When you’re a witch named Trouble, chaos follows… Arden Lesstymine (known to everyone as Trouble) likes attention as much as the next girl, but this is getting ridiculous. When an insane stranger is murdered at the inn where she works, Trouble becomes the next Soulbearer for the disembodied god of chaos, Loku. Yes, it comes with the ability to channel the god’s limitless power, but at the cost of her sanity — literally. Now she has a sexy but cynical knight claiming to be her protector, a prince trying to seduce her to his cause (and his bed), and a snarky chaos god who offers a play-by-play commentary on it all, whether she wants to hear it or not. To make matters worse, a necromancer wants to capture the soul of Loku for his own dark purposes, and the only way he can get it is by killing her first.
A Soul for Trouble is the first book in the Soulbearer series by Crista McHugh. Ms. McHugh is a new author to me so I didn’t know what to expect when a friend recommended this book. I had been living in the world of urban/contemporary fantasy the past few months so it was a welcome change to go back to my first love of straight-up fantasy.
What can I say… this book was well written and a lot of fun! The story weaves together many archetypes such as Greek gods, Elves, Mages, a Necromancer, a fire wolf and, it’s all set against a medieval backdrop. Now doesn’t that sound fun? Ms. McHugh very creatively pulled all of these elements together and made one heck of a story that’s full of honor, duty, action, chivalry, compassion and betrayal.
The main protagonists are very well written and developed. I’ve said this in past reviews and I’ll say it again. I know the author is well written when I actually care about the characters. When I cheer for them, want them to find happiness or when I want to see the antagonist destroyed means you’ve got me sold. Yes, that is what makes a character driven novel go from meh to Great! My only lament with this book was there could have been little more development in regards to the necromancer antagonist. Just a little more would have rounded it out nicely for me.
There is a bit of a love triangle in this book. It’s pretty subdued and didn’t detract or distract from the main trust of the novel. I appreciate that. With all of the other elements involved in the story it would have felt forced to add any more romance to an already great book.
Crista McHugh is a fantastic descriptive writer. One can definitely visualize all that is going on in the Soulbearer world she created. There is a nice flow to her writing, almost like she is an old pro that has been writing for decades.
If you love a good fantasy novel with a touch of romance then give this a read. It will not disappoint.
I give A Soul for Trouble 4.5 stars