The immortal sorcerers - three legendary figures that toppled the empire of Xixis. Each has lived for over a hundred years, leaving a powerful legacy in their wake.
But their children do not share their renowned immortality, and when the firstborn son of Edrick Theas is killed, sorceress Lydia Hastings is called to investigate the murder. When she discovers a sorcerous trail left by a creature of unfathomable power, she quickly realizes she needs outside help. And while Jonan Kestrian - a spy for a rival military power - might not be Lydia's first choice for an ally, she knows that he has the knowledge and skills that she needs.
While Lydia and Jonan trace the assassin's trail, Taelien undergoes the Trials of Unyielding Steel, a series of tests to ensure his entry into the Paladins of Tae'os. As he trains for his trials, Taelien faces his fiercest rival yet: Velas Jaldin, a former member of Orlyn's Queensguard with the power to manipulate motion at her whim. With skills far beyond those of an ordinary soldier, the former Queensguard might be the killer that Lydia seeks - or the assassin's next victim.
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Stealing Sorcery, the second book in Andrew Rowe's series, The War of Broken Mirrors, is very much a coming of age novel in every way: for the characters, the plot, the antagonists, and, most importantly, the author. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Nick Podehl's rendition of the characters as he took on the growing cast. Andrew Rowe's world is starting to grow from an interesting idea into a more polished and dangerous place. Whereas the the first book in the series, Forging Divinity, seemed a bit cutesy at times, this second book has worked hard to bring more relevance to the characters' actions and driving purpose.
I enjoyed learning more about what drove each of the characters to act as they do. I also liked some of the intrigue, although it still feels a bit forced at times. The magic system is interesting and starting to mature a bit as the fields of sorcery are broadened and expounded upon. Much of the plot seems to be based around a sort of gulf between those that have new/elite/ancient knowledge of sorcery or abilities and those who do not. Even though I believe this gulf could have been exploited a bit more to bring a bit more color and, perhaps, a bit more realism to the story, it nevertheless provides an interesting story dynamic that Rowe is tapping into more and more. It is always fun to learn with a character as they uncover their own capabilities and learning along with Sal is no exception.
As usual, Nick Podehl delivers a great performance. I enjoyed the different accents that Nick chose to embody the different elements of Rowe's society. In fact, I really feel that Nick's narration lifts this story a bit by bringing a bit more lucidity to elements that are still a bit lacking in background information. ~ A great marriage between author and artist here.