Hey, guys! I am very excited to be coming at you with a review of Splintered Souls by Raye Wagner. This is a novel that was sent to me for review by the author, so thank you so much, Raye, for sending this my way. I really enjoyed this, much more than I was expecting to. This is a standalone novel set in the same universe as the Runes series by Ednah Walters, but you do not have to read that series to read this book (as evidenced by the fact that I haven’t read that series, but read this book), though I have heard pretty fantastic things about it. But let’s just go ahead and jump right into the review!
“Aricela Topaz trusts no one.
At seventeen, she learned that promises are nothing more than lies, honored only by the weak or naïve. And Aricela is no longer either.
After Narcos destroyed her innocence, they took her life, but Aricela escaped her childhood village with a new purpose. As Valkyrie, she is charged to take the souls of fallen warriors and athletes to Valhalla to await the final battle. But souls need to trust her before they’ll follow, and Aricela has no trust to give.
When collecting failures, instead of souls, draws the attention of the Norns, they give Aricela an ultimatum. If she can’t collect, she’ll be stripped of her powers and sent to Hel.
But when she meets Chase Adymn and Kai Cipriano in the small town of Kayville, everything changes. Forced to face the myths of her past, Aricela will also have to decide the fate of her future.”
Wow, I really enjoyed this story. I think I read this in like an hour. It was really short, but I absolutely loved it. Because it was so short, I do think that some things moved a bit too quickly, in my opinion, but that did not hinder my enjoyment of the book at all. I also just wanted more. I wanted more of the story, more of the world, and more of Raye Wagner’s beautiful writing. I can’t tell you even one character that I had a problem with. I actually really loved all of the characters. I loved the world, the setting, the story, just everything about this book.
I have to say that I immediately fell in love with Aricela’s character. She was a strong female protagonist with a pretty dark and disturbing past. She had her guard her up because she was burned so much from trusting people in the past. Understandably, that made her just not want to be around people in general. But these people were actually very kind people who just did not let up, so she ended up trusting them, loving them, and kind of being part of their family, and I absolutely loved that.
Chase was a pretty complicated character for me. I struggled in the beginning to decide if I liked him because of the way he ended up treating Ari. However, when it was revealed what he has gone through, it totally became understandable why he was acting like that. And of course we know he was really drawn to Ari, not only because of the thing in the book that is revealed (I am so not giving that plot twist up) but also because of them both having pretty painful pasts, and I really loved learning more about his character. I also just really loved him and Ari, but I am getting more into that later.
Nysse was literally my everything. I loved her character so much. I loved her friendship with Ari and the things we learn about her. She is just a genuinely good person, a good friend, and I loved how she was totally shipping Chase and Ari. Like she was totally on board with that. I also just loved how sweet and compassionate she was, and I just really enjoyed her character. I also really enjoyed Kai’s character, especially how flirty he was with Ari, and she just always shot him down, which was hilarious. He was just a really kind hearted and enjoyable character. I liked him a lot.
Larissa could be considered a bit of a side character, but I still really enjoyed her character. She kind of seems like a best friend and possibly a surrogate mother to Ari, which I loved. I really loved how much she really cared about Ari and that she always had her back. She always believed in her, and I just really loved their relationship and their friendship. If Ari had no one else, she definitely had Larissa, and I absolutely loved that.
I just need to briefly talk about the relationship between Chase and Aricela. While it may seem like instalove, it is totally excusable for a reason that I can’t talk about because spoilers, but I also don’t care because I shipped them like nothing else. I don’t think I have ever shipped something as fast as I shipped these two. Whenever they interacted, it just made me grin and I fangirled and squealed, and I just love them to pieces. They care about each other so much, and I just ended up falling in love with them and their relationship.
I need to briefly discuss the plot as well. While I definitely feel like this was more of a character-driven book than a plot-driven book, I really thought the plot was interesting, and when I found out what was going to happen, I was really upset. The plot and the characters both actually reminded me why I love Norse Mythology so much. But everything worked out in the end (mostly), and I ended up really enjoying it.
Overall, I loved the characters, the plot, the love story, and the world. The writing was fantastic, as always, and I am so excited to read more things by Raye Wagner. (Son of War comes out on April 27, and I am so freaking excited to read it!) I thought this book was a nice introduction for me into the Runes Universe, and I am really anticipating reading more books set in this world.
And there you have it! That was my review of Splintered Souls by Raye Wagner. What is your favorite fantasy novel/series incorporating mythology? Comment down below! And that is going to be it for this post today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!