4 stars

Annette Marie – Bind the Soul (Steel & Stone #2)

The most important rule for an Apprentice Consul is simple: Don’t get involved with daemons. Well, Piper is planning to break that rule — big time. After a near-deadly scandal with the Sahar Stone, she has the chance to return to the only life she’s ever wanted. All she has to do to keep her Apprenticeship is forget about Ash and Lyre. Ash might be enigmatic and notoriously lethal, and Lyre might be as sinfully irresistible as he is irritating, but they’re not bad for a couple of daemons. There’s just one problem: Ash is missing. Really, she shouldn’t risk her future for him. He lied. He betrayed her. But he also saved her life, damn it. Wherever he is, he’s in trouble, and if she doesn’t save his sorry butt, who will? But with every dangerous secret she unravels, each one darker than the last, she slips deeper into Ash’s world — a world with no escape for either of them.
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RATING

I loved the first book so I purchased the second and third installment in the series as soon as possible. The author doesn’t disappoint in this book either. However in the second story she shows us another side of the world she built. In Chase the dark we see how the Earth side of things work while Bind the soul plays mostly on the Underworld’ side. Or more like in a little pocket of it.

The story starts with Piper and Lyre desperate search for Ash, whom wellbeing they worry about quite much. So our favorite trio is not together, what stays a common motive through the book. Actually it’s more like a Piper only mission. Sure Ash and Lyre show up here and there but until the last third of the book they don’t have much of a role. In this story there are a lot more dark elements than in the previous one. We get a glimpse how Ash grows up through Piper hardships, and thanks to this can understand a little better. Since the whole story is narrated from Piper point of view so it’s helps a lot to understand and relate to other characters.
The story is not as fast paced either but has plenty of actions and complications enough to keep the reader’s attention. Piper is still struggling with her lack of magic and her father changed a bit either so he is no help at all. The fact that she gets a lot of new information about her dual magic and her capability to wield the Sahar stone just makes her work harder. So it’s safe to say she didn’t get more confident and content with what she has. Samael torture just gets her spirit lower and lower in a short period of time. Fortunately she is really stubborn and feels a deep loyalty toward Ash what helps her fight back. Before that in her desperation she shows her uglier and more manipulative side, too. Even her naivety shows, mainly toward daemons or mostly Mysis. However he bursts her bubble relatively fast. What I really liked were the subtle but noticeable romantic notions between Piper and Ash. These little scenes are quite cute, pure and honest but both of them try to deny them. There are still a lot of things they have to work out in that department.
While Lyre doesn’t have a substantial role in the story, Ash is present quiet much. Although he truly feels like a secondary character some of the times. As I mentioned earlier we get an explanation about his actions and guarded personality. It also turns out that he is really honorable and would be a spectacular leader. On the other hand the connection between him and Piper that formed in the first installment starts to show more and more, you can clearly see how it gets stronger and how much trust he lies with Piper.
There are a couple of new characters too but I don’t think either of them would be good. I had hopes for Mysis after his initial introduction but it turned out real fast how manipulative, condescending and power hungry truly is he.

Overall this book has a completely different undertone than the first; I think it’s admirable ho the writer created an entirely different atmosphere with the same world, topic and cast. There is a lot of good, funny, heartbreaking and action packed part in it and I really liked it. I was hoping for a bit more positive or happier ending than we got. I can’t wait to read the next installment.

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