The Soul Conductor by C.S.EvansThe Soul Conductor by C.S.Evans
Genres: Fantasy, Magic

They live among the people. Quiet, even shy, but with the ability to defend themselves with sword and dagger, and much more besides...Their purpose is to guide the souls of the dying away from their physical bodies and on to their final destiny, be that reward or punishment. Led by a powerful Archdeacon, in turn supported by the Keepers and their fearsome Guardians, these beings ensure no soul remains trapped in the realm of the living for eternity.
Quinn is one such being. He is a Soul Conductor. And he's one of the best.
So, what happens when a soul tries to escape its fate, leading Quinn into tragedy and changing his life forever?
Facing attempts on his life and then being dragged into the insane plans of a malevolent sheriff, Quinn must rely on the loyalty and strength of friends, new and old, if he is to discover what really happened to him and prevent innocent lives from being lost – along with their souls.
A flawed – and reluctant – hero, Quinn wonders if he will get out of it with his own soul intact…

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It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows C.S.Evans that the Soul Conductor is placed in a medieval setting – except it’s not your every day, run-of-the-mill sort of medieval. From the very first page the reader becomes embroiled in the lives of the Soul Conductors; a peaceful community of people who are born with the sole purpose of guiding souls to their final destination.

‘Quinn is one such being. He is a Soul Conductor. And he’s one of the best…

He’s also a very decent sort of guy. He’s loyal to his friends and family, devoted to his work as a Conductor, and has a strong desire to see justice done.

‘So, what happens when it suddenly goes disastrously wrong?

What happens is that you get a marvellous story, entwining the livelihood and traditions of the medieval era with a dash of the fantastical and supernatural. It is the age old battle between good and evil, but there is so much more at stake than just the mere preservation of life.

‘Quinn must rely on the loyalty and strength of friends, new and old, if he is to discover what really happened to him and prevent innocent lives from being lost – along with their souls’

***

Evans’ debut novel was an absolute pleasure to read. I was hired as a beta-reader for The Soul Conductor (a sort of pre-reader), and charged with the task of checking the manuscript for potential structure, plot, continuity and characterisation issues. The only problem with this book however, was that I kept being drawn into the story. After resisting the lure of Evans words in the first couple of chapters, I gave up trying to make notes and read it in its entirety.

During my initial read (at least until I succumbed to the story) I notated my reaction to the events of the first two chapters – my joy, my horror, my elation – which I provided to Evans, and everything I experienced was as she intended. In my opinion, Evans has a real skill in capturing the essence of a ‘moment’ and translating it into words.

I read The Soul Conductor twice in the end – firstly to enjoy the reading experience it offered, and secondly to provide my comments on potential areas for development (although they were few and far between). Evans was quick to orientate this reader into the story. There is a good balance of narration and dialogue, with naturalistic interaction between the characters. If the fantasy/supernatural genre is of interest to you as a reader, then I am confident you will not be disappointed with Evans first offerings as an author.

 

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