Cover Image: Shaman of Souls

Shaman of Souls

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Member Reviews

Although this story could have used more background in some places, I did enjoy reading it. I liked the way the characters interacted with each other. If you enjoy fantasy and mystery I think you will enjoy this story. 


I received a complimentary copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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I was really look forward to this novel because it was set in East Asia. However, I found  the story to be very confusing. The world-building was also hard to understand. Still, I recommend this for those interested in fantasy set in East Asia!
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I should preface this by saying that fantasy fiction isn’t my niche, but I am willing to read just about anything if I can get into the story. This has a lot of promising elements, with witches and shamans and necromancers. There was a couple of places it ran into issues. For one thing being that the whole  culture and story of this book is based on a fictitious place and people, there really should be a full throated back story to these elements, otherwise you are left to play catchup. Also, there seemed to be a lot of conflicting things happening all at once. We are told that this character Xeile has gone through many a trial and tribulation, facing death, to come to the city of Trifecta to forgive the man that killed his mother, but at other times, there is dispute if Xeile could be relied on to help because he may resent these people who he sees as responsible for his mother’s death. So which one is it? There are other seemingly conflicting things, and perhaps they aren’t as contradictory as they come across, but the connections are missing, so we don’t really know that to be the case. I did enjoy the story on principle, and would likely read the follow up novels just to find out what happens, but there are definitely some deficits here. Review posted to Goodreads, Instagram, Facebook, Litsy.
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DNF at 35%. 
Thanks to Netgalley and the author for a copy of this book. 

I am so sorry, but I seriously cannot get through this book. Reading all 600 pages of this book would either be impossible, or very sad for me. If i forced myself through it, I am mostly sure that this would be a very angry review.. As I haven’t finished the book, ill give it a two-star rating. . 

The worldbuilding and magic system of this book are both very unnecessarily complicated, yet too simplistic. It feels like the author just threw in every creature they heard of and called it a day. And i know this is probably just me and I shouldn’t;t judge this authorial choice, but all the “fantasy names” were icky for me. 

The main character sucked, because he doesn’t and can’t suck. It’s like, you’re reading about this amazing god who you need to believe is a human being. 

The plot is so unrealistically convenient for the main character.whats the point if everything is for him to survive in no time?

i again apologise to the author for not finishing the novel, but i think this way is just for the best of my sanity and this review.

Note: as I usually finish all books whether I like them or not, I was unaware of the “can’t give feedback” option, hence the misplaced review.
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It is definitely an interesting story! It brings together elements of D&D, Dragon Age, and Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to build a story of both fantasy and mystery.

I probably didn't enjoy it as much as I would've liked since I came across a few inconsistencies in the plot. I also have to admit that I didn’t vibe with the characters – any of them, to be honest. I found them extremely unreal, with only good qualities and no interesting traits at all. Also, they all have the AMAZING skill of being able to solve mysteries in mere seconds only by thinking about it for a bit. So… yeah. Not the kind of characters that would make me root for them until the end since they don’t really struggle a lot. And most dialogues are extremely corny and cliché, they feel unnatural, like the author wrote whole scenes to make that one-liner work…

What kept me going was the plot itself. There are many – seriously, many – things to be paying attention to all at once. It starts with some mystery murders that the characters need to solve… which they do only a few chapters after. At that moment I thought “Well, what’s going to happen next then?” but as soon as they solve one thing, there is another thing that needs to be solved. It doesn’t get tiring; I actually think the pace of the story is very well handled - it's fast, but I think it works.

It's definitely a story I would recommend to fantasy lovers. The characters and writing style did not make it for me, but other people seem to have liked them! Maybe read the book and draw your own conclusions.
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Thanks to Netgalley for the arc of this book. This story begins with a very sickly Xeile looking for someone. Xeile is the center of a murderous conspiracy but he does not know it. There is a mystery to solve here as well as a need for a deeper look at the past if everyone is to be saved. The author goes into too much detail throughout this story which sometimes throws off the pacing.

However, I enjoyed the mystery behind Xeile and all of the characters. The magical systems were very cool and I loved the partnership/friendship between the apprentices. One running theme I found in this story was racism. There are different species of persons in the story and I would be interested in reading more about several of them throughout the series.
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3.5 stars! This was such a fun adventure - I think another review mentioned DnD, and that's a very good comparison for the vibes. I wish the blurb mentioned the actual main characters, Criske and Henrik, because I loved them. Especially Henrik, my literal archaeology child. The pacing could use a little work, but the plot made sense, the world was cool, and I cared about the characters. The writing also could've been a little more polished, but also I think this is a self-published debut, so considering that, it's fine. Did not affect my reading comprehension.
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Honestly the best thing I can say about this book is that I vibed with it. I enjoyed the plot, the magic system, and the overall aesthetic and feel of this book.

I think the storyline was paced well and so subtle with its plot shifts and revelations. As for the writing, it was so intricate I felt myself gradually getting in deeper into the world and the characters. I can definitely see the potential for the rest of the series with regards to relationships between the characters and the way the book ended. If anything, pick this up for the insanely gorgeous cover and dynamic between two central characters who I'm sure the readers can resonate with. I'm also living for the devotion towards eachothers the characters have in this story. We'll have to see how things turn out in a potential sequel.
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THis book was interesting to say the least. It was scary and eerie. there is no other way to describe it.
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Shaman of Souls: Scars of the Necromancer Book One by RM Wilshusen

9781737016519

318 Pages
Publisher Sidhe Publishing LLC
Release Date: May 28, 2022

Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Teens, Young Adult

Criske Val-Zhang, a Half-Elf, and Henrik Invihlan, a Dwarf find themselves patrolling the city together as Peacekeeping Guardians. When they come across a dead body, they begin investigating who is using illegal magic. They find Xeile a homeless shell of a man, who is dying, and bring him back to the Trifectus. What they do not realize is he holds the key to everything.

This book was full of action and adventure. The story had a steady pace, the characters were well developed, and it was written in the third-person point of view. If you enjoy stories about magic in unusual lands, you will like this book. I look forward to the sequel since the book ended on a cliffhanger.
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Before I started this review, I would like to thank Netgalley for providing E-ARC of Shaman of Souls by R.M Wilshusen. 

I have a mixed feeling about this book. 

The writing was good, and the author done such a good job on combining the murder and fantasy aspect in this book. And I have a bunch of appreciation for the worldbuilding: it's so vivid and imaginative, with some (apparently) asian inspired character. And beside that, the author also done such a good job on writing the tension between the character. Some creatures that was added there also spice up the whole worldbuilding. 

And anyway, I love the character dynamics so much! An the tension between them! 

But when it comes to the plot... yeah, the author really messed it up. The murder case in the beginning was the one that made this book so interesting, yet it was ended so fast. Hmm, I have to agree with some reviewer here: the pacing was really and issue here, and I hope in the next book the author will fixed this issue. 

Overall, I'll watch for the next book of this series.
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So the greatest points this book had were its characters. I thoroughly enjoyed the interactions they had with one another. Criske and Henrik make for a wonderful duo. Whilst Kelt, Usumi and Glenna had an interesting dynamic. Though I'd say the relationship between Xiele and Glenna was a bit cliché. Criske's interactions with his family, though brief, are full of much character and I greatly enjoyed the realistic depictions of the parents and Criske's relationship.

My main concern with the characters is how jarring some beats were in the development of the relationships. For example, when two characters argue, the argument is not solved but rather waved away without any real resolution. This happens two times within the plot and stick out to me like sore thumbs.

I appreciated the mystical and magical elements used throughout the book. The ghosts, wraiths and traditions mentioned were quite interesting to read. The magic was well explained and world-building was handled well without info dumping.

However there were some aspects about the setting that left much to be desired in terms of handling. It is blatantly obvious the trifecta and its inhabitants are based upon real life caricatures of people. One aspect that really irked me was the inclusion of broken territory or English when certain characters spoke. Other methods could have been employed to better portray the language barriers the characters faced. In my opinion this aspect of the world building could be handled with more sensitivity and care.

My last issue would be the ease at which the plot progresses. The mystery at the beginning was done well but as the book went on the plot seemed to be resolved as soon as it was beginning to get interesting. And some other issues pertaining to character struggles lasting a page or two before being solved.

Overall the book has lots of strong points and beginnings but lacks development in some crucial areas related to characters and settings. Personally I enjoyed it and would like to see it become better. A good start to the series which just needs a few more improvements to be truly phenomenal.
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I enjoyed this book but felt it needed more development.   That being said, I will keep an eye out for the next book in the series.

Fun fantasy and interesting characters with loads of potential
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Marvelous characters. It's fantasy. There's good and evil (though it is hard to figure out who's  who), magic users, warriors, elves, dwarves and creatures haunting beautiful. Did I mention wraths, ghosts and necromancers? 

This author has a fantastic imagination and the world that is being created is really grand. This is the kind of story that paints pictures in my imagination. It's packed full of mystery and intrigue. 

This book ends with a hell of a cliffhanger. One where you turn the page with great antesapation and there's nothing there..... I am really looking forward to the next book. I was the instant this one ended.
I received this ARC from NetGalley and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I just reviewed Shaman of Souls by R.M. Wilshusen. #ShamanofSouls #NetGalley
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Like other reviewers, I enjoyed the premise and overall plot of the book but really struggled with the pacing and characterizations portrayed throughout the story. Broken english and other harmful stereotypes are the foundation of the various fantasy races of the world and it was a bit cringeworthy. I think if this book had just relied on standard versions of these fantasy races, a lot of the weaker parts of the book would be able to be more developed. The discrimination and diversity felt forced to a point where they were hindering the overall story.  The mystery elements of the story were well developed and interesting and there is potential with some sensitivity readers and editing.
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The cover made me want to read the book real bad. The premise, the story is very promising,a murder mystery with a touch of fantasy creatures. 

The pace of the book is inconsistent and the author has tried hard to build our notion on characters and that's a bit putting off.
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I dragged my feet on this read for weeks and now I know why; unfortunately, this book needs some serious work. I gave it a whole generous third (of a long dense book) to get going or improve, and it did not. DNFed at thirty-four percent. 

First, this had the slowest start to a complex fantasy world that I've read in a while. I felt zero connection to any of the characters we meet - except for where I felt offended on their behalf. Why? Well, this is a bit of a Tolkien world; there are elves, dwarves, and humans - with a capital H, lol. These species are all thinly-veiled caricatures of actual human races. Every elf introduced was clearly Asian-inspired, and then there was the speaking in broken English/whatever the main language is in this world. I was off-put when I wasn't outright offended. All I have to say is, like another reviewer put it, I hope they invest in a sensitivity read or ten, and more editing before publication. 

We start the story following around a dwarf and his half-elf new partner, who've never met before, but a chapter later are referred to as good friends, without a time jump on-page. Again, pacing and story structure were wonky, not to mention the what felt like fantasy world copaganda for a while, of these two violently arresting offenders. 

The protagonist had STRONG Mary Sue vibes. I guess I can admire his wish to do something good before he dies, to spend his last days in some valiant way; but he says this out loud and it just seems too good of him, given the harsh realities of this world? Just a hero's journey trope I guess. But then this protagonist Xeile calls himself code name EXILE at one point; he just became corny. 

My rating is a mix of not feeling drawn in, and outright offense at some of the artistic liberties the author took. Two stars for an attempt at a rich fantastical world of necromancy and magic, but failing at an elementary level, character foundations.
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I will start with the good: I enjoyed the premise and plot of the book. There were many twists and turns. I love a good murder mystery, ghosts, and necromancy, so this really had many of the elements of a great fantasy tale for me. I also did enjoy the world-building. 

What I didn't enjoy: there were pacing issues. The beginning was very slow, then it started to move at light speed. I felt 0 connection to the characters. There was too much exposition for my taste. I'm a big believer in "show, don't tell" and this was a lot of telling. 

I do want to point out that I was quite uncomfortable with how the elves and dwarves were obviously inspired by specific human people groups and cultures. While I commend the author's attempt at diversity, without significant research or lived experience, these references fell flat at best and reinforce problematic stereotypes at worst. In particular, I found the plot around "half-elves" facing discrimination cringeworthy. It lacked depth and emotion (besides anger). I would also highly recommend the author remove the passages by Asian-inspired characters that have them speaking in broken English. I found these offensive and they added 0 value to the book. 

I hope the author and publisher will invest money in sensitivity readers for this book before publishing. 

Thank you Netgalley and Sidhe Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you so much publisher for providing an arc! I just devoured this book. It was so nerve-wrecking so I can not express enough about the plot. The plot is so interesting that you will find yourself gasping everytime you find something new.
I really like the worldbuilding, and how the author can create a world that has the capability of making us vicariously live through it. I feel like the introduction was a bit too slow-paced for me. The characters are fairly interesting. 
Henceforth, it was quite a good read.
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I loved this book. If you are a fan of a d&d setting, mystery and a great talent for description, then this book is for you. The setting is rich and full of an interesting history I can not wait to learn more about, the characters are both wonderful and flawed, but also not falling into the typical stereotypes you expect from them. There are surprises all around, and they are all delightful in their horrificness. Read this book, you won't be disappointed.
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