I love the writings of Paul S. Kemp. It started with Erevis Cale, it was renewed with Jaden Korr, reinvigorated with Egil and Nix and but most recently it’s been the tales of Vasen and Orsin in Kemp latest book, and second volume in The Sundering, The Godborn.
Faerûn is changing again, the world is tearing apart, the weave is mending, and aspects believed by some fans to be errors in the world are being rectified. But politics aside The Godborn deals with the return of Mask.
When we last saw Erevis he was passing out divinity before being killed by Mephistopheles. But the man didn’t die, instead he was frozen in Cania, protected from the ravages of Arch-Devil, the godlings and even time itself.
So this book is about Erevis’ long awaited return —- except its not.
Vasen has spent his life growing up in a monastery, working and serving an oracle as First Blade for Amaunator. He is a half-shade working for the god of light. We see Vasen’s birth, bit and pieces of growing up, his life with adoptive father, and his duties to his god and church. Vasen lives a protected life, unable to be scryed upon and unable to be found. Vasen grows up not knowing how important his is, how many people are searching for him and the importance he will play.
Vasen meets Orsin, a shadowwalker (devas who worship the Mask), and is assigned to escort him and the pilgrims safely from the hidden monastery to the nearest Sembia village. There they fend off Shadovar attacks and meet Gerak – a ranger/soldier – seeking those that killed his wife.
This book is about three or four separate plans, from Riven, Mephistopheles, godlings, Mask, and Shar, all involving Vasen and converging at once. Everybody wants the divinity that Vasen can free, but for different reasons. Some want it to allow Shar to destroy Toril, others want to bring back Mask while some want it to take over Hell. But everything hits the fan at once.
Paul writes some brilliant scenes, like Riven summoning an army of shades and shadows to combat Mephistopheles’ army of devils or the one-on-one battle between the arch-fiend and the godling.
Somehow I missed a few books in the Cale series – I don’t know how: please don’t judge me – and because of such there were a few characters for who I had no idea who they were but Godborn was written so I could easily pick it up and not be completely lost. I was able to learn very quickly who everybody was and what their importance was to the story – all without having to go back and re-read what I had missed. [Mind you I still will – J ]
Much like The Companions this books is about bringing back Cale into the new Faerûn but unlike Salvatore’s book, this one feels like less of a ‘the excuse I used to bring them back’ and more like the event he had been building up to for a while.
Welcome Back Erevis Cale