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Souls of Fire & Steel (BotFS #3)

[A quick note: These are standard editions but I sprayed the edges. I tried to make this a spoiler free review but if you havenโ€™t read the first two books, you can find my review for those HERE.]

โ€œ๐‚๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง ๐ก๐š๐ฌ ๐š ๐œ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐š๐ญ ๐œ๐จ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐ข๐ฌ ๐๐ž๐ฌ๐ญ๐ซ๐ฎ๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง. ๐Ž๐ง๐ž ๐ฆ๐ฎ๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฐ๐š๐ฒ๐ฌ ๐›๐š๐ฅ๐š๐ง๐œ๐ž ๐จ๐ฎ๐ญ ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ.โ€โ€”Jill Criswell

In the final installment of the Beasts of the Frozen Sun Saga, we see Lira and her lover Reyker on opposite sides, facing off as enemies. Lira is a vessel of the gods and a soul reader. Reyker is a seasoned warrior with battle madness. Dreki is destroying the world around them and choices must be made. If Lira cannot gain control of her mind, if Reyker cannot rescue his crumbling memories, their war will destroy the world.

This series is everything I want out of a Viking inspired story. Itโ€™s raw, brutal even. Lira and Reykerโ€™s lives are filled with difficulty and repeated challenges, but what I love most about them is they always fight for each other. Even when they find themselves as enemies. This book was an excellent conclusion to what has been a twisty-turny journey. I appreciated how things played out and even the way the ending was handled. Especially, ESPECIALLY the cost that Lira must pay at the end.

โ€œ๐…๐ฎ๐ง๐ง๐ฒ ๐ก๐จ๐ฐ ๐ˆ ๐ก๐š๐ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฅ๐ค๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐ก๐ซ๐จ๐ฎ๐ ๐ก ๐ญ๐ก๐ž ๐ฌ๐จ๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฌ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ฆ๐š๐ง๐ฒ ๐จ๐ญ๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ, ๐ฒ๐ž๐ญ ๐ง๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐ญ๐ซ๐ข๐ž๐ ๐ญ๐จ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ ๐ฆ๐ฒ ๐จ๐ฐ๐ง.โ€โ€”Jill Criswell

SoFaS is told from dual POV with Lira in first person and Reyker in third. I thought I was going to be annoyed with the switching but I found myself equally eager to read both of them. They both face their own struggles and are forced to confront their deepest flaws and shortcomings. It was really satisfying to see some of the things they confronted. All of it was riding on the overarching theme of โ€œa choice that is not a choice.โ€

Once again, the romance in these books always gets me. I adore Lira and Reykerโ€™s relationship. I even liked the new dynamic between them in this book, almost as if they had to fall in love all over again. Iโ€™m HERE for it. I think in doing so, they grow even stronger, but must also make some really important realizations.

โ€œ๐‘๐ž๐ฒ๐ค๐ž๐ซ ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ˆ ๐Ÿ๐ž๐š๐ซ๐ž๐, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฐ๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ๐ž. ๐‡๐ž ๐ฐ๐š๐ฌ ๐š๐ฅ๐ฌ๐จ ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ง๐  ๐ˆ ๐ก๐จ๐ฉ๐ž๐, ๐š๐ง๐ ๐ฆ๐จ๐ซ๐ž.โ€โ€”Jill Criswell

I love the world building in these books. Seriously. Vikings, hello. Warring factions, yep. Strong women, absolutely! There are so many great details. The gods for each landโ€”like Iseneld and Glasnithโ€”are fleshed out, the afterlife feels like its own world, and the maps are awesome. What really intrigued me, was that the battle between mortals was just a reflection of the battle taking place between the gods. The poor mortals were simply sucked in, collateral damage. There are so few series out there like this one with the genuine Viking feel. Iโ€™m sad that itโ€™s over, but glad that it played out the way it did.

If you enjoy Viking fantasy, brutal storytelling, strong female MCs, enemies to lovers, mythology around gods and deities, fascinating villains, and maps, youโ€™re going to love this one. ๐Œ๐˜ ๐‘๐€๐“๐ˆ๐๐†: ๐Ÿ’.๐Ÿ“/๐Ÿ“โญ๏ธ


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