Exciting traditional fantasy. Horst is a newcomer and misfit to the tower and school of mages – his people believe that magical gifts are a curse. An evil spirit is terrorizing the city, and when the spirit’s malicious actions strike too close to Horst, he vows personal revenge.
This book has enjoyable characters; I especially liked Horst and Rufus, Horst’s fellow “barbarian” who is also a mage and one of his mentors. The magicians training and living in the tower are mostly portrayed as a well-rounded and diverse group of people. The crimelord Thaddeus is also a fun character; the bane of the city law enforcement’s existence, he’s too useful for them to seriously think about putting him away.
I also enjoyed the nature of the evil threat in the story; much more frightening and insidious than an army. The evil spirit has its own agenda, and it’s ruthless and sneaky in going about its business. The magic in the story is also quite cool.
The novel felt a little unbalanced; a lot of attention was given to things that didn’t seem quite as important to the story (they may prove to be more important in later books), while other, more important, events felt like they were skimmed over or skipped completely. Because of this, sometimes it was kind of hard to tell what was going on.
But mostly Bane of Souls is pretty well-written, and a fast-paced, entertaining read.