Scorio will rise from the ashes to conquer the ten layers of hell.
Reborn without memories, Scorio learns that he is a Great Soul, a legendary defender of the ancient city of Bastion. That within the hallowed halls of the Academy and under the stern eyes of the underworld’s greatest instructors he will enjoy enormous privilege, rediscover unique and wondrous powers, and one day return to the millennium-old battle against their infernal foes.
Until he is betrayed. Singled out and sentenced to die for crimes he can’t remember, Scorio is hurled to his doom—and forgotten.
But from even the dimmest spark an inferno may one day rage.
Clawing his way back from oblivion, Scorio vows to return to the Academy at any cost. To emerge from the ruins and within those golden walls defeat his elite classmates in a quest to ascend the ranks and change the course of history. For only then will he learn about his forgotten past, and why his enemies have rightly feared him since the day he was reborn.
A fantastic Progression Fantasy story that will appeal to fans of Cradle and Iron Prince. Set in a intriguing world of Hell, the plot blends the strategic macro world and the tactical side of Scorio seamlessly into one binge worthy book.
The plot starts from get go as we wake up with Scorio in a strange place and immediately thrust into a life or death puzzle room. From there on we learn a bit of the world, who the Great Souls giving us a contextual starting point to the plot. And Phil immediately throws a curveball.
The first half of the book is all about Scorio as he’s forced to desperation not just to survive, but also for revenge and redemption. Just as you settle in we get the second curveball and a indication of the epicness of the world and plot which again changes the tangent of the story heading into the second half. The book is like a champion boxer, weaving and ducking against predictability keeping me hooked all through.
The magic system is superb. It mixes the traditional elements of tiered progression with a hint of Cultivation. We are given a steady ladder of progression but hinted at something more of mysterious that awaits us in future books. The history of the city of Bastion ties in with the progress of Scorio and the macro world happenings seamlessly.
A minor gripe is that the book has a bit of pacing issues, a slight bloat in dialogues and world building which I felt dragged down a pace a bit. Nothing noteworthy, but it could have been tightened up and made more taut.
Now, on to characters. The cast is stellar. The MC and his group and ones I loved to follow, the antagonists are ones I loved to hate. The scene is set delightfully well that we still don’t know who the overall good guys and bad guys are, keeping the mystery and intrigue carrying forward to the next book.
Overall a very enjoyable read!