I haven’t read anything by Paul S. Kemp before. After finishing The Godborn, I have to wonder why. The man can write.
The Godborn is the second book in the Forgotten Realms event ‘The Sundering’. Wizards of the Coast plan to release six standalone novels from series authors that will show the events of The Sundering from the perspective of some of Faerûn’s best known heroes. For those unfamiliar with Kemp, his hero is Erevis Cale, shade and chosen of Mask. The Godborn begins with the birth of Erevis’ son.
Vasen Cale is named for his father and resembles him in many ways. Shadows leak from his skin—the descriptions of this phenomenon delighted me throughout the book. He’s not a full shade, though. He’s half human and this is an important part of the story. Vasen Cale’s personal journey is to reconcile his two halves, shadow and light. By accident (or design, this is Faerûn) he is born at the Abbey of the Rose, a sanctuary dedicated to Amaunator, the deity of order, the law, sun and time. He grows up to be First Blade of the Dawnguard; a priest of Amaunator, of the light. In the Dungeons and Dragons world, priests are some of the most talented warriors and Vasen Cale exemplifies the class.