counter Black Sun Light My Way - Free Download Books
Hot Best Seller

Black Sun Light My Way

Availability: Ready to download

Return to the wintry landscape of Ricalan and the magnificent storytelling of Jo Spurrier, in BLACK SUN LIGHT MY WAY Sierra has always battled to control her powers, but now her life and Isidro′s depend on keeping her skills hidden from the Akharians as they draw closer to Demon′s Spire. In the relics left by Ricalan′s last great mage, Isidro hopes to find the knowledge Sie Return to the wintry landscape of Ricalan and the magnificent storytelling of Jo Spurrier, in BLACK SUN LIGHT MY WAY Sierra has always battled to control her powers, but now her life and Isidro′s depend on keeping her skills hidden from the Akharians as they draw closer to Demon′s Spire. In the relics left by Ricalan′s last great mage, Isidro hopes to find the knowledge Sierra needs to master her powers, but instead uncovers his own long-buried talent for magecraft. When Sierra′s untrainable powers turn destructive, she has nowhere to turn for help but to the uncertain mercy of an old enemy. What will Rasten do when she returns to his hands at last? When Isidro believes he has lost all he loves, he finds comfort in the arms of the Akharian mage Delphine. But soon he is called into battle once again to stand against the greatest evil the north has ever known.


Compare

Return to the wintry landscape of Ricalan and the magnificent storytelling of Jo Spurrier, in BLACK SUN LIGHT MY WAY Sierra has always battled to control her powers, but now her life and Isidro′s depend on keeping her skills hidden from the Akharians as they draw closer to Demon′s Spire. In the relics left by Ricalan′s last great mage, Isidro hopes to find the knowledge Sie Return to the wintry landscape of Ricalan and the magnificent storytelling of Jo Spurrier, in BLACK SUN LIGHT MY WAY Sierra has always battled to control her powers, but now her life and Isidro′s depend on keeping her skills hidden from the Akharians as they draw closer to Demon′s Spire. In the relics left by Ricalan′s last great mage, Isidro hopes to find the knowledge Sierra needs to master her powers, but instead uncovers his own long-buried talent for magecraft. When Sierra′s untrainable powers turn destructive, she has nowhere to turn for help but to the uncertain mercy of an old enemy. What will Rasten do when she returns to his hands at last? When Isidro believes he has lost all he loves, he finds comfort in the arms of the Akharian mage Delphine. But soon he is called into battle once again to stand against the greatest evil the north has ever known.

30 review for Black Sun Light My Way

  1. 4 out of 5

    Krystal

    If this was a movie, it would definitely be rated R for violence and sex. And I would definitely watch it. Repeatedly. Carrying on from the first book, our friends quickly make their way back to one another and grudgingly work with the bad guy we all secretly love, Rasten. He's kind of a dick but deep down he's traumatised and actually kinda sweet so be prepared for some feels here. Sierra and Isidro are desperately in need of training montages, so they both learn a bit more of the craft but not n If this was a movie, it would definitely be rated R for violence and sex. And I would definitely watch it. Repeatedly. Carrying on from the first book, our friends quickly make their way back to one another and grudgingly work with the bad guy we all secretly love, Rasten. He's kind of a dick but deep down he's traumatised and actually kinda sweet so be prepared for some feels here. Sierra and Isidro are desperately in need of training montages, so they both learn a bit more of the craft but not nearly to the extent I anticipated. The magic is actually pretty vague and confusing and not particularly well-described. This book gets a bit more political (always my least favourite part of fantasy) and there's lots of talk of armies and negotiations and who is mad at whom etc. Relatively dull, but it fortunately doesn't go into too much detail. Mostly I was just happy to go along for the ride. I wasn't trying to figure anything out, or determine what would happen next. I'm actually grateful to Game of Thrones for renewing my belief that main characters can totally die. It made the tension that much greater, and thus the story more exciting. Some elements I did guess thanks to some pretty terrible writing, but it wasn't major spoilers. The writing is actually pretty decent in terms of atmosphere and setting the scene, it's just a little clumsy with setting up future events, leaving it slightly predictable in places. That being said, so much happened in this novel that I never really knew where it was going. This book covers much more distance than the first! The core characters are still mostly lovable, and we get to know them a little more, as well as newcomer Delphine. Aside from her, though, there aren't any fresh faces. A minor disappointment, but not a deal breaker. How 'bout sex, huh?!! I actually appreciated that it was dealt with in such a no-fuss manner. (view spoiler)[But then it took on its own life and MAN, was there a lot after that! (hide spoiler)] I'm not big on sex scenes, but I was so thankful it was not revered and likened to suns, stars, explosions, fireworks and the like. Sex is just such a base human act, and it was nice to encounter a book that didn't make a big deal out of it. (view spoiler)[Mind you, then it was kind of ruined by the whole, 'sex equals super powerful magic' bit. (hide spoiler)] Here's a Fun Fact: This book actually gave me nightmares. Legit, woke-up-with-terror-and-disgust, nightmares. I dreamt I was having scones with the queen and there was a Smaug-like Chinese dragon flying around entertaining us but it flew too low and crashed into the ground and then some guy said, 'I'll do it, it's my horse' and then I realised that a horse had been the one controlling the dragon and on crashing it had broken something and it was thrashing around all distraught an dying and OH MY GOD I STILL FEEL LIKE CRYING OVER WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT POOR HORSE, I can't go into detail because you'll think I'm a proper psycho but safe to say I woke up feeling distraught and ill and wondering what the hell was wrong with me. Then I remembered a snippet of what I'd read before going to bed and, look, my imagination is clearly out of control but the point I'm trying to make is that THE VIOLENCE IS REAL YO. So, um, yay? I mean, I actually really enjoy violence in books (I swear I'm not a psycho) but this one kinda snuck up on me? It's definitely adult fantasy, though. It has some seriously brutal scenes. I think I was more in love with the first book but I still really enjoyed reading this one. I think it was weaker in terms of the plot because it was all a bit unclear to me, but I'm looking forward to everything becoming clearer in the last book. I particularly enjoyed Rasten's journey in this one so will be interesting to see where he ends up!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    A very satisfying conclusion to the duology wait, what? This is a trilogy isn't it? A very clever way of subverting the "boring second book" of a trilogy. Sierra, Mira and Isidro are slaves of the Akharans at the start of the book, and about to enter the Demon's Spire, the great store of ancient Ricalan magic. Not far away is the Ricalan army and the Mesentreians are also in the mix. Isidro grows into his magic, Rasten continues to be a complex character and Sierra becomes more tragic. Delphine i A very satisfying conclusion to the duology wait, what? This is a trilogy isn't it? A very clever way of subverting the "boring second book" of a trilogy. Sierra, Mira and Isidro are slaves of the Akharans at the start of the book, and about to enter the Demon's Spire, the great store of ancient Ricalan magic. Not far away is the Ricalan army and the Mesentreians are also in the mix. Isidro grows into his magic, Rasten continues to be a complex character and Sierra becomes more tragic. Delphine is something of a revelation as well. It's difficult to describe much of the situation here without spoiling the hell out of this book and the previous one. The marketing blurb is a precise example of this, basically giving away half the plot of the book. Gone is the plodding pace of the first book. The plot in the first half is dizzying in its progress, and the second half is a surprise too, in that it covers stuff that you don't expect to be addressed until the final volume. Ultimately, the trilogy is not what you expect it's going to be from the point of view of the first book. Looking forward to the next one.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Bibliophile

    More action-packed than the previous book in the series, but with somewhat weaker characterization. There's some uncharacteristic behaviour to advance the plot, much drama and emotional outbursts, and I must say I would have preferred a little more grinning and bearing it. Of course, it's supposed to be dramatic, and it's probably unfair of me to wish for more stoicism from people who undergo torture on a regular basis. It's just... all those feeeelings. It's still good fun though, and I do want More action-packed than the previous book in the series, but with somewhat weaker characterization. There's some uncharacteristic behaviour to advance the plot, much drama and emotional outbursts, and I must say I would have preferred a little more grinning and bearing it. Of course, it's supposed to be dramatic, and it's probably unfair of me to wish for more stoicism from people who undergo torture on a regular basis. It's just... all those feeeelings. It's still good fun though, and I do want to find out what becomes of everyone after a very dramatic ending.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Aneta

    "He's had no part in this filth—" "Are you mad? Of course he has!" "But it wasn't his choice! He never wanted it." "And we did?" I had this brilliant plan of writing a review of this book as soon as I finish while it's still fresh in my mind. I also had a plan of writing an articulate piece, to give justice to the author's craft. Well, I've just finished, it's midnight,* and words fail me. * It's actually almost 2am as I finish typing this. Good times. Basically, for me this was the perfect second b "He's had no part in this filth—" "Are you mad? Of course he has!" "But it wasn't his choice! He never wanted it." "And we did?" I had this brilliant plan of writing a review of this book as soon as I finish while it's still fresh in my mind. I also had a plan of writing an articulate piece, to give justice to the author's craft. Well, I've just finished, it's midnight,* and words fail me. * It's actually almost 2am as I finish typing this. Good times. Basically, for me this was the perfect second book. Brilliant character development, story that remained consistently gripping, twists and turns galore. Controversial opinion alert: I think middle books are superior, so there's that. I was destined to love this book. And yet Black Sun Light My Way not only met my sky-high expectations, but managed to surpass them, becoming my favourite read of 2020. Quickly about twists: oh boy were there a lot of surprises in here, starting from surprising relationship developments and team-ups (view spoiler)[like Cam and Delphine forced to bond as they flee the country together, Delphine and Rasten performing an operation together, or Rasten developing a deep respect and admiration for Isidro and ultimately fighting by his side against Kell (hide spoiler)] . Of course some developments felt inevitable, like (view spoiler)[Sierra going back to Rasten, Delphine getting pregnant, Sierra accidentally hurting Isidro (hide spoiler)] . But there were three events which actually shocked me. (view spoiler)[Delphine and Isidro's storyline becoming compelling as their dynamic shifted, Sierra butchering duke Osebian and Isidro being tricked into becoming a Blood-Mage. (hide spoiler)] Now let's talk characters, because I love them all. Sierra is such a solid, interesting protagonist. She's very dramatic (I wonder who might have inspired that in her...), I mean look at this absolute badass. Sierra appeared, dripping wet and surrounded by writhing, twisting lightning. There was an axe in her hands, the head rippling with Black Sun's Fire. But she's more than just her powerful abilities, she feels deeply human with her insecurities and faults. With her mistakes, and decisions so hard I wouldn't wish them on anyone. But she makes them. She perseveres, and I admire her so much. Isidro's journey takes him so far from the man we met in the first book. He struggles so much, he always will struggle with his disability and emotional trauma after what was done to him, but keeps going. Keeps proving with his actions that he's not the "useless cripple" he believed himself to be, that he's not defined by his weakness but by his strengths. It's so amazing to read, truly, how he gains the respect and admiration of others with his accomplishments. How he's forced to face his absolute worst fears head-on, and fights the urge to end it all. Rasten is such a fascinating character, and he shines in this book. His development is GOD TIER. It's an art to not only create a good villain, but to give them this kind of dimension. I wasn't a huge fan of his in the first book but the sequel completely changed my mind. (view spoiler)[The little moments of vulnerability and tenderness he manages to find within himself by the end of the book are such a treasure because they are hard-won. (hide spoiler)] He's the one who asks the hard questions here, like how much one is responsible for atrocities they are forced to commit when everything is stripped from them, even the ability to die and be free. I will put Cam and Mira together because while they are complex and interesting characters in their own right, they don't get the kind of attention the others do. For example, I was disappointed that at the beginning of the novel, we didn't get to deal with Mira's feelings about Issey's betrayal. She struggles with her feelings about her clan and tradition, but at the same time deems her personal sacrifice worth it to keep the support of her clan. Cam is a more static and reactive character, not that there's anything wrong with that imo. He still gets some really nice development when forced to adjust to new conditions and conflicts thrown at him. And last but not least, the biggest surprise for me in this book - Delphine. I did not particularly like her going in, didn't like her storyline and didn't like where I thought it was going. About 100 pages in, I changed my mind about her character completely, a 180, and her development became very compelling. In this novel Delphine as a character is deconstructed when (view spoiler)[instead of the master she was, she becomes a prisoner of her former slave (hide spoiler)] and doesn't like it one bit. Suddenly, her noble proclamations from before become the epitome of hypocrisy when she is forced to face the new reality. It's a marvel to witness her slow realisations, having the ugly, bitter truth about (view spoiler)[slavery and her people and her own beliefs (hide spoiler)] thrown in her face. She becomes a completely new woman as a result of her experiences. (view spoiler)[ Aleksar - he had another name but she refused to acknowledge it - closed his eyes. 'Delphine, hold your wretched tongue.' 'You will address me as madame!' she thundered. 'No. You're my prisoner, and I'll call you what I like. You're lucky I'm willing to pay you the courtesy of using your own name instead of assigning you another.' (hide spoiler)] When she finally (view spoiler)[starts using Isidro's real name and the real names of the other former slaves, (hide spoiler)] it feels like a breakthrough for her as a person. How much is one the product of their culture, with all the good and the bad parts? She is a complicated character with a problematic background who (view spoiler)[- once she gets over her own hurt pride - recognizes her flawed worldview and begins to work towards becoming better and doing better (hide spoiler)] , and I appreciate her as a person. Which brings me to the main star of this book for me... the changes and reversals of power dynamic in various relationships. OH MY GOD THEY WERE SO GOOD. (view spoiler)[Isidro started out as Delphine's slave, and while she mostly treated him well she did have a mean streak and often used her power over him to intimidate. Then she became his prisoner and found herself at his mercy, suddenly experiencing firsthand what it's like to lose everything and very much enraged by it. Sierra started out hounded by Rasten, deathly afraid of him. Then she became the torturer and saw how easy it was to derive a sort of pleasure from another's suffering. In the last few weeks she'd loathed him, been disgusted by him, had dreamed longingly of ripping out his throat with her teeth. When she'd stood over him, bound, naked and helpless, relief and fear both warred within her against a sickening, buoyant glee, that there at last was the man who'd tormented and terrified her for so long, powerless and under her complete control. Isidro started the series wounded, sick and at his brother's mercy. Here, Cam is the one who is kidnapped and tortured and needs rescuing by his brother. Finally he sees how helpless Isidro felt being told he's too weak to do anything but lie in bed and rest. (hide spoiler)] The worldbuilding continues to be of high quality (for example we learn more about Ricalani marriage customs, and see that socierty from the point of view of an outsider). The magic is developed more but still remains pretty vague, which doesn't bother me at all as I don't like too many rules in my magic. Now the one problematic thing I can't overlook. The major villain of the series is Kell, who is homosexual. There is other queer representation here too, but it is very much of the background kind: mentioned in passing in a positive light, but nothing beyond that. In a series so otherwise diverse and sex-positive, it's troubling that the only acts of queer sex given attention within the narrative are the deviations of a rapist and pedophile. tl;dr WOW. What a book. I don't think I'll ever forget that one of the biggest developments in it was caused by a four-way mental sex gone wrong. CW: (view spoiler)[frequent mentions of rape, graphic violence and torture, depression, self-harm, mentions of past suicide attempts, thoughts about suicide (hide spoiler)]

  5. 5 out of 5

    Karina Webster

    Boom! This series is totally my jam.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Luiken

    Intense, but very good with complex characters and situations. The world-building is excellent. This is book two. Book one is Winter Be My Shield.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Tsana Dolichva

    Black Sun Light My Way by Jo Spurrier is the sequel to Winter Be My Shield, which I absolutely loved when I read it last year. This review contains minor spoilers for book one. Before I started writing this review, I went and read over my review of the first book and I was struck by something I hadn't realised when I was reading. Although the two books follow the same characters and are linked by a logical sequence of events, they actually explore very different themes. While the first book dealt Black Sun Light My Way by Jo Spurrier is the sequel to Winter Be My Shield, which I absolutely loved when I read it last year. This review contains minor spoilers for book one. Before I started writing this review, I went and read over my review of the first book and I was struck by something I hadn't realised when I was reading. Although the two books follow the same characters and are linked by a logical sequence of events, they actually explore very different themes. While the first book dealt a lot with ostracism, particularly of mages, the second book deals much more strongly with difficult choices and personal sacrifices. The torture (of various characters at the hands of the evil Blood-Mage Kell) is also dealt with differently. It seemed to me that in the first book all the torture was near the start and used to establish that Kell was in fact pretty evil. Black Sun Light My Way does something similar with recently enslaved people being raped (well, threatened by rape, I don't think any of it took place on the actual page) and beaten by the invaders. But the most horrific (to me) bits were later on in the book when Kell's torture dungeon was revisited. I didn't think any of the violence was gratuitous but if affected me more than in the first book, partly because of elements of choice Spurrier incorporated into the story (I can't be more specific without spoilers). This is not a book for the faint of heart. I also found Rasten's character much more interesting in Black Sun Light My Way than in the previous book. In Winter Be My Shield we saw him as the torture-conditioned and brain-washed apprentice to the Blood-Mage. In this book, we see a lot more of him and his point of view. The way he thinks in contrast with how Sierra (and, y'know, most saner people) thinks is often quite stark. There was a powerful moment when (view spoiler)[Sierra resists a particularly horrible punishment (easily the most sickening start to a scene) and Rasten can't understand why she wouldn't just submit and bide her time. (hide spoiler)] It's impossible for the reader not to be on Sierra's side (I hope) and the whole scene was a stark and frustrating demonstration of just how much psychological damage Kell has inflicted on Rasten in four years. On a cheerier note, Delphine, a mage from the invading country, becomes an interesting prominent character. Her role evolves significantly over the book and I found it most interesting when she was used to give an outsider's perspective on the characters we know and love. Spurrier uses her to great effect to highlight some of the differences between her culture and the other main characters', at the same time helping the reader understand how aspects of both cultures work. She was a character that at different times I cheered for and against, and that I could feel that way is a mark of Spurrier's excellent writing skills. The last thing I want to mention is that I loved the ending. No details because spoilers, but it's not your usual book two ending. More got resolved than I expected, but there's no shortage of problems left for the characters to deal with in book three. Black Sun Light My Way was an excellent read. I don't recommend skipping Winter Be My Shield, so if you haven't read the first book, do that first. In general, though, I highly recommend this series to all lovers of epic/high/big fat/whatever you want to call it fantasy. As I said earlier, it's not for the faint of heart, but on the other hand it's not significantly worse (in terms of ick and violence) than a lot of the genre. 4.5 / 5 stars You can read more of my reviews on my blog.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Erin-Claire

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This review is informed by having finished all the series, but I'll just repeat the review in each one. Overall I'm glad to have read to the end of the third book, I thought the story was worthwhile and well done, the character development definitely improved over the series, and the magic system was pretty original (I would really like to read a series set later in time that explored the magic a lot more). Warning for spoilers ahead. Characters: Sierra – did we ever really get to know her? Motivat This review is informed by having finished all the series, but I'll just repeat the review in each one. Overall I'm glad to have read to the end of the third book, I thought the story was worthwhile and well done, the character development definitely improved over the series, and the magic system was pretty original (I would really like to read a series set later in time that explored the magic a lot more). Warning for spoilers ahead. Characters: Sierra – did we ever really get to know her? Motivations were often a little unclear and seemed more to suit the plot than actually fit her character, and her character moved further and further from the limelight as the series continued. The character development was limited in a way because the reader never really got to know much about any of the characters. While avoiding info-dumping is important, I really wish I could have got a sense of each character’s back story fairly early in the book, because I was still trying to piece together exactly where everyone was from and how they fit together halfway through the third book. Having said that, Rasten's character arc was fantastic and the characterisation of his mental state mostly very believable. Magic system: Totally lacking in clarity! A bit like characters – there was an info dump on how magic worked somewhere in I think the third book. This should have been somewhere near the start of the first because it was never completely clear til then. The reader needs to understand the system so it’s not a distraction wondering if you understand it yet. Torture: Torture was a central theme of the book. Questionable whether it was perhaps too much, too often. Was it really believable? Especially, is it believable that anyone can put up with that much? The author does a fairly good job of showing the post-traumatic injury done to everyone by the torture, especially in the second and third books. But is it realistic? Slavery: I could just about cope with the torture scenes, but the whole depiction of slavery was a bit too much – made me want to throw the book against the room. I don't really enjoy slogging through those 'how much awful can we put the character through before they rise in triumph on the other side' type books (although the redeeming feature here I guess is the lack of rising in triumph...) I didn't really find the behaviour of the ‘slavers’ group that believable. It felt at times like the author had read the worst accounts of child abuse, torture and slavery and decided that in societies where these things happened, they must happen in their worst form, all the time, to everyone. Real people and societies are much more varied, their motivations and personal convictions clash. I didn’t feel this came through well in the first book in particular. Disability, acquired injury, trauma: The way the author deals with the mental and physical trauma and disability acquired through a traumatic incident seems good (although speaking from limited experience or research). At least she doesn’t have them get over it and get better, and especially not within an unrealistic timeframe. Because it’s such a trope of fantasy books, I kind of expected Sierra’s power would actually turn out to be a power to heal, so it was nice to be surprised here (even though her power was never really well explained). Relationships and romance: I liked the diversity of relationships, and especially a whole culture where monogamous relationships were not the norm (although it was never quite explained how the family system worked). The development of relationships between the characters, whether romantic or not, was one of the best bits of character development in the books and one of my favourite parts of the books.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dennis

    After struggling with the first book and continued to struggle with the second one was well. Great character development as always, but the plot felt really stale in the beginning. But luckily it picked up after about the third of the book and I was not able to put the book down anymore. Just ordered the third book and can't wait to read it. After struggling with the first book and continued to struggle with the second one was well. Great character development as always, but the plot felt really stale in the beginning. But luckily it picked up after about the third of the book and I was not able to put the book down anymore. Just ordered the third book and can't wait to read it.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Howe

    Didn't like it quite as much as the first book in the series (Winter Be My Shield) but it's still a very gripping story, and I dove right on into the third book (North Star Guide Me Home) straight afterwards. Intense; not for the faint-hearted. Didn't like it quite as much as the first book in the series (Winter Be My Shield) but it's still a very gripping story, and I dove right on into the third book (North Star Guide Me Home) straight afterwards. Intense; not for the faint-hearted.

  11. 5 out of 5

    B. Lee

    Did not disappoint and am looking forward to starting No 3. For fantasy lovers this is entertaining reading but its not twee and arty farty, there is a bit of grunt to it. Would recommend to any fantasy lover who would like something just a little different.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Rain

    'Middle book Syndrome'. Pace too slow, and enough of the pain & suffering drawn out in repetitive detail. Nonetheless, I liked the first, and will read the third. 'Middle book Syndrome'. Pace too slow, and enough of the pain & suffering drawn out in repetitive detail. Nonetheless, I liked the first, and will read the third.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Janna

    I so incredibly want Sierra and Rasten to be end game but I know it will never happen. An I too afraid to read the last book and have my pipe dream crushed?

  14. 5 out of 5

    shari.macdonald

    x excellent Like this series a lot. The character were greatest of twist an turns. No end to the trouble they get Into fast paced an very good plot Iines.

  15. 5 out of 5

    MRS E MCLAUGHLIN

    A great 2nd book in the series. Some uncomfortable scenes but oh a marvelous immersion into a fantasy place and individually fabulous characters. Book 3 awaits! Bravo

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mark Webb

    This review forms part of my contribution to the Australian Women Writers 2014 Reading Challenge. All my 2014 AWWC reviews can be found here. Black Sun Light My Way by Jo Spurrier is the second book in the Children of the Black Sun trilogy. You can read my review of the first book, Winter Be My Shield, here. The political and social system that was introduced in the first novel is solidly developed in this second novel. We learn a lot more about other societies, and the gradual expansion of the re This review forms part of my contribution to the Australian Women Writers 2014 Reading Challenge. All my 2014 AWWC reviews can be found here. Black Sun Light My Way by Jo Spurrier is the second book in the Children of the Black Sun trilogy. You can read my review of the first book, Winter Be My Shield, here. The political and social system that was introduced in the first novel is solidly developed in this second novel. We learn a lot more about other societies, and the gradual expansion of the readers world view is handled well, with information provided at a good pace. There are nice touches which show the depth of the world building - for instance, the marital structures of a society mired in a harsh environment that incorporate multiple parters of both genders into a family unit. These elements provide some real depth to the story. The series continues the portrayal of a hard and dangerous world, where characters aren't trying to be too nice. Issues of torture and rape are canvassed, and Spurrier doesn't shy away from exploring the real consequences of these actions. To that end, the character of Rasten (the main bad guy's apprentice) is used as a vehicle. Over the course of the novel, the readers perception of Rasten transforms from a pure villain to a more complex, tragic figure who has been scarred, both physically and emotionally, by long term abuse. While his actions remain unsympathetic, he becomes more understandable. In the first novel, I found one of the main characters (Isidro) was a little bit too understanding of other people's points of view. A lot of interpersonal drama was resolved by him seeing things from the other point of view and then disarming the situation. While this was very sensible of him, it did sometimes feel a little too "easy" as a way of moving the plot forward. In this second novel, the character is portrayed with more issues, including bouts of severe depression. This lent a better balance to the character, and given that he features strongly it helped the balance of the book overall. The book ended with at what seemed to be, at first blush, a surprising point. Spurrier sets up a particular "quest", which is actually resolved by the end of this book. While reading, I kept waiting for another complication to be introduced that would delay the completion of the quest and was surprised when that complication never emerged. However in retrospect I can see that it was a necessary step to allow the characters to grow. Without it, the third book would have run the risk of being repetitive. So, when I sat back and considered the book, the confusion I felt on first reading was well and truly resolved. Overall this is an excellent second book to a trilogy. Well worth the read, however I wouldn't consider it a stand alone book. If you're interested, definitely go back and start with Winter Be My Shield. I should also mention that back in 2013, Sean Wright, leader of the intrepid Galactic Chat crew, interviewed Jo Spurrier for the podcast. That podcast can be found here. I also reviewed this book on my website.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anika Claire

    The second book in the Children of the Black Sun series delivers even more excitement, suffering and sparkly magic than the first book did, in rather unpredictable ways. I had a lot of trouble putting it down – certainly no second-book curse to be found here! It was a full year ago that I read Winter Be My Shield, so the details of the story were a little hazy. Unfortunately there is no recap at the start of Black Sun Light My Way so I struggled for the first few chapters to remember what had jus The second book in the Children of the Black Sun series delivers even more excitement, suffering and sparkly magic than the first book did, in rather unpredictable ways. I had a lot of trouble putting it down – certainly no second-book curse to be found here! It was a full year ago that I read Winter Be My Shield, so the details of the story were a little hazy. Unfortunately there is no recap at the start of Black Sun Light My Way so I struggled for the first few chapters to remember what had just happened. I’ll try to summarise. Isidro and Mira have been captured and are now slaves belonging to an Akharian mage scholar, Delphine. She knows Isidro is a “sensitive”, so is using him to help her to find the lost cache of lore left by the great mage Vasant. Sierra has agreed to help her former tormentor, Rasten – to train with him to use her corrupted powers properly and help him bring down their master, the great mage and general psychopath, Kell. She is about to allow herself to be captured by the Akharians to join Isidro and assist him to find the lost mage lore, to expand her powers and hopefully be able to use that over Rasten when next they meet. This story is certainly not for the faint-hearted. There’s a LOT of torture and rape is frequently mentioned even if it’s not described in explicit terms. I can’t quite remember if the first book was quite as dark as this instalment, but wow, I certainly needed to read something a bit lighter once I got to the end of it all! Despite the darkness, this is an absolutely enthralling world. The magic system is amazing, with corrupted sympaths drawing power drawn from pain or pleasure – usually through torture and humiliation of others. The system has painstakingly detailed rules and rapidly expanding lore – I hope we get to learn more about the Akharian mages, as well as the lost Ricalani magic. The characters are what makes this story really come to life. Poor Sierra! With her power draining everyone around her, she is forced to leave her friends. I found it a little off-putting that she would immediately run into the arms of another, but even more strange to me was the path that Isidro took as soon as Sierra left – without spoiling anything, I suppose depression can make people do unexpected things, and Isidro does spend a fair amount of time down in the dumps. Rasten’s growth as a character is brilliant – I was really cheering for him there by the end! Delphine being part of this story lent an interesting cultural contrast between the Akharian and Ricalani cultures, with the Ricalani’s communal living and multiple wives baffling her. There were so many unexpected turns in this story, I have no idea where it can all go next, but I can’t wait to read more in this cold and cruel world, although I am slightly worried about what more Jo Spurrier can put her characters (and readers) through! Highly recommended to high fantasy fans, but just be forewarned about the grisly nature of the story. This review was originally posted on The Oaken Bookcase in August, 2013.

  18. 4 out of 5

    S.B. Wright

    Black Sun Light My Way is Jo Spurrier’s second novel and the follow up to Winter Be My Shield (reviewed here). It’s book two of what I suspect will be a trilogy, though it’s ending surprised me – it didn’t feel like the traditional middle of a trilogy. I like to be surprised and I am eager to see what Spurrier does in the final book. I thought I had a handle on where she was going, now I am not so sure. At the end of Winter Be My Shield, Sierra having managed to learn some control of her powers l Black Sun Light My Way is Jo Spurrier’s second novel and the follow up to Winter Be My Shield (reviewed here). It’s book two of what I suspect will be a trilogy, though it’s ending surprised me – it didn’t feel like the traditional middle of a trilogy. I like to be surprised and I am eager to see what Spurrier does in the final book. I thought I had a handle on where she was going, now I am not so sure. At the end of Winter Be My Shield, Sierra having managed to learn some control of her powers lets herself be caught by Akharian slavers in an attempt to get closer to Isidro and the potential treasure hidden at Demon Spire. An uneasy alliance is formed between Rasten, Isidro and Sierra as they manage to manipulate the Akharian’s and gain access to Vasant’s treasure trove of Ricalani magic. Much of what I thought to be the goals of the major characters seemed to be resolved by midway through the story. It turned out to be a decoy by Spurrier an easy victory before she really tightened the screws on the characters. Much of the tension achieved in this novel comes from the testing and twisting of bonds between those characters. Much of the physical danger and tension comes again from isolating the characters from their allies and from each other. Rape as a threat to characters and bystanders features heavily in Black Sun Light My Way. Spurrier, as she did in Winter be My Shield, didn’t restrict the threat or act to female characters. I like( appreciate maybe is a better word) that she takes this realistic approach ( modern fantasy seems to skirt around the use of rape in conflict as a weapon used against all genders) but the prevalence of it as a way to manipulate the readers emotions came close to being overused for my reading. There was some anachronistic dialogue that jarred with me much as it did with book one, phrases or figures of speech that sound out of place because they are modern. But then we are reading fantasy; who says fantasy needs to be written in with an equally unrealistic 19th century English vocabulary? What continued to impress me was Spurriers research and her use of it in bringing the Wild alive as a very visceral setting. Pregnancy as a plot device was an interesting and realistic addition to the story and adds another layer of emotional connection between characters that I am sure Spurrier will use against the reader in book three. Despite the points mentioned above Spurrier has an engaging style. This was an easy book to slip into but very hard to get out of - I read from midway to the end in one setting. If you are a fan of Trudi Canavan’s work and are prepared for the adult content then I heartily recommend Black Sun Light My Way and Winter Be My Shield. This book was provided by the publisher. An interview that I conducted with Jo for Galactic Chat can be foundhere.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Shaheen

    This book should be entitled "The Impossible Choices Plaguing my Favourite Characters, and the Heartache that Ensues." Sierra, Isidro, Cam, Mira and Rasten were all put through so much throughout Black Sun Light My Way, it was kind of a relief when the book ended! I thought the strongest element of the previous book was the characters, and this is again the case. Sierra continues to surprise me, willing to make extraordinary sacrifices for her make-shift family - the people who saved her from cer This book should be entitled "The Impossible Choices Plaguing my Favourite Characters, and the Heartache that Ensues." Sierra, Isidro, Cam, Mira and Rasten were all put through so much throughout Black Sun Light My Way, it was kind of a relief when the book ended! I thought the strongest element of the previous book was the characters, and this is again the case. Sierra continues to surprise me, willing to make extraordinary sacrifices for her make-shift family - the people who saved her from certain death in the last book. The character that surprised me is Isidro - I'd never really doubted his bravery nor his god-naturedness, but he shines throughout this novel. The author does a brilliant job of examining the motivations and psychology of all her characters, and even though the focus is firmly on Sierra, Isidro and Rasten, I love the glimpses we get into Cam and Mira's relationship. There's a lot of blood, violence  and torture in this book, as we get intimately acquainted with the rituals of Kell the Blood-Mage. Although I found it disturbing, and sometimes had to skip over the worst parts, I never felt it was gratuitous. Even the sexual violence served a purpose: to show the very real dangers the slaves faced at the hands of the Akharian Slavers, and to depict Kell's complete dominance of over Rasten. I was glad to find that Rasten became one of the key players in this instalment, and I feel like I have gotten to know him a lot better. He's a complicated character - groomed as a Blood-Mage and prone to anger and violence, but he shows that he genuinely cares for Sierra. The expansion of the world is another aspect I liked about Black Sun Light My Way - we first came upon our Ricalan comrades in the full blast of Winter, and now, as the Thaw begins, we get to witness the new challenges that they face. I'd mistakenly believed that their troubles would lessen as the weather warmed up. The world-building is again impeccable, and I enjoyed the way that the Akharian and Ricalan lifestyles were explained, especially when the Akharian mage Delphine suffered from culture shock. Jo Spurrier has delivered another amazing book in Black Sun Light My Way, and fans of Winter Be My Shield are sure to enjoy it as much as I did. This series is also perfect for those looking for something outside of the usual sword-and-sorcery of high Fantasy, and it is a great entry point for newcomers to the genre. You can read more of my reviews at Speculating on SpecFic .

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dark Matter

    Nalini Haynes reviewed this book; for more reviews by Nalini, see Nalini Haynes on Dark Matter Zine. Black Sun Light My Way is book 2 in the Children of the Black Sun series, the first being Winter Be My Shield (reviewed here). I interviewed Jo Spurrier, available as video or as an MP3 download. Winter Be My Shield is so epically awesome that I’ve spent a lot of time pondering that tome since reviewing it. I’ve considered removing and/or rewriting my review because my opinions have changed upon r Nalini Haynes reviewed this book; for more reviews by Nalini, see Nalini Haynes on Dark Matter Zine. Black Sun Light My Way is book 2 in the Children of the Black Sun series, the first being Winter Be My Shield (reviewed here). I interviewed Jo Spurrier, available as video or as an MP3 download. Winter Be My Shield is so epically awesome that I’ve spent a lot of time pondering that tome since reviewing it. I’ve considered removing and/or rewriting my review because my opinions have changed upon reflection and I learnt I made at least one error: the polygamous society is based on a real-world society in Siberia. I haven’t changed my review because reviews are typically first reactions to first reads; to alter my review a year later seems ethically questionable. Black Sun Light My Way continues the story of Sierra, a powerful Sympath – person who gets magic from other people’s pleasure or pain. Kell, the Sith-like Blood Mage who is the truest villain in the story, sends Rasten, his Blood Mage minion, to hunt Sierra down and return her to him. Rasten is suffering from Stockholm Syndrome, learned helplessness and deep-seated rage against Kell for all the suffering Kell has inflicted upon Rasten for ten years. Rasten’s plan is to work with Sierra to defeat Kell but first he needs to convince Sierra to join forces. Isidro was captured by Kell and tortured for the power Isidro’s suffering gave Kell. The damage to the bones in Isidro’s right arm has left him with a permanent disability and susceptible to great pain. Isidro is Sierra’s love; her magic helps him – sometimes – and hurts him at others. Delphine, from a race of conquerors who subjugate their women, is now a prisoner of the people who were once her slaves. Delphine falls in love with Isidro, creating a romantic triangle where issues of race, politics and society are explored. Society is particularly developed as Delphine learns more about her captors’ lifestyle where marriages tend to comprise a minimum of two women and two men because their harsh environment requires a team working together to survive. The second in a trilogy, Black Sun Light My Way builds tension, masterfully developing the plot and characters. And the conclusion. OMG. I didn’t see that coming. Now I have to wait for the final instalment, WAH! Highly recommended, Jo Spurrier’s Black Sun Light My Way is more than a debut trilogy, it’s BRILLIANT.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Courtlytea

    In the sequel to Winter Be My Shield, the protagonists continue to be thrown from one crisis to another while somehow managing to scramble toward triumphs against the Akharan invaders and Team Kell/Valeria. I was so tense racing through the story at one point I gave myself a headache from gritting my teeth. A core value of the series that really appealed to me was in friends being the family you choose, and the group's unwavering determination to protect each other kept me warm during the bitter In the sequel to Winter Be My Shield, the protagonists continue to be thrown from one crisis to another while somehow managing to scramble toward triumphs against the Akharan invaders and Team Kell/Valeria. I was so tense racing through the story at one point I gave myself a headache from gritting my teeth. A core value of the series that really appealed to me was in friends being the family you choose, and the group's unwavering determination to protect each other kept me warm during the bitter conflicts with their adversaries. The puzzle of Vasant's cache was a fascinating new setpiece and I enjoyed the characters' time there discovering its ancient secrets. Though he is profoundly disabled Isidro plays as active a role as he can in the clan's survival, contributing his strategical skills and developing his magecraft. Soon he is fighting alongside Sierra and Rasten as they psychically communicate and exchange power across distances, making for exhilarating combat scenes where each one channels the power of the other two to pull off great feats of magecraft as needed. Way cool. As he developed, the villain Rasten became my favourite character. Before long I couldn't help picturing him as Tom Hiddleston's Loki – like the same smooth strategist in manner and disposition, only a thousand times more tormented. Woobie fuel Though I initially wanted Sierra not to stray from Isidro I became increasingly curious about her compatibility with Rasten the more I learned about him. (view spoiler)[I was rooting for him by the time Sierra inevitably submitted to their magical sadomasochistic affair. The erotic scenes were searingly passionate and achingly emotive. (hide spoiler)] Closing the pages after the satisfying ending, I was dismayed to discover that there is no fandom for this series lurking in any of the usual places. I can't bear it on my own!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jinx

    I would have to say I enjoyed 'Black Sun Light My Way' even more than I enjoyed the first book of the trilogy. Although second books of trilogies risk becoming 'filler' material, 'Black Sun Light My Way' certainly was not. What made it stand out was the way Jo Spurrier spends a lot of time exploring the psychology of her characters - something I truly enjoy when done well. A lot of ground is covered in this book, and another good thing is its unpredictability - I really couldn't tell what lay ah I would have to say I enjoyed 'Black Sun Light My Way' even more than I enjoyed the first book of the trilogy. Although second books of trilogies risk becoming 'filler' material, 'Black Sun Light My Way' certainly was not. What made it stand out was the way Jo Spurrier spends a lot of time exploring the psychology of her characters - something I truly enjoy when done well. A lot of ground is covered in this book, and another good thing is its unpredictability - I really couldn't tell what lay ahead. The second book of this trilogy is darker than the first, because we see Sierra go back to her roots as a "corrupted sympath". Although there is violence and the threat of violence, it is done well. It is not in the book to shock or be sensational. It is there because the threat of both physical and sexual violence in the world of Ricalan is real - not just against the main characters, but all women. This is probably the best exploration I have seen of the topic done in any fantasy novel. The characters, I felt, were brought to life well. To me, it felt like I was reading about 'real people' rather than characters starring in a high adventure or caricatures starring in a drama. Each time I opened the book I felt like I was discovering more about these people who had been thrust into awful situations beyond their control - learning how they coped, how they reacted, and how they would move forward. I also enjoyed the details Jo adds to the book. In a trend started with 'Winter Be My Shield', Jo continues to give us insight into how life actually is for the people in her world - the harsh, unrelenting cold, where the landscape and the environment isn't just a pretty setting in which to place a story, the landscape and environment are integral to everything that happens. I loved how real it seemed as everything came to life. I would definitely recommend this trilogy, even if it were just to get to the second book alone! I'm looking forward to discovering what happens next with the third novel!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Liam || Books 'n Beards

    Jesus christ, I simply can't believe that Jo Spurrier hasn't had anything published before these - they are simply fantastic. Especially in this one, probably because the characters were developed well in the first novel Winter Be My Shield, nearly every character was relatable and likable at some level - especially the villains, a lot of whom turn out not to be so villainous, which is exactly how a good villain should be. A few negatives this time around - the ending, although intense and awesome Jesus christ, I simply can't believe that Jo Spurrier hasn't had anything published before these - they are simply fantastic. Especially in this one, probably because the characters were developed well in the first novel Winter Be My Shield, nearly every character was relatable and likable at some level - especially the villains, a lot of whom turn out not to be so villainous, which is exactly how a good villain should be. A few negatives this time around - the ending, although intense and awesome, felt a bit rushed - I'm not sure if there's a third or more novels planned? I hope there is, but the ending didn't really hint at that. Don't get me wrong this isn't necessarily a bad thing, nothing worse than a cliffhanger. The other thing that irked me was the amount of sex - that makes me sound like some prude or something, which I'm not, but a lot of it just seemed unnecessary. Especially when the concept of being able to share/effect power via climax was introduced - that seemed a bit like something from a fantasy porn fanfiction. Nevertheless, a great read - I look forward to hopefully, sequels, or failing that other novels from this talented Adelaidian.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Sweetapple

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The writing itself improved in a lot of cases. World building and information expanded in this one, but I instead grew irritation at characters I had once been intrigued by. Temples talked about more, but I really feel that if its been such a big part of the series, mechanics should be explained (why do priests have tattoos on their faces for instance). Marriage finally explained, and explained in a place that made sense so I was grateful for that. I understand it's hard to flow information like The writing itself improved in a lot of cases. World building and information expanded in this one, but I instead grew irritation at characters I had once been intrigued by. Temples talked about more, but I really feel that if its been such a big part of the series, mechanics should be explained (why do priests have tattoos on their faces for instance). Marriage finally explained, and explained in a place that made sense so I was grateful for that. I understand it's hard to flow information like that without having a foreign character to explain it to, but it leaves a lot to be desired. And no, I'm not asking for something the size of the appendix from LotR. Really wish Delphi hadn't become so goddamn annoying, she was so smart before and it wasn't a character growth that changed her for me, but the way it was handled. Mira seemed underutilized in this as well, no longer acting as a political leader but instead as a woman simply in charge of other women. Will continue reading the series though obviously.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lauren Phillips

    I just picked up this series by Spurrier and worked my way through the 1st novel, Winter be my Shield, and this second in the series. I'm blown away. I love the setting - this is the first I've had in an icy landscape where it was more than a splash feature. I love the level of detail in the day-to-day workings of Ricalani society. I love the characters and their interactions. I find this to be very well written - not overdone or predictable. The series has some very dark themes, in particular eve I just picked up this series by Spurrier and worked my way through the 1st novel, Winter be my Shield, and this second in the series. I'm blown away. I love the setting - this is the first I've had in an icy landscape where it was more than a splash feature. I love the level of detail in the day-to-day workings of Ricalani society. I love the characters and their interactions. I find this to be very well written - not overdone or predictable. The series has some very dark themes, in particular everything to do with the Blood Mage Kell and his apprentices. I think this was handled with grit and almost a viciousness. But it was also not overdone. It didn't turn me off, nor did it come away to easy. It challenged me to read more. Spurrier describes pain and people coping with it in a way I haven't read before. I'm truly sad that I've finished this, and I'll have to wait for the next instalment. Thank you Jo for an amazing series! I'm hooked and I'm certainly a new fan of yours. :)

  26. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    One of Australia's bright new stars Jo Spurrier's sequel to her debut novel 'Winter Be My Shield' doesn't disappoint. Picking up the story Spurrier strides forward expanding on threads where only peripheral in book one and continues to open up the incredible wintry world that is so real your hands will freeze while holding the book. Many writers can suffer from 'second book syndrome', where in the second book reads like a place-holder for the third/final book in the series. Fear not, you will ex One of Australia's bright new stars Jo Spurrier's sequel to her debut novel 'Winter Be My Shield' doesn't disappoint. Picking up the story Spurrier strides forward expanding on threads where only peripheral in book one and continues to open up the incredible wintry world that is so real your hands will freeze while holding the book. Many writers can suffer from 'second book syndrome', where in the second book reads like a place-holder for the third/final book in the series. Fear not, you will experience no such lethargy here. Spurrier bursts into action from page one and doesn't let up as we race forward towards the Demon Spire and the hidden trove of knowledge that the Akharian's are searching for. Characters who were secondary in Winter Be My Shield find their feet in unexpected ways and one villain suddenly becomes more much interesting and sympathetic. Jo Spurrier is a talent the Australian genre scene should be proud of.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Raquel Walker

    By the black Sun I love these books! Saying I enjoyed these books is an understatement, I loved them. Spurrier kept me interested the whole time, and I never felt like the story line was repeating itself. The character development in these books was great, as you go from absolutely hating a character to feeling sympathy and wanting more for them as you see their situation. There was a love triangle or two which I typically don't like...well actually I still don't like them, but I'll get over it b By the black Sun I love these books! Saying I enjoyed these books is an understatement, I loved them. Spurrier kept me interested the whole time, and I never felt like the story line was repeating itself. The character development in these books was great, as you go from absolutely hating a character to feeling sympathy and wanting more for them as you see their situation. There was a love triangle or two which I typically don't like...well actually I still don't like them, but I'll get over it because enjoyed everything else about this story. If you enjoyed the previous I suggest you read on.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

    5 stars is not enough for this book. The first couple of chapters had me worried that it wouldn't be as good as the first. Boy was that worry unnecessary. Almost immediately you are dragged into Sierra's world, and wondering if her and Isidrio will ever find respite from Kell who gives evil the capital E. There is never a dull moment, and I often found myself jumping ahead to find out what was going to happen. Black Sun Light My Way is an intoxicating read. When I wasn't reading it, it was all I 5 stars is not enough for this book. The first couple of chapters had me worried that it wouldn't be as good as the first. Boy was that worry unnecessary. Almost immediately you are dragged into Sierra's world, and wondering if her and Isidrio will ever find respite from Kell who gives evil the capital E. There is never a dull moment, and I often found myself jumping ahead to find out what was going to happen. Black Sun Light My Way is an intoxicating read. When I wasn't reading it, it was all I could think about. 5 stars really means 500! :)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Alice

    Even better than the first book. Everything I said in that review still stands, and has been improved upon. Characters are explored even further, even more impossible choices have to be made, there is no such thing as good and evil and the plot doesn't get bogged down anywhere. Also, the action scenes are very well written, especially the final climax - it's very easy to visualise what's going on while still keeping up the fast pace needed (something I have often seen good writers fail at misera Even better than the first book. Everything I said in that review still stands, and has been improved upon. Characters are explored even further, even more impossible choices have to be made, there is no such thing as good and evil and the plot doesn't get bogged down anywhere. Also, the action scenes are very well written, especially the final climax - it's very easy to visualise what's going on while still keeping up the fast pace needed (something I have often seen good writers fail at miserably)

  30. 5 out of 5

    prk

    My review will be posted after the Aurealis Awards have been announced. prk. Disclaimer: Whilst I read this as a judge for the 2013 Aurealis Awards, this review is my personal opinion and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging co-ordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.