Review: Second Spear by Kerstin Hall

57955302Another novella that the publisher reached out to see if I would like to give it a read, this one sounded super interesting, and so I leapt on the chance to give it a read.

So, thanks to the author, as well as Tordotcom via NetGalley for the review copy!

After surviving the schemes of a vengeful goddess and learning some shattering truths about her former life, the warrior Tyn feels estranged from her role guarding her ruler. Grappling with knowledge of her identity, she unleashes her frustrations on all the wrong people.

When an old enemy returns wielding an unstoppable, realm-crushing weapon and Tyn is swept up in the path of destruction, she must make a choice about who she is and who she wants to be.


This is the story of Tyn, who is the Second Spear in the realm of her ruler, which is one of, as I understand it, 999 realms, all ruled by different gods and demons. Throughout the course of this story, Tyn is swept up into some serious realm-on-realm fighting, and has to make some hard choices.

Now, to start, this novella seems to be a sequel to a previous novel, and I got the feeling often that I was missing some important information, not so much as to what was happening, but on things that had happened before. It read well enough that I could follow what was happening to Tyn in this story alone, but there was definitely a whole bunch of shenanigans that were alluded to from a story set in a previous time than this one. Characters she already knows, events that happened before this story, etc. I don’t think it’s 100% necessary to read that first, especially if you’re hoping to just try out the story/writing, but keep in mind that stuff like that is present.

The world sounded really interesting, in that everyone who dwells in it, aside from the rulers (though, perhaps them as well) had a previous life… somewhere? I don’t know if this is a died-and-came-to-heaven/hell situation or if they just lived somewhere previously. The best thing I can compare this to is an anime named Haibane Renmei, in that the characters seem to die or something similar and are reborn as dwellers of these realms.

All told, I really liked the writing and I thought that the story was interesting. It made me want to read the first book, and at the same time, made me worried that this story will have now spoiled the ending of that one for myself. I suppose I’ll find out? Perhaps if I wait long enough between them, I’ll forget some of the details! ^_^ 4/5 stars!

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