points of views. From the evil mastermind Belwig to innocent Hyla readers get a rich story. It has themes similar to one of my favorite fantasy novels, Valor of the Healer by Angela Highland. I've always found value in stories that begin with an innocent girl starting off on a journey and hopefully coming out on the the other side of it stronger and more confident in her convictions.
I'm very curious to see where this series goes. The setup of the plot and the style of writing doesn't seem to leave room for surprises, but I've been wrong before. Secret of the Souls is bound to a climatic end to Hyla's adventure!
*Review copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
Cursing her arthritic fingers, Miri squeezed out a rag and draped it over the human man’s hot forehead.
“I’ve seen a lot more harvests than you, old goat,” she muttered, lifting his eyelids. “I’m thinking you’ll never catch up either. Doubt you last another half-moon’s phase.”
Miri pushed to her feet and stretched her hunched back. A heavy sigh slipped past her wrinkled lips as she glanced around the sick house. Keeping the night watch wasn’t too bad—she’d volunteered often since her old bones wouldn’t allow much sleep.“
Joints wasted, hearing all but gone …” Miri yanked on the long white braid lying over her shoulder. “I’m the old goat.”
She shuffled down the aisle, woolen kirtle swishing in the silence. A cool, autumn breeze rustled the crimson leaves of the magnolia and palm fronds overhead, drawing her gaze upward. Violet streaks lit the pre-dawn sky.A dog barked, yipped, and fell silent.
Miri peered across the village green to the thatched buildings beyond. A shadow passed between two cottages. Another three hurried toward the neighboring dwelling.
“Sight fading or my mind, too?” Miri rubbed her watery eyes, blinked, and leaned forward. Light flickered through the palm trees behind the outlying homes.
The flames drew closer, weaving between the trunks.
Humans from the mainland? Miri’s hand clutched at her throat. Soldiers. Fadir have mercy.
The men crept through the village, taking up positions at every doorway. Two brutes, more horse-like in size than human, approached the sick house.
Sputtering torch held high, the first strode forward, dark eyes intent upon Miri. A green surcoat covered broad shoulders and fell to his thighs. The golden wheat sheaf of the city of Varosh adorned his chest.
Cold sweat beaded upon Miri’s brow. Breath burst from her lungs, and she moved back, clutching the door jam.
The second soldier stepped closer, chains and shackles clanking in his hand. He stopped two paces away from Miri, and a smile stretched his stubbled cheeks, revealing rotted teeth. “Good morning pointy-ears.”
Miri stared, heartbeat thundering in her ears. She’d been called worse in her eighty-three birth passings but never with such malice.
A single cry rang out across the village, and doors crashed inward. Screams rent the air.
“Don’t fight Native woman,” rotten-teeth sneered, shackles outstretched.
“W-why?” Miri whispered, taking a step backward.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her three young children allow. When not playing toys, picking them back up, or kissing boo-boos, she can be found sprawled on the couch with a book or pencil in hand, and toothpicks propping her eyelids open. Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon
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