Melissa’s Review: The Jack of Souls by Stephen C. Merlino

The Jack of Souls (The Unseen Moon, #1)

The Jack of Souls
written by Stephen C. Merlino
published by Tortoise Rampant Press 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
Everyone else says it’s awesome–it’s won awards and everything–but I just couldn’t really invest in this one. The writing was fine, and my only real complaint is that I think all the fight scenes slowed down the pace a bit too much, but . . . I don’t know. I spent most of the book waiting for the good part and, well, it just never came. It isn’t bad–not even a little bit–there just wasn’t enough emotional content for me. Perhaps the next installment will have more intense character development, but sadly, I don’t care about any of the characters enough to keep reading. Sorry, Mr. Merlino.


Would I recommend it: Just because all your friends jump off a cliff . . .


About the book – from Goodreads:


Harric, an outcast rogue, must break a curse put on his fate, or die on his next birthday. As the day approaches, nightmares from the spirit world stalk him and tear at his sanity; sorcery eats at his soul.

To survive, he’ll need more than his usual tricks. He’ll need help—and a lot of it—but on the kingdom’s lawless frontier, his only allies are other outcasts. One of these outcasts is Caris, a mysterious, horse-whispering runaway, intent upon becoming the Queen’s first female knight. The other is Sir Willard—ex-immortal, ex-champion, now addicted to pain-killing herbs and banished from the court.

With their help, Harric might keep his curse at bay. But for how long?

And both companions bring perils and secrets of their own: Caris bears the scars of a troubled past that still hunts her; Willard is at war with the Old Ones, an order of insane immortal knights who once enslaved the kingdom. The Old Ones have returned to murder Willard and seize the throne from his queen. Willard is both on the run from them, and on one final, desperate quest to save her.

Together, Harric and his companions must overcome fanatical armies, murderous sorcerers, and powerful supernatural foes.

Alone, Harric must face the temptation of a forbidden magic that could break his curse, but cost him the only woman he’s ever loved.

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In 2014, The Jack of Souls won the prestigious Pacific Northwest Writers Association award for fantasy.

In 2014, The Jack of Souls also won the Southwest Writers annual award for fantasy.
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“Of all the books I’ve read in the past couple of years, The Jack of Souls is by far my favorite. Merlino’s remarkable imagination and storytelling skills had me on the edge of my seat the whole way through. I want to read the next book NOW!”
—Karen Duvall, author of Darkest Knight, and Demon Fare.

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“An epic ride, a magical world, and fantastic characters that grab your imagination and won’t let go… The Jack of Souls has it all.”
—Corinne O’Flynn, author of The Expatriates.

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“A rich and rewarding new fantasy mythos!”
—Rob May, author of Dragon Killer and Roll the Bones.