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Reviewed by Jessica Barbosa for Readers' Favorite
Travis Daniel Bow's Soulwinder opens with different points of view of three people: Tel, Kadana, and Noro. Tel is a determined young man, eager to find means for him and his father to live on. Kadana is a privileged and prideful First Daughter of Anselin who likes to pretend her own displays of pampered entitlement are the exception rather than the rule. Noro is a janitor whose hard work and diligence got him into the First Octave. These three come from vastly different backgrounds but they come together to fight in a tournament that will give the winner a chance at a new life. There can only be one winner so what lengths will they go through to come out on top? And could there be something more happening in the background?
Soulwinder by Travis Daniel Bow is an adventure into a fantastical setting that kept me at the edge of my seat because of its distinctive characters and wonderfully engaging and complex plotline. I found the story to be utterly immersive with its exceptional setting. Bow’s unique world-building skills grabbed my interest from the very first introduction. The shifting narrative between the different characters is so interesting to follow. I could understand and sympathize with these three characters and I cheered them on through every trial they encountered. Tel caught my attention from his first introduction. Kadana is impressive as well. Her best character trait is her self-awareness. Noro is such an intriguing character. I admired how he tried to keep calm thoughts when the students muddied the place he had worked hard to clean. His perseverance is to be commended and although luck is what got him into the First Octave, it is his hard work and particularity that allowed him to stay longer in his job than others. I felt I could hardly put this book down as I got deeper and deeper into the chapters. I was pulled into this magical, mysterious world with its top-notch plot and well-paced storyline and I did not want to leave it. Overall, a spectacular, unforgettable read! Kudos to the author!