Hello, everyone! Today I’m reviewing Second Spear by Kerstin Hall. This novella was just released on Tuesday!
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.
***Thank you to Tor.com for providing a copy of the book via NetGalley. My review contains my honest thoughts about my reading experience.***
I decided to read and review this book because the promotional material I received indicated it would work fine as an entry point to the series, but I don’t recommend reading this one until you’ve read the first book. The plot of this story doesn’t really hinge on anything that came before, and it is actually pretty straightforward and easy to follow. However, a great deal of the first part of the book is just the characters talking about the events of the previous book and dealing with their aftermath. Some of the parts of the book with the heaviest emotional resonance also fell a bit flat for me because it seemed they relied on relationship development that occurred in the previous story.
Now on to my thoughts about this particular story. As I mentioned above, the plot was fairly straightforward and mostly focused on finding a particular MacGuffin that the protagonists needed to protect their realm from an invader. There were plenty of interesting characters, and they all had distinct arcs of growth that reached satisfying conclusions. The world-building was the biggest strength in this story. There were so many cool dimensions with fascinating and frightening features, and the descriptions brought them to life in a way that sucked me into the worlds. Unfortunately, the vast world-building came at the expense of the story and much of the journey felt pointless by the end. Therefore, I rate this one 3 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed quite a few aspects of it, especially the cool worlds, but I was never really gripped by the story or characters in a way that made me NEED to keep reading. Although, I do wonder if maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I’d read the first book prior to this one… So, this could totally be on me rather than the book.