|Published||June 13, 2016|
|Media type||ebook, paperback, audiobook|
Sacred artists follow a thousand Paths to power, using their souls to control the forces of the natural world.
Lindon is Unsouled, forbidden to learn the sacred arts of his clan.
When faced with a looming fate he cannot ignore, he must rise beyond anything he's ever known...and forge his own Path.
Summary[edit | edit source]
Wei Shi Lindon and the Sacred Valley[edit | edit source]
Wei Shi Lindon of the Sacred Valley is Unsouled. Determined to practice the sacred arts despite his clan's disapproval, he acquires an ancestral orus fruit, a treasure that will increase his madra, the fuel of the sacred arts. This leads him to an encounter with Elder Whisper, one the founders of his clan. Whisper, who can sometimes see pieces of fate, sees a potential connection between Lindon and a disaster that he has long seen coming. He encourages Lindon in his study of the sacred arts, inspiring him to forge his own path. Encouraged by Elder Whisper, Lindon finds an old technique manual, The Heart of Twin Stars, in his clan's archive. While the title's technique, which involves splitting your core in two, doesn't suit him, it mentions another technique, the Empty Palm, which Lindon is able to adapt for his own use with the help of his sister Kelsa. The Empty Palm allows him to defeat a rival clan member in a duel and helps him prepare for the upcoming Seven-Year Festival, where he will be required to compete against young sacred artists of rival clans.
Thanks to the ancestral orus fruit, his sister's help, and the Empty Palm, Lindon easily wins his stage in the tournament, earning the right to challenge someone a stage higher from a rival clan. Before he can do so, his clan's Patriarch, Wei Jin Sairus, intervenes, as the clan's guest from the Heaven's Glory school has found an Unsouled winning against other sacred artists offensive. When Lindon refuses to abandon his opportunity to fight, the Patriarch requires him to instead face Wei Jin Amon, who is the Patriarch's grandson and a skilled fighter two stages higher than Lindon. Lindon agrees, but before the fight occurs the tournament is interrupted by Li Markuth, Grand Patriarch of the Li clan, who has returned to the Sacred Valley after ascending to the heavens. After killing Wei Jin Sairus, Li Markuth challenges the remaining Wei clan. Lindon chooses to fight alongside his clan and die with honor rather than submit, and is subsequently killed by Li Markuth.
Suriel and Lindon[edit | edit source]
Suriel, the Phoenix, Sixth Judge of the Abidan Court has been assigned the task of hunting down Ozriel, the Reaper. Reluctant to perform this duty, she delays by visiting Cradle, Ozriel's home world. While she knows Ozriel is not likely to return, it gives her an opportunity to consider her options and solve a small problem as a distraction while she delays. With the help of her Presence, she decides to intervene in Li Markuth's return to Cradle. Arriving shortly before his return, Suriel watches from a distance as Lindon wins his tournament. She notes the madra deficiency he was born with and watches his fated future: that he will overcome his deficiency, eventually advancing to the rank of Iron, before dying in a Dreadgod attack that destroys most of Sacred Valley. He further catches her attention when he chooses to fight against Li Markuth despite knowing it would lead to his death. Suriel decides that she will not just revert the actions of Li Markuth, but intervene in Lindon's life, giving him a chance at a different fate. She resurrects Lindon, who watches as she captures Li Markuth, sentencing him to stand trial. After showing Lindon his future fate, he asks what can be done to prevent the destruction that is coming in the future. Suriel gives him a vision of some of the most powerful sacred artists in the world, inspiring him to leave his home to seek the power needed to protect the sacred valley. She tells him to head to Mount Samara, home of the Heaven's Glory school and look for Yerin, Disciple of the Sword Sage, who can guide him out of the valley, telling him that "She, too, has a fate that needs changing."  She leaves Lindon with a glass bead that she can sense across the worlds, then Lindon watches as Suriel rolls back the effects of Li Markuth, restoring those he has killed, and returning Lindon to the Seven-Year Festival the moment before Li Markuth's interruption.
Lindon, Yerin, and Heaven's Glory[edit | edit source]
Once again, Lindon is asked to forego the opportunity to fight. Looking for an opportunity to go to Heaven's Glory school so he can find Yerin, he addresses Elder Whitehall, the offended representative, requesting that if he defeats Wei Jin Amon, he be allowed to take Amon's place at the school. Elder Whitehall agrees, assuming Lindon will be killed in the fight. When Lindon wins through a cheat he prepared ahead of time, he is allowed to go the school, with Whitehall once again assuming that Lindon will soon be killed or otherwise sent home. Through yet another cheat, Lindon passes the school's entrance exam, earning the right to take an item from the schools treasure vault. Lindon learns from the other students in the school that for some time now, the school has been sending students against the Sword Sage's disciple with no success. He learns her general location, and goes out to find her himself. He succeeds, and tells her his story. While she is skeptical, she offers to help him leave the Sacred Valley in exchange for his assistance against Heaven's Glory and his help in retrieving the sword and remnant of her master, who was murdered by Heaven's Glory. Lindon agrees, but they are soon discovered and have to fight their way out. While Yerin is fighting Elder Whitehall and the majority of the Iron's he brought with him, Lindon has to fight an Iron opponent as well, making his first kill. Elder Whitehall retreats, and Lindon leads Yerin back the school, where they are able to get some rest.
When they awake, they make plans to loot the treasure room Lindon saw previously. Though Yerin is able to break in without issue, she triggers an alarm inside. Once again, Yerin has to fight. Meanwhile, Lindon loots the room obtaining a variety of treasures, including spirit seals to aid in capturing the Sword Sage's remnant. Eventually they escape and head to the Ancestor's Tomb, where her master was killed. While Yerin is battling her master's remnant, Elder Whitehall, who made it to the tomb ahead of them, attacks her from hiding. Lindon circles around to attack Whitehall from behind, but his attack is ineffective. Whitehall throws Lindon towards the fight, and Lindon, reacting quickly, throws the spirit seals at the remnant as he passes. A few land, allowing Yerin to gain the upper ground in her fight. Elder Whitehall, cautious of Lindon, and fearing that Lindon is more powerful than he appears, offers Lindon a deal. When Lindon refuses, he attempts to destroy Lindon's core. Lindon at the last second uses the Heart of Two Stars technique he learned previously, preventing his core from being destroyed. Not realizing that Lindon has survived, Whitehall turns his attention back to the fight between Yerin and her master's remnant. Lindon is able to catch him unaware and throw him off a cliff. Yerin, meanwhile wins her fight. She claims her master's sword and they depart. On their way out of the valley, Yerin explains to Lindon that many of the Sacred Valley's assumptions about the sacred arts are wrong. There is no such thing as "Unsouled." Lindon, eventually understanding her point, realizes that he has been walking his Path for some time now. He pulls out the old technique manual, and as founder of a new Path, starts a new page: "The Path of Twin Stars."
Characters[edit | edit source]
Wei Shi Lindon: Lindon is the main character of the series. From the Wei clan, and the Shi family, Lindon is Unsouled, born with a weak spirit and no affinity for any specific branch of the sacred arts. In contrast with his weak spirit, Lindon is tall with a muscular build and perpetually serious expression, giving him the appearance of looking for a fight, even when he is trying desperately to avoid one. Lindon works in the clan archive. After earning a spot at Heaven's Glory School, Lindon finds Yerin, helping her harvest her master's remnant in exchange for her help leaving Sacred Valley.
Wei Mon Teris: Teris is Lindon's cousin. He is a copper Enforcer on the Path of the White Fox. His antagonism toward Lindon leads to Lindon's recovery of the orus fruit and the events of the book.
Wei Shi Kelsa: Kelsa is Lindon's older sister. At he beginning of the story, she is a copper, a Ruler on the Path of the White Fox, and a skilled sacred artist. She is instrumental in helping Lindon prepare for the tournament.
Wei Shi Jaran: Jaran is Lindon's father. He is an iron on the Path of the White fox. His leg was crippled in a fight long ago, and his bitterness affects how he treats his son, who was born with a crippled spirit.
First Elder: The First Elder is a jade Forger on the path of the White Fox and handles the day to day workings of the Wei clan. Though he is sympathetic to Lindon's predicament, he feels it would be best for Lindon and the clan if Lindon quietly accepted his shame and faded into obscurity.
Elder Whisper: Elder Whisper is a white fox, and one of the founders of the Wei clan. His stage of advancement is unknown. Sometimes able to see glimpses of fate, he sees a connection between Lindon and a disaster that will soon come to Sacred Valley. He encourages Lindon to pursue his own path.
Wei Mon Keth: Keth is Teris's father. He is an iron striker on the Path of the White Fox. Lindon uses the Empty Palm against him in a duel. Though Lindon loses to a technicality, he humiliates Keth, saving face for himself and his family.
Suriel: Suriel, the Phoenix, is a Judge of the Abidan and leader of the sixth division. Though sympathetic to Ozriel, she has been tasked with hunting him down and persuading him to return to his duties. Procrastinating, she intervenes and restores Lindon's life after Li Markuth kills him, setting Lindon on a new path.
Elder Whitehall: Elder Whitehall is a Jade at Heaven's Glory school. Seeking to prevent his aging, he accidentally gave himself the body of a child. He is antagonistic toward Lindon.
Yerin, disciple of the Sword Sage: Yerin was found by the Sage of the Endless Sword at a young age. He took her as his disciple, taking her with him in his wanderings. When Lindon finds her after her master is killed by the jades of Heaven's Glory, they swear an oath on their souls to help each other. After her master is killed, Yerin harvests his remnant, advancing to the rank of gold on the Path of the Endless Sword.
Reception[edit | edit source]
type things here
- Will Wight. Unsouled. Hidden Gnome Publishing. June 2016. Back cover.
- Will Wight. Unsouled. Hidden Gnome Publishing. June 2016. pg 148.