Books & Writers

The Sword of Souls: A Review

Back in March, I talked about the first book in the Forgotten Relics series, by Ellie Di Julio. And today, Book 2 is released. It’s even better than the first.

Cora Riley got a second chance. Time to see how she uses it.

“Second chance at life? Check.
Ultra-rare magic powers? Check.
Badass new job? Check.
Saved world from evil goddess? Not so check.”

Cora Riley assumed when she joined the FBI’s Supernatural Cases Division that she’d be dismantling Otherworld treachery alongside Jack Alexander, the storied Agent 97 who guided her through the underworld. Instead, she’s filing reports for Sofi Strella, a smart-mouthed agent ten years her junior.

When Jack finally does make contact, it’s not for sidestepper training, a quiet drink, or even an apology; it’s to investigate a magical narcotic that’s boosting supernatural belief to dangerous levels.

The case leads to the realm of Faerie, where Jack encounters an old flame and an even older enemy, both demanding his allegiance. As he battles the entanglements of his past, Cora continues the mission, ultimately facing the eerily-familiar Queen Mab, who wields a legendary blade in the name of Eris, the mad goddess of chaos.”


The Sword of Souls is the second book of the Forgotten Relics series, following the stories of Cora and company as she joins the supernatural cases division of the FBI. Not only does she have to balance her relationships with her new role, but exploring the world of Faerie brings its own unique challenges.

Early on in the story, we’re rewarded with the re-introduction of a snarky character from a previous story, and we begin to see a little more of Jack’s character; aspects of his past clarifying reasons for how he is. The plot feels seamless; with one fast-paced scene leading easily to the next, yet the curve balls and subversions are well-written, making as much sense as what I had presumed would happen next.

Each chapter is full of poetic descriptions, which add colour to the world and support her character’s development. Having followed the characters for a couple of books now, I’m fully invested in their stories, and love noticing tidbits which point to their histories and joining the dots as I read. Ellie knows how to write reality; not with good world-building and strong characters, but with strong characters who build their world, are shaped by it and respond to it in layered ways.

In conclusion: I’m sold. Every book Di Julio writes gets better (even the early drafts) and this fantastic sequel to The Transmigration of Cora Riley is no exception.

Five stars.


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About The Author

Ellie Di Julio is a nomadic writer currently living in Hamilton, Ontario with her Robert Downey, Jr. lookalike husband and their two cats. Between nerd activities like playing Final Fantasy IX or watching Top Gear, she enthusiastically destroys the kitchen and tries to figure out what it’s all about, when you really get down to it. She also writes urban fantasy novels and short stories riddled with pop culture references, peculiar memories, and sexy secret agents.

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