3.75 Stars. ‘The Soulstealers’ was a well written, YA fantasy book. I do have to admit that I didn’t love the story as much as I wanted to. However, I’m still rating this on the higher side because it’s a well done, quality, YA book.
In this world, magic comes at a steep price. When Druids come of age they steal and trap the soul of a person to leach magic off of. Arnaka is turning 16 and it is now time for her to get a soul familiar. The problem is the girl that must die to have her soul trapped by Arnaka is her best friend. Arnaka promises her friend that she will do everything in her power to stop any more people having to die for magic. Can Arnaka fight all that stands against her to keep her promise?
While this is a YA book, it is on the darker side. If librarians are considering this I would suggest it for older teens. One of my issues with the storyline is that I felt it was pretty depressing. There is friendship, hope, and even a teeny tiny baby f/f romance, so it’s not all doom and gloom, I just wish there were a bigger amount of lighter moments. I felt like this book weighed on me a bit.
The imagination of this book is very well done. While a floating city and palace above a ravaged land is not a new concept, the rest of the book felt pretty fresh. I have read a lot of mainstream and LGBTQ fantasy books so it’s always a pleasant surprise for a book to have really new ideas.
The characters are all pretty well done even the more secondary ones. It was a good cast of heroes and villains. As I mentioned before, there is a baby romance but nothing more than a couple of kisses. I wish there was time to develop the relationship between the characters more but with so much going on in the book, there just wasn’t.
This sort of leads me to one of my issues which is time. I wish there was more time for expanding on things in the book. I didn’t feel enough time was spent between Arnaka and her best friend to really cement their strong friendship connection. I wanted more time for the romance even if it was kept G-rated and I wanted more time at the end of the book, the ending was a tiny bit of a letdown.
This book has some great adventures, some good magic battles, and well thought out characters. The story itself felt refreshingly new. It did make me feel a little melancholy because it is on the sadder side. Overall I would still recommend this to YA fantasy fans.
NineStar Press really has some of the best covers. They impress me more and more every time I see a new book out.
An ARC was given to me for an honest review.