REVIEWS FOR 'I STILL HAVE A SOUL'
LeslieLuvzBooks on December 20, 2016
She did it again! Holy smokes, she did it again!
Sometimes it happens when the first book in a series is so wide and sweeping, the second must dither about the slow, building and maneuvering that goes on so that the third book can be a sweeping finish.
Blanchard doesn't mess around with all that. Things are happening now, almost too quickly for the heroes to keep up! Lorrek is mostly incorporeal—enough to keep him alive, but occasionally he becomes solid again. Roskelem's wanton and uncontrolled magic has robbed him of his memories. Verddra has stolen a kingdom for herself and has set her sights on that of Lorrek's brother, turning everyone against Jechorm to distract them from her maneuvering.
Jechorm itself is in a state of high agitation, as they are preparing for the gladiator-style slaughter of many Guardians—particularly those deemed a threat to the Senate. Of course, since Vixen happens to be in Jechorm at the time anyway, this leads to her convincing the other Houses of thieves and assassins to side with the rebel Guardians and fight with them instead of joining the Hunters who are allowed to kill them. Little does she know, someone is intent on tracking her down, someone who is known as one of the most powerful magic-users in the world; someone who has been convinced that killing her would return his stolen memories: Lorrek.
I love everything about this book, including the pervading theme of family throughout. There is nothing siblings and parents alike will not do for their families. The lengths these brothers go to defend and save each other is a glorious thing. Also the definite moral stance that marks the difference between the heroes and the villains: the heroes use their powers and abilities to preserve people, while the villains invariably choose to use people to preserve their powers and abilities. It's an important lesson, and played out very well!
It's complex and relentless and broad and explosive all at once. I thought it was beautiful in the first book when Kelly brought the book's title, "Someday I'll Be Redeemed," to bear on the plot in a massively powerful way. She does it again here, because what do the heroes intend to prove to the ones who seek to control and oppress them? The Guardians, the thieves and assassins, and even Lorrek himself, all vying to prove that they "Still Have A Soul." Conversely, what do the villains like Roskelem and Verddra have in common? They have traded their souls, it seems, in the pursuit of more power.
I am an ardent fan of this series! For intricate plots full of characters you will adore, set in a world that is breathtaking in its scope and wonderful in its conception and development, and a plot that carries you high in energy clear to the last page—The Chronicles of Lorrek wins all the way!
WiLoveBooks on November 27, 2016
This is book two in the Chronicles of Lorrek. You need to start with Someday I'll Be Redeemed. After the ending of that book, I was anxious to get into this one. There is a nicely complicated plot. So many inter-woven stories that there is never a dull moment. Many interesting characters. Not as much Lorrek as I was hoping for, but there was so much going on that it was okay. Some new characters, but some deaths as well. I definitely shed a few tears. I loved this and I can't wait for book three.
Nancy Sampson-Bach on February 7, 2017
Kelly Blanchard knocks another one out of the park in this follow up to Someday I'll Be Redeemed. In this book, we continue to follow the story of Prince Lorrek of Cuskelom. Stripped of his memories, he is forced to commit acts contrary to his nature in order to regain them and as the tale unravels from there, we see the breaking and the making of the man. A fun ride from start to finish, this book impresses not only due to the author's command of complicated story-telling, but by the depth and complexity of the characters. I'll be looking forward to more of these! Well done, Ms. Blanchard! Well done!
Jessica on October 23, 2016
Kelly did a wonderful job in this second installment of the series. If you haven't read the first, I'd highly recommend it. Lorrek now having no memories was a wonderfully harsh twist to end the first book and I was glad to see it continues exactly where we left off. No more waiting here is the action! The pace is perfect as it continues on in the same tradition of the first of showing many different events that are continuing throughout the kingdoms. From assassins and thieves, to kingdoms dealing with new rulers, you won't be disappointed with all the action a war full of high tech versus magic can bring. The end was satisfying, gripping, and now the wait begins a new as readers will find themselves wanting to know more about this world of Lorrek and the consequences of each decisions made.
Ann Shannon on November 21, 2016
Kelly Blanchard's sequel to Someday I'll be Redeemed pulls her readers along on another intricate and carefully woven tale as we follow the fate of Lorrek who has lost all his memories. He is set on a quest and told that completion of it will return his memories to him unaware of the fact that his quest will break his heart when he understands what he has done. As kingdom turns against kingdom and technology turns against skill you will read on the edge of your seat never guessing what the outcome will be.
Blanchard does such a great job of placing and weaving sub-plots together that you will find yourself drawn in but not sure who to root for. Jump on and ride along as friend turns against friend and kingdoms rise and fall, but beware Blanchard delights in making you fall in love with a character just so she can snatch them out of your heart. Don't worry, she'll make more for you.
Lora on November 11, 2016
I don't even know where to start...
ISHAS is an amazing continuation of the Chronicles of Lorrek (the first one being Someday I'll Be Redeemed). Lorrek has lost his memories in a deal to free Princess Anelm, and Roskelem has put him on a dark errand with the deal that he will get the memories back. But the rest of the world is tilting into chaos after Verddra took over Nirrorm and Jechoram is building and plotting.
Where so many sequels fall flat as authors attempt to bridge that gap between books, Kelly’s rises up to the challenge and blows everything away. It lines up consistently with the first book, even as the plot becomes more intricate. What draws me the most into these books, I think, is how reminiscent they are of the older fantasy works. While not as long as Tolkein or Jordan or Bradley, the Chronicles of Lorrek still holds that complex network of plot and character interactions that is so often missing from many of the current fantasy books.
This is a tissue book. Like, a box of tissues books. If you have a favorite character, you should really fear for them. As I said, the war is looming closer than any of them anticipate.
J.R. O'Bryant on December 17, 2016
I HIGHLY RECOMMEND READING THE FIRST BOOK AS WELL!!!!
In this second book in the Chronicles of Lorrek I found myself being pulled along as if in a riptide of constant action. From the first page to the very last I was drawn into a world of constant action, adventure, fantasy, sci-fi, and political intrigue all wrapped in a beautiful package of ridiculously articulate and well written words on a page. While this is not something I would normally read, I have my genres that I tend to stick to, I was fascinated by the first book in the series and simply couldn’t stop myself from diving head first into the next one. While new characters were introduced the base characters were still very much in the forefront of every major scene. Kingdoms that had been mentioned in passing in the first book were further explored in this book. So many scenes of sheer action, where I as the reader, was dragged under and refused to surface for air until things slowed down, hit me at every turn. I flew through this book and had to go back and read it a second time just to catch little nuances that made the journey even better than the first time. I know that when the next book is released I will be absorbed into the universe Ms. Blanchard has created yet again, and I will do so with a smile of glee. Such a great read. I can’t wait for more. May the journey of our hero continue with as much intrigue and glorious story telling as the last two pieces…
Daryl J Ball on January 7, 2017
This was a brilliant follow up to the first book in the series. The first book had set up quite a few story arcs for the wide cast and ended with a devastating change to Lorrek. This book follows through on all the various story arcs as they head towards a full on collision at the climax of this book. In addition, Lorrek's story and change in circumstances finds him seeking to kill the person he likely has the strongest attachment to. Even after all that gets resolved though, a mystery that set up the events of Book 1 finally gets resolved following this book's climax in a beautiful sequence that shows Lorrek at likely his most emotionally vulnerable.
There are quite a few story arcs set up here and there, though not blatantly, for further exploration in future books in the series. There is also a definite sense that the end of this book marks the end of an era in the world it takes place in and a new one is beginning.
A strong suit of the series continues to be that the wide and diverse cast of characters means there will be at least one you identify with. There are only maybe a few who don't get enough story time but events in this book set things up that of those who survived, they should definitely get more time in Book 3. As was just alluded to, there are a few deaths in this book so consider either reading the paperback copy or chaining your e-reader to your wrist so that you don't wreck it if you become tempted to throw the story across the room.