A Wild Mix of fantasy
A soul for trouble
by crista mchugh
When you’re a witch named Trouble, chaos follows.
Arden Lesstymine (known to everyone as Trouble) likes attention as much as the next girl, but this is getting ridiculous. When an insane stranger is murdered at the inn where she works, Trouble becomes the next Soulbearer for the disembodied god of chaos, Loku. Yes, it comes with the ability to channel the god’s limitless power, but at the cost of her sanity — literally. Now she has a sexy but cynical knight claiming to be her protector, a prince trying to seduce her to his cause (and his bed), and a snarky chaos god who offers a play-by-play commentary on it all, whether she wants to hear it or not. To make matters worse, a necromancer wants to capture the soul of Loku for his own dark purposes, and the only way he can get it is by killing her first.
The story is a wild mix of epic fantasy and romance, Crista McHugh really kept me entertained with her spin on the farm-boy fantasy trope. We meet Arden who is aptly named Trouble, who serves as a barmaid and help in her uncle’s tavern in the land of Ranella. She’s a stranger in a strange land as her mother was disgraced by her father as he left her pregnant and she finds herself visibly different than the local populace. In the first chapter itself we find her getting into mortal trouble when the immortal soul of the chaos god Loku enters her body and makes her his next soulbearer.
Thrown into the mix is Loku’s soul protector knight, Ser Devarian Tel’brien of Gravaria who is also an elf and quite many decades old. Hunting for Loku’s soul and his choas magic is a necromancer called Sulanio. Faced with magic that’s forbidden in Ranella, a mad god in her head and a knight-protector who confuses her, Arden (Trouble) does her best to face the struggles of her heart and her mind. Running away from Sulanio she will have to control Loku and his lascivious thoughts, get a grip on her new found magic and make the right choice between 2 men who torment her heart.
This story was a fun one to read and I knew in advance that this was a fantasy romance so certain elements of the story would be blown up. With that in mind, I didn’t mind how the author portrayed Trouble and her hearty problems. There’s a love triangle involved and while I’m not sure whom the author intends to have Arden end up with. The overall story enticed me enough to keep reading and grab the sequels too. The main thing I enjoyed about the story were the fantasy elements that were strewn throughout. The author also keeps the story fast-paced through two-thirds of the book and the book loses some steam in last one-third as the plot becomes entangled with certain courtly matters as well as the love triangle in question.
Overall this story was a fun read as Loku kept appearing at odd intervals and making the most inappropriate suggestions and commentary. I would have love to see more of him. This book is built for a certain audience and for those who love some romance in their stories, this story will do it nicely for you. As a fantasy reader primarily I was able to enjoy the story and not mind the romance as it’s ensconced within the story neatly.
A Soul For Trouble was a fun read for me and I’ll be interested to read the sequels to see where to the author takes the story.
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Born and raised in Mumbai, India. Mihir Wanchoo is a physician and a Masters graduate. He is an avid book collector and longtime reader of fantasy, thrillers and Indian mythology with additional interests in historical fiction and urban fantasy. Favorite writers include Jeffrey Deaver, John Connolly, David Gemmell, James Clemens/Rollins, Craig Schaefer, Rachel Aaron, Rob J. Hayes, Richard Nell, Ilona Andrews and many others. Mihir is also a diehard fan of the Indian Cricket team and Chelsea Football Club. Mihir currently lives in the Pacific Northwest with his family, and is ever looking forward to discovering new authors and old books. Mihir is the newest member of the FBC team and helps out with Reviews, Interviews and managing FBC’s Facebook page as well as the Twitter page. Mihir can be contacted directly at Goodreads HERE.