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Reviewed by Kimberlee J Benart for Readers' Favorite
Path of the Spirit Runner: Book 2 of the Rootstock Saga is an epic fantasy by L.H. Leonard. Ten years have passed since King Walter abdicated the throne of Innis and the northern clans retreated in the face of the forces supporting his sister. But Queen Anne has brought no justice to the land. Oppression fosters resistance. Fanaticism fans intolerance. Greed sparks conspiracy. Awakening mind gifts parallel developments in science, government, and religion. Forces both human and not are at work in Innis while the distant continent of Tallu beckons. Is it a source of resources to be taken by force, a refuge from persecution, or a homeland to be protected from foreign incursion? A map of Tallu evokes North America. A website provides extras.
In Path of the Spirit Runner, L.H. Leonard masterfully continues the dramatic world-building, suspenseful plot, complex characters, and fantasy elements introduced in Book 1 and extends them into the new land of Tallu. The narrative is well-paced and thoroughly engaging. Leonard’s skill in character development with such a complex cast is utterly amazing. Each chapter unfolds more depth and interlinkages to the protagonists and plot by changing the point of view through which the reader sees them. This makes for some surprises along the way. In Tallu, I was especially entranced with the imaginative tree city of Veridian and the dauntless personality of young Lamochatee and his coming of age. After reading Book 1, I was eager to see how Book 2 would compare. I wasn’t disappointed. Highly recommended.