What happens when the universe’s greatest executioner gets sick of his job? Everything you see here.
And what do you see here? One of the best adventures written in the early twenty-first century. I admit that is a pretty low bar, but I gladly stock Wight on my shelf next to the greats of the previous century. And I do mean stock, as I gladly share these books with my children, but I prefer that they consume books in physical form.
Book 11 in the Cradle series continues Wight’s phenomenal track record of telling the kind of story that people want to read [or hear]. The audience wants exciting adventures with real heroes who deserve to win. Anti-heroes were new and fun in the New Wave era, but now every character is morally grey and flawed.
Lindon’s appeal as a hero is his earnestness. This makes him in stick out in the urbane and sophisticated yet totally ruthless honor culture of the world of Cradle. Lindon actually wants to help people, and this throws everyone off their game. Now, there have certainly been a few people that Lindon met in his journey who helped him out of the goodness of their hearts. But they were the exceptions. Everyone else acts as if anyone they meet is a potential step stool for future success.
Which is one of the reasons why Lindon is so successful. No one in his world trusts anyone else, and the only effective methods of organization are based on kinship.
I, against my brothers. I and my brothers against my cousins. I and my brothers and my cousins against the world.
Immense success awaits anyone who can find a way to trust people they aren’t related to. Which is where Eithan comes in. Eithan knows that the ability to cooperate will destroy the existing power structures, and he set out to find people who would be capable of accompanying him on that journey.
Unfortunately for Eithan, his enemies used their influence of Fate to thwart him, pulling him out of Cradle entirely. Fortunately for Eithan, his enemies do not understand him, or what he really wants. His mission was accomplished, and now we just need to wait and see how it plays out. Which should prove to be a lot of fun.
Now, as the end approaches, you can see the outlines of what Eithan was after all along. The Abidan, the men and women of great power who created the system that rules the many worlds like Cradle, never transcended their own nature. Sure, they left their worlds of birth and attained unfathomable cosmic power, but that didn’t make them something other than what they already were. It just made them strong.
The Abidan do not truly cooperate with one another. They have a hostile truce, a stalemate which allows each one to pursue their own ends. And this equilibrium is unstable, vulnerable to an outside force that could exploit the lack of trust among them.
The immense hubris of the Abidan invites nemesis. I’m curious to see if the form of the destroyer is an intense and awkward young man.
Other books by Will Wight
Unsouled: Cradle Book 1 Review
Soulsmith: Cradle Book 2 Review
Blackflame: Cradle Book 3 Review
Skysworn: Cradle Book 4 Review
Ghostwater: Cradle Book 5 Review
Underlord: Cradle Book 6 Review
Uncrowned: Cradle Book 7 Review
Wintersteel: Cradle Book 8 Review
Bloodline: Cradle Book 9 Review
Reaper: Cradle Book 10 Review
Traveler’s Gate series:
Elder Empire series: