Holland C. Kirbo. Sword and Shield. Illadian, 2018. See here to buy the book.
Sword and Shield is the second book of Holland Kirbo’s “Legends of Aewyr” fantasy series.
This second book takes up where the first one left off. Maal is still a sinister spiritual presence, threatening lands and kingdoms. The “Immortals” are mentoring Lakyn, who demonstrated great power in defeating one of Maal’s underlings. Questions abound about whether Lakyn is the prophesied “Bright One,” since she is not the offspring of Immortals. The romance between Lakyn and Reuel is heating up. Reuel unveils and deals with his past baggage and present apprehensions about his identity and his nature.
This second book has some new elements. There is a “heretical” sect that is challenging what the “Immortals” think they know about themselves and the deities. The Immortals embrace this sect’s help against Maal yet disdain its monotheistic doctrine. There is a traitor to Maal, who fears going back to Hael. Mechanics of possession are discussed, as some spirits enter people to get information, not to possess them.
A lot goes on in this book, but its prose is far from scattered, for it is orderly. There are intriguing supernatural elements of this book, such as visions and occasional flashbacks to the primeval past. These add a tone of depth to the book, as if a mystery is being uncovered, like an onion.
The book is Christian fantasy and alludes to elements of the Christian story, such as the fall of Lucifer. Yet, other elements are added to the story. Traditional Christian doctrine is not entirely challenged by these additions, for they teach lessons about relying on God’s wisdom. At the same time, there appears to be a notion that a “Kyriel,” who is distinct from Yeshua, is a semi-divine being. That may not mesh as neatly with traditional Christian doctrine, but it will be interesting to see where Kirbo goes with that.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. My review is honest.