Sacred Valley has been saved…at least, what’s left of it.
With his home finally secure, Lindon delves deep into the ancient labyrinth, seeking long-lost Soulsmithing knowledge and the secret to destroying the Dreadgods. Monarchs plot against him and against each other, unaware of the threats gathering in realms beyond.
Far above Lindon and the Monarchs and the Dreadgods, another war is waged. Suriel and the Abidan clash against the Mad King and his forces in a battle for the fate of many worlds.
And if it is lost, Cradle will be destroyed.
Reaper is the tenth instalment in the Cradle series by Will Wight released on November 2, 2021 in all formats.
|Published||November 2, 2021|
|Media type||ebook, paperback, audiobook|
|Followed by||Dreadgod (TBA)|
SPOILERS for Reaper
After redirecting the Dreadgod Wandering Titan in book 9, Bloodline, Lindon and Yerin explore the void space belonging to the assassinated Sage of the Endless Sword, with Elder Whisper. Then Lindon and company dwell briefly with the Sacred Valley refugees in the shantytown Refuge, in the Desolate Wilds. To his surprise, the new Twin Star Sect crops up around him, thanks to Eithan Arelius and Jai Chen. Orthos is still humongous, until he shrinks. Mercy is briefly imprisoned by nightmares in her book. The Blackflame emperor Naru Huan arrives in Refuge via cloudship with provisions for the grateful refugees, loudly hailing the empire’s new Sage and Herald, Yerin. Soon after, Lindon takes his family and his young acolytes to Serpent’s Grave.
In Serpent’s Grave, the Twin Star Sect is given a school building. Life settles down quietly for a season. Then Eithan begins to sense something is happening out west, towards Sacred Valley. Eventually, he goes with Lindon on his speediest cloud Bounding Gazelle to check it out. As they approach the Valley, they see that the rings around Mount Samara have changed.
Why? Because Monarch Reigan Shen has switched the cores beneath each holy peak. He has awakened all the Dreadgods at once. He thinks he can assume control of them, and use them to kill all the other Monarchs. He wants to rule all of Cradle.
Meanwhile, as Lindon and Eithan draw nearer to Sacred Valley, Lindon is suddenly flattened by a powerful burst of hunger aura while his Copper sight is open. When he comes to, his friends are at his side — Eithan, Yerin, Akura Mercy, Ziel, Orthos, and Little Blue. They all agree — albeit reluctantly— to go check out the labyrinth with Eithan and Lindon.
They enter the Labyrinth via the Ancestor’s Tomb, high on Mount Samara. Lots of action ensues down in the Labyrinth, and simultaneously, a battle against the Dreadgod cults occurs on the mountain outside. Final result? Jai Long advances to Underlord. The weakened lion Monarch battles Lindon and company but fails to kill them. He steals the ancient Soulforge belonging to Ozmanthus Arelius. He also kills Subject One and takes his core, supposedly to control the Dreadgods.
Meanwhile, down underground, Eithan teaches Lindon advanced soulsmithing with soulfire and gives him a soulforge in a void key (Eithan traded it from Shen a few books ago). Lindon immediately forges a powerful hammer called Genesis and a spear called Midnight. Mercy advances to Overlady. Lindon advances to Archlord. He wins the trust of the entire Labyrinth and with its power invested in him, he first takes Subject One’s arm to rebuild his prosthetic, and then he sends Shen and the Dreadgod cults far away. . .Zap! Lindon must swear an oath to Monarch Akura Malice that he won’t tell anyone the secret to ridding Cradle of Dreadgods.
Soon afterward, the Mad King comes to erase Cradle with a scythe made from 12 failures created by Abidan Judge Makiel. Eithan crushes his black marble, removing his origin shroud and all restrictions. Suddenly Ozriel himself is standing there in Eithan’s place. He confronts the big baddie, but the Mad King escapes into the Void. Good thing, cuz Oz is not yet at full strength. Ozzie-Eithan tells the kids he loved every minute of his time with them. They love on him back. Then the Abidan judges arrest him. . .But Suriel stays to invite Lindon and his friends to fulfill Ozriel’s plan and become heavenly Reapers.
All four Dreadgods are awake. All four of them are more alert than they’ve been for eons. And Reigan Shen has visions of world domination.
New characters or more fully developed characters: The Vroshir (The Mad King), The Abidan Judges, Subject One, Ozmanthus Arelius, Wei Shi Kelsa, Akura Malice, Elder Whisper, The four Dreadgods, etc.