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I think I am completely in love Blackflame is an amazingly fantastic continuation of the Cradle series Integrating the fascinating Eastern inspired worldbuilding and magic martial arts system with better characterisation, Blackflame was easily the best book in the series so far Even though I m still not wild about the main protagonist, Wei Shi Lindon, I was growinginvested in what his future may bring At the end of Soulsmith, Lindon found himself being given one year to train and advan I think I am completely in love Blackflame is an amazingly fantastic continuation of the Cradle series Integrating the fascinating Eastern inspired worldbuilding and magic martial arts system with better characterisation, Blackflame was easily the best book in the series so far Even though I m still not wild about the main protagonist, Wei Shi Lindon, I was growinginvested in what his future may bring At the end of Soulsmith, Lindon found himself being given one year to train and advance in his sacred arts in order to fight an opponent that is waypowerful Lindon seemed to be the typical underdog character who kept defying the odds through a combination of sheer drive, ambition and a bit of providence Notwithstanding, one can t help but be curious to see how his story will pan outSometimes the game is rigged against you, and your only option is to flip the boardYerin, a key supporting character in Lindon s journey, was one whom I have not mentioned in my earlier reviews She first appeared towards the end of Unsouled, and started having her own POV in the sequel, Soulsmith As an apprentice to the Sword Sage, her fight scenes were amazing, but I wasn t feeling her character all that much until now Yerin was just simply badass and her fortitude harder than steel It would be interesting to learnabout her past, which I hoped will be revealed in future booksIf you don t feel like you re going to die when you re training, then you re doing it wrong Jai Long s story, on the other hand, faltered a bit in my opinion And they were all overshadowed by the mysterious, insufferable and irrepressible Eithan While his methods may not bode well with most except himself, to be exact , Lindon and Yerin would not have had the required growth in character development and power advancement without his interventionThere is an old saying about asking forgiveness rather than permission, but the essence of it is, I m going to do what I want I absolutely delighted in reading every scene where Eithan made an appearance Even though these scenes were rarely written in his perspective, they were always the most entertaining and fascinating to read As Lindon and Yerin were undertaking a gruelling test that was only surmountable by a team of Highgolds, a backdrop of political manoeuvring within the Empire was taking place to topple the Arelius clan This culminated in an epic showdown scene I ve never thought that such a scene could make me laugh so much, but somehow Eithan managed to do it He even reminded me of another favourite character of mine from one of my favourite series, Bob Heartstriker The revelations about Eithan towards the end of the book only served to make him evenintriguing I will now like to talk a bit about the magic martial arts system Cradle is a world where vital aura exists in everything Sacred beasts and sacred artists are the wildlife and humans who can control and use the aura through what is called madra in my mind this is like internal energy or power within the soul The higher the capacity and strength of one s madra, thepowerful the sacred artist can be The levelling up on strength in this system is highly reminiscent of RPGs The deployment of such powers can be also categorised into different battle techniques Enforcer, Striker, and Ruler These techniques manifest in different ways for different Paths a Path takes the form of an aspect of aura that the sacred artist is most proficient at controlling with his or her madra It took me three books to grasp and appreciate how all these components come together Even then, there are times when I am still struggling to keep up with complexities of auras, madras, techniques, Paths, etc There is a 4th technique, Forger, which shapes madra into a spiritual weapon, and is also a term used by Soulsmiths in harnessing vital aura from Remnants into constructs I have mentioned how incredible the powers are in my earlier review Well, it was evenbreathtaking in this book, as we finally get to see what the Underlords were capable of It was just amazeballs and so darn fun to read And we haven t even fully touched upon the evenastounding galactic powers, which at this point only appeared in snippets As the series progressed, the worldbuilding also gradually expanded in scope We first saw the Sacred Valley and its sheltered people in Unsouled Then, in the sequel, there was the Desolate Wilds and its corrupted beasts In this third instalment, we learntabout the Blackflame Empire as the narrative moved its location to Serpent s Grave a most appropriate name which was related to why the Empire was called Blackflame The world of Cradle itself was named quite literally for its role and significance in the cosmos We also get brief interludes which provided a glimpse of other planets, or what the galactic entities call Iterations All in all, I get the feeling that the author has formed an ambitious foundation of worldbuilding from which multiple stories can be told Blackflame was only the third out of six known books in the series, with five self published so far Nonetheless, this third instalment was so good that I m going ahead to recommend this series to lovers of fantasy especially for those looking for Eastern inspired ones If you are a fan of anime and manga as well, I m sure that it will work out even better for you.You can purchase a copy of the book, or read it free via Kindle Unlimited onUS You can also find this and my other reviews at Novel Notions. Someone, Bai Rou said, is making a monster I ve reread the final chapters at least four times already Each time, that line gives me chills.The world of Cradle is an engrossing, meticulously built fantasy smorgasbord of epic challenges It s filled with murderous antagonists, literal soul crushing characters normally that would be bad but these are the real highlights and a hero desperately out of his depth.Boilerplate you may think but packaged so perfectly It s amazing Having read the f Someone, Bai Rou said, is making a monster I ve reread the final chapters at least four times already Each time, that line gives me chills.The world of Cradle is an engrossing, meticulously built fantasy smorgasbord of epic challenges It s filled with murderous antagonists, literal soul crushing characters normally that would be bad but these are the real highlights and a hero desperately out of his depth.Boilerplate you may think but packaged so perfectly It s amazing Having read the first two installments of the Cradle series, the first being spectacular Each volume is progressively better than it predecessor Blackflame delivers, yet again.Will Wight is building a monster of a series and I can t wait for Holy J.K Rowling, that was a Page turner I raced through that book and I want to know what s going to happen next I need the next book, NOW.The 2nd book ended and we start off with Lindon being a fresh Iron He s slowly moving up the rankings, but he sure pays the physical and emotional price to be moving that way Yerin is frustrated that she doesn t seem to be able to move She has the sash that is holding her back Eithan is one of my favorite characters He is written so well I love how Holy J.K Rowling, that was a Page turner I raced through that book and I want to know what s going to happen next I need the next book, NOW.The 2nd book ended and we start off with Lindon being a fresh Iron He s slowly moving up the rankings, but he sure pays the physical and emotional price to be moving that way Yerin is frustrated that she doesn t seem to be able to move She has the sash that is holding her back Eithan is one of my favorite characters He is written so well I love how airy he is I can t wait to see him show up on the page He collects his house and they take a ride over to his city It s built in a valley of dragon skeleton s and all the buildings are built into the skeleton s It s such a cool image Eithan puts the kids to training right away and we find out that there are politics going on in the city, of course It s always pressure from every angle It never lets up I will say, one of my critics to this series is no one anywhere really has any fun There isn t any dating or dancing or life going on It appears that everyone is only focused on advancing and getting ahead It seems to be a sad commentary on their society There is no where to have any real joy that we have seen It s all work, work, work There needs to be just a little bit of breathing room where life actually happens There might be too much pressure, but then again, I can t put these silly things down The weirdest creature I ve seen in some time appears in the middle of this book I m not sure it even makes a whole lot of sense, but I enjoyed it all the same Spoilers The Aurelius clan still has a dragon under the mountain, but it is a cousin It s a giant turtle that is huge and shots fire out of its mouth like a dragon and is filled with fire and heat and its also going slowly crazy I love that it s used to help get Lindon to the Jade stage It s a great scene The most interesting thing, is the celestial that we meet in the first book we see again at the end She sent Lindon on his trip to become powerful When she looks in on him, she realizes that the future she saw for him has changed and she doesn t know what this means.We also find out that Eithan is on the path of the twin spirits as well and I thought that was the case That did not surprise me, but it was wonderful how it we found out as readers This was a great entry and I can t wait to get the next book If you haven t read this book and love fantasy, you need to begin reading these books Blackflame delivers on a whole new level and is a fantastic story, fully deserving of my first five star rating for this exciting series.At the end of Soulsmith our main character is assigned a seemingly impossible task A duel with an opponent who is a lion to his mouse The inevitability of Lindon s defeat and death is scheduled for a year later with Blackflame picking up almost immediately after Soulsmith and with Lindon training in the hope of survival Who doesn t love a great training sequ Blackflame delivers on a whole new level and is a fantastic story, fully deserving of my first five star rating for this exciting series.At the end of Soulsmith our main character is assigned a seemingly impossible task A duel with an opponent who is a lion to his mouse The inevitability of Lindon s defeat and death is scheduled for a year later with Blackflame picking up almost immediately after Soulsmith and with Lindon training in the hope of survival Who doesn t love a great training sequence Eithan has arranged for both Lindon and Yerin to hone their skills and hopefully level up on an ancient, almost mythical training ground that was used by the Blackflames.This is where it all starts coming together friends Lindon has come so far, but in a world of numerous, vastlypowerful practitioners of the sacred arts, he is an eternal underdog It only makes it that muchexciting though to embrace his journey and root for him I hold out hope that through his sheer will, fortitude and tenacity he will one day be able to level the playing fields The story took me to places I did not expect, with surprising and delightful results, whilst also expanding the world even further than what was revealed in Soulsmith, and not only limited to the geography So muchwas revealed regarding the history and mythos of the world and the people in it, whilst still barely giving us an impression of the entirety of this creation I get the feeling that I might be saying that same line with every book I read in this series, so much is there to discover Every time I thought that I had glimpsed the limits of the author s ambition, he pulled the rug out from under me Or rather, he pulled back the curtain to reveal a new layer of this detailed world, all the while distracting from the fact that there was another curtain behind the part just revealed You thought thisNope, it s actually thisIf you asked me about the strengths of the story, I would be at a loss which to choose, because Will Wight seems to be great at everything I thought I was starting to get to grips with the magic system, but I kept on being reminded that like Jon Snow, I know nothing Characters are given the same treatment, with the author really just starting to show off his skills Lindon and Yerin are steadily becoming full colour versions of the black and white characters we first met, and don t get me started on Eithan, who could carry this series by himself and needspage time I am in fact tempted to talk about a particularly noteworthy fighting scene involving Eithan and Naah, let me not spoil the funThere s an old saying about asking forgiveness rather than permission, Eithan said, but the essence of it is, I m going to do what I want The writing once again delivers pacing that makes the story a breeze to read and the series almost impossible not to devour in one go Paired with fantastic fights and filled to the brim with complex characters, detailed world building, unique magic and , I cannot help but recommend this series to all fantasy fans If every book in the rest of the series matches this one s quality I will be happy as a kitten with catnipI would urge you to remember what happened when you took over the training of our family Coppers Oh, that s nothing to worry about Cassias turned to Lindon I personally rescued a girl who ran from his training into a place called the Thousand Beast Forest She survived by hiding from two headed bears I found her crouched in a cave, dirty and bleeding, but she begged me to leave her rather than take her back to train Lindon moved his gaze from the pill to Eithan and back That does seem harsh Perhaps she may have been pushed a little too hard, don t you think Don t worry, I don t train my students like that any, Eithan said, holding up a bottle to the light I was far too lenient before After weeks of my training, that girl should have been fighting those bears With her fists 4.75 stars.I loved this book This series has been addicting and fun throughout and Blackflame has only increased my love for it Narrator Travis Baldree continues to impress as he brings this world to life and gives each character a unique voice After this series is up I am definitely going to be looking into other series that he has narrated.The first two books in this series were really good Unsouled introduced the world, magic system, and some of the characters, while giving hints of a lar 4.75 stars.I loved this book This series has been addicting and fun throughout and Blackflame has only increased my love for it Narrator Travis Baldree continues to impress as he brings this world to life and gives each character a unique voice After this series is up I am definitely going to be looking into other series that he has narrated.The first two books in this series were really good Unsouled introduced the world, magic system, and some of the characters, while giving hints of a larger plot Soulsmith expands on everything, showing that there is a wider world outside of Sacred Valley that Lindon couldn t have ever imagined It introduced major characters into the mix and the events happening in Soulsmith served as a catalyst for Lindon s own advancement in the sacred arts And then Blackflame happened.If I had to sum up Blackflame in one sentence, I would simply say that it was the best book in the series so far and near perfection in its execution Since I m writing a full review, you ll have to suffer through my eloquent script as I try to piece together why it is that book 3 is my favorite so far in the series.One thing I always talk about for Cradle reviews is the magic system It is unique, has strict rules about power advancement, and employs defined levels of power that hugely affect the outcomes of battles It is creative, imaginative, and relies on both the power level and the intelligence of the sacred artist in its use Not to mention it is so much fun In Blackflame, there are training sequences, pitched battles that took the fighting and plot to a whole other level, and lessons frompowerful sacred artists than Lindon that fascinated me and just increased my hunger to learnabout this magic system and its applications.Another thing that really increased in its magnitude was what we knew of the world At the end of Soulsmith we know about a few tribes outside of Sacred Valley and a large, powerful empire that is feared by those within those tribes In Blackflame, we not only learnabout that empire, but is also so muchabout the world as a whole As events escalate we get to see clan rivalries, political infighting, and a whole new level of power that was unseen before this book We also get to seeof the Abaddon that guards the realms of reality itself from chaos.The weakness that still pervades throughout this series and I why I couldn t give the book 5 stars is Lindon s character development I still found it hard to really connect with and care for him I said in my review of Soulsmith that I admire Lindon for his courage, determination, and sheer force of will However, while Lindon hasthan enough grit, he lacks in emotional depth It is hard to empathize with someone who just seems to get over everything like there was nothing wrong in the first place However, I also want to emphasize that the cast of characters alongside Lindon just about made up for his lack of depth Yerin, Eithan, and Jai Long are fascinating characters and ones that I hope to continue to be able to follow throughout the rest of the series They are characters that have depth, mysterious back stories that we slowly get to seeandof, alongside a similar level of determination and will that has brought Lindon so far since leaving Sacred Valley.This series is one I will highly recommend for those that love methodical, well developed, and creative magic systems with realistic and earned progression I really enjoyed Blackflame and I hope that if you decide to pick it up you do too Executive Summary This series started out pretty solid, but this book got really really good I read the first half over several days, but I read the second half in one sitting For that reason it was a pretty easy 5 star for me Full Review A friend of mine was recommending I read Will Wight for a long time, but there are just so many books authors out there that I never got around to it It took getting a free copy of the first book of this series to get me to finally give him a shot.I keep Executive Summary This series started out pretty solid, but this book got really really good I read the first half over several days, but I read the second half in one sitting For that reason it was a pretty easy 5 star for me Full Review A friend of mine was recommending I read Will Wight for a long time, but there are just so many books authors out there that I never got around to it It took getting a free copy of the first book of this series to get me to finally give him a shot.I keep coming back to Naruto not because this series is a knock off of that, but because some of the notes it hits keep reminding me of my favorite parts of that series I d be really shocked if Wight isn t a fan wasn t inspired by that or other Shonen fighting series.This book starts off right where the last one left off, and Lindon is once again training to take on a challenge far beyond his power It s not until he starts this trial that reminded me slightly of the Chunin exams that this book really gets good I was only going to read another 2 3 chapters and instead I stayed up an hour later than I intended just so I could finish I also rushed right out to buy the next book.This series has some really great characters Lindon is likeable enough but he s kind of the typical protagonist for this kind of a story I really love both Eithan and Yerin as well Eithan is both mysterious and hilarious The book also introduces another fantastic new character whose name I can t recall but he s a giant insane Dragon Turtle so really what does it matter what his name is There were some pretty interesting developments with Lindon in this book and some pretty intriguing revelations about Eithan as well I m really looking forward to seeing where this series goes next.I m not sure how many people are reading Will Wight, but I ll be joining my friend in recommending him, at least to my friends who enjoy Shonen fighting series This was the best book of the series so far and I was happy to learn that what I assumed was a trilogy is actually longer and that a fourth book is to be released Which is great because I think there is a lotstory to tell in this universe I d highly recommend this entire series to anyone who would like an Asian influenced fantasy series, heroes that use their brains not hidden over powered skill sets. *Download ☠ Blackflame ⇹ Lindon has a year left When his time runs out, he ll have to fight an opponent that no one believes he can beat Unless he learns sacred arts the right way, from scratch, he won t have a chance to win and even then, the odds are against him In the course of their training, he and Yerin travel to the Blackflame Empire, where they fight to master an ancient power Success means a chance at life, but failure means death In the sacred arts, only those who risk the most can travel far 4.75 Stars 4.5 5 starsThis series just keeps getting better and better