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Soulbound: Legacy of Tril #1    by Heather Brewer Amazon.com order for
Soulbound
by Heather Brewer
Order:  USA  Can
Dial, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Heather Brewer has created a fascinating fantasy world in her new Legacy of Tril series. It is a world where politics play a part in everything that anyone does ... and death is always at the door.

Kaya has lived with her parents in the far reaches of Tril her entire life. Although her parents are both Barrons and she is a Healer, her family has chosen to live among the Unskilled, hiding from the Zettai Council which frowns upon unions between Barrons. The first sixteen years of her life are pretty normal, until a Grappler, a creature she thought was only a myth, attacks and kills her best friend. Shortly afterwards, Kaya is summoned to attend Shadow Academy to learn to become a Healer. She is informed that her Soulbound Barron has passed but that she will be Bound to another Barron who has lost his Soulbound Healer.

Unhappy about the notice, but wishing to keep her parents safe, Kaya journeys to Shadow Academy, where she does not fit in at all. First, she refuses to be pampered like the other Healers. And second, she wants to learn to fight. Her Bound Barron, Trayton, bristles at the thought of breaking Protocol and teaching her. A mysterious Unskilled instructor names Darius is up to the challenge ... but would prefer his student to be any Healer other than Kaya. Kaya would like to figure out the truth about Darius's history, but there is no time as Grapplers are closing in on the Academy's walls.

Brewer really knows how to keep a story moving. Once the exposition is out of the way, Soulbound really takes off as Kaya starts to buck Protocol at Shadow Academy. Everything builds to a major (though predictable) twist, followed immediately by a cliffhanger. This is a wonderful specimen of YA serial fantasy. However, there are some parts that do make the reader wonder if they take time to stop and think mainly the way Kaya's school days seem to skip about as if time has no meaning at Shadow Academy.

However, the plot is so exciting especially towards the end that these inconsistencies can be excused as a way to keep the action going. Soulbound is a wonderful action-packed fantasy. By the end of it, readers will be desperately awaiting the continuation in Heather Brewer's next installment, Soulbroken.

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