4.0 out of 5 starsThe Hungry Monster Book Review
ByHungry Monsteron October 5, 2016
Format: Kindle Edition
In Stephen S. Arend’s Soul Searcher The Reckoning Part One the reader will find themselves on an incredible journey that will not only take them to the heart of battle but to the depths of the human soul. In a world where magic is as common as breathing, a soul transfer goes terribly wrong. The Mage-Lord Mordeth is attempting to complete a magic ritual where he can obtain a sliver of immortality. Thwarted and split in two the reader will meet the protagonist of Arend’s tale: Rork. A crafted man with half a soul and even less emotion, Rork prowls the world trying to deny the dreams he has which give small betrayals of his involvement with Mordeth. A large man who has been alive for only ten years Rork finds that he is missing much and is less than reluctant to find out where exactly he came from and how.

Arend does a wonderful job when it comes to emotion in his tale. Rork is full of rage and anger for a variety of reasons. He has been alive for a snippet of time. All he knows is battle and the haunting dreams that plague his sleep. Due to his firecracker temper which is liable to go off at the drop of a pin Rork finds himself saddled with an unexpected package: the scout Bregan. It seems like oil and water have met and are now expected to become friends. Rork immediately voices his disapproval over traveling with the young whip but what he will ultimately learn from his adventures with the scout. Both are more like boys in the beginning and Arend captures the metamorphosis into men quite well.

In a fantastically described world where magic is woven with intricacies even the smallest detail is given quite beautiful description. It is quite easy for the reader to picture the story in their minds as they read. You won’t be left guessing what expression the characters were wearing or what color the trees are when you read Soul Searcher.

For a first part Arend does masterfully in capturing the readers’ attention and lays out the ground work for subsequent tales. Information is freely given yet there is still more to be learned. These are key elements in any piece of work that is meant to go longer than the tome at hand.

With carefully crafted battle scenes and delicate explanations of magic Stephen Arend knows what his novel is about and is diligent in conveying the story to the reader. He takes the relationship between two unlikely friends and uses it to tell his tale. He doesn’t over embellish the tale which can be a major faux-pas for many fantasy writers. He uses his skills to convey the story in all it’s glory without diminishing the importance of the relationship between the two men. Other writers would gloss over the importance they play for each other and how they are essential to the development of each man’s personality,

Soul Searcher is a fantastical novel that is sure to delight those who read it. It’s not a fluffy piece where magic is used to make tarts and cakes. This is an involved and epic tale that is sure to keep your eyes glued to the words until the very end.

One of the best novels that I 've read in a while. Great fantasy novel, in the running with Salvatore!! Great characters, very decriptive settings, felt like you are right there with the characters as you read it. A must read for any fantasy enthusiest. 5 out of 5 stars, Michael McMurry

I just finished reading Soul Searcher, the Reckoning and can honestly say, Mr. Arend hit a home run with this book! Wonderful plot, story and characters 5 out of 5 stars, M.N. Karels

The Bard of Bullhead City spins his tale like a master weaver at loom. An eloquent wordsmith, who grabs your attention and whisks you through an amazing universe of complex characters and carefully constructed worlds. He paints an artful word picture that immerses the reader in a story so fancifully surreal, yet so tangibly concrete, that the mind gleefully soaks it in like a welcome spring rain. The story is detailed,, thoughtful and complex, yet a surprisingly easy delight to read. Stephen has found his niche! Please, Sir, may I have another?
5 out of 5 stars, Drodge (2-22-16)