Game of Souls - Terry C. Simpson After a few days of reflection on this book, all I can say is that I enjoyed it without really knowing why. Well, that isn't completely true. I think I know why as I intend to explain, but the why is difficult to espouse without pointing out the reasons not to like this book, because there are many.

The problems with Game of Souls begin right out of the gate. Our tale starts off with an assassin contemplating his latest job, but Mr. Simpson changes it up a bit by having our assassin hoping his latest target will actually give him a challenge. To make this rather hoo-hum story pull us in Mr. Simpson has our assassin's target do something totally unexpected; this puts a whole new wrinkle in the tale and teases us with a set of mysteries that we now want answered. Yet just as you are anticipating this confrontation and how our assassin's story will play out, these two characters just go poof and disappear, and the story jumps forward in time by a decade and a half at least.

After this, a whole new set of characters are introduced quickly, and when I say quickly I mean you are bombarded with names of people to the point you honestly need a lineup to understand who is who. Then the author innundates you with history about this empire, the ruling elites games of power, and the downtrodden people and their position as shunned citizens. Now throw in a magic system which - while different and full of possibilities - is very confusing, and you can see how I was getting ready to put this story on the "tried but not for me" list here on Goodreads.

However, Mr. Simpson navigates through all these problems by using his main characters. These antagonists and protagonists suck you in once you get their names straight in your head, and you find yourself wanting to read more about them. Even when they are one dimensional and behave completely against their stated belief patterns, you still like or dislike them. When days, weeks or months seemingly vanish without warning between one chapter and the next, you overlook it because you want to know what happens to your favorite character. And as the tale winds down, you even find yourself overlook contradictory plot twists or character behavior because you just have to see where the story ends.

And that is why I liked Game of Souls. It wasn't the magic system or the ruling elite intrigue or even the mysterious plans of a near extinct people; it was the two, main characters, whose unlikely friendship kept me flipping pages on my ebook reader.