Aiduel’s Sin (The Illborn Saga #2) by Daniel T. Jackson

Estimated read time 4 min read

I received an eARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Shocking! Stunning! Beautiful! Provoking! Enthralling! Gripping! Intense!

Is it possible to feel so many different ways while reading a book? I felt, in various turns, pissed off, hollow, happy, angry… It turns out there are only so many English words available for the tons of emotions that I went through reading this book.

Aiduel’s Sin! A sin so great! A sin I didn’t see coming! Of course, there were hints in book 1 of what was to come, but I simply must say that I didn’t see that coming! So many delicious twists in there I’m almost tempted to reread the entire thing again just to sample its many sumptuous delights.

Alas, it’s hard to recapture book feelings in all their initial intensity in a reread. So, I’ll have to settle for stamping a small fraction of my current feelings about the book in print; so many years from now, I can read this review and remember how awesome this was.

Daniel T. Jackson has taken what I officially tag as “flawed protagonism” to a whole new level. Traditional epic fantasy tends to deal in tropes, and for a long short while in book 1, I felt that the story would run parallel to this course.

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However, in book 2, the author has decided to shove it entirely into our faces. What was only subtly hinted at and teased has now become an onrushing, stormy torrent, and we readers are absolutely bailing for dear life.

I HATE ALLANA! Never in my history of reading epic fantasy protagonists have I had cause to hate a character that was previously my favorite! Allana twists your guts, makes you bite your nails in frustration, and almost break someone’s head in anger for want for a channel to pass aggression onto. As terrible as her storyline is, can she truly be blamed for her actions? Even in the modern world, we see women who’ve undergone similar ordeals turn out to be vengeful. Not everyone fully heals, and we do not all have the same level of fortitude. Hate Allana all you want, but ask yourself if you’d be capable of doing better in her stockings.

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Arion, Arion, Arion. Silly boy! Stupid man! Like many men I know, he’s ruled by his balls and inspired by the strength of his erection. And, just like these men, he subsequently makes life-altering decisions that affect the fates of those around him. Thankfully, he doesn’t appear to be as far gone as Allana- I frankly don’t envisage any happy ending for her at the end of the series.

Leanna, the Angel of Arlais, is still as deluded and stupid as she was in book 1. Although she’s seemingly the most innocent of the four Illborn, her self-righteousness is frankly grating on my nerves. Talk about drawing on someone’s power and expecting them to be happy about it… DID YOU ASK FOR THEIR PERMISSION, YOU DIM-WITTED TWAT!!! Anyway, she’s still one of my favorite characters so far, and I sense that she has a mediator role to play subsequently in the series when the all-important convergence finally occurs. I mean, who’s going to stop heads from rolling other than the Angel of Arlais??

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Corin, Corin, Corin. His POV is my least favored, but unlike the other Illborn, he appears to have matured slightly. However, like the others, he’s plagued by an illusion of self-importance, a feeling that is twin to destruction in the real world.

Aiduel’s Sin is a rich, epic tale of four characters very much like you and I. There’s no flattery here, no overdone personalities, good or bad. The characters are all shaped by their individual circumstances. Hate or love them, they only mirror this world and all the brightly-dull shades of gray that exist.

Daniel T. Jackson’s writing style also adds to the appeal of this book, and once again, I will not tire of praising his good work. It is authors like him that make fantasy worth reading, and I predict that this work will soon rank in the great halls of superb works in the genre’s pantheon.

I rate this book a handy TEN out of FIVE stars.

Now hurry up, please, Mr. Daniel. We don’t want to have to wait too long for the next read!

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