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Traveler's Gate #2

The Crimson Vault

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As the conflict between Enosh and Damasca builds to war, Simon finds himself caught in the middle.

Alin is bound by prophecy to the Grandmasters of Enosh, but he begins to doubt his fate when he discovers that their talk of freedom hides a darker agenda.

Leah has never questioned her loyalty to Damasca. Now, she finds that allegiance tested as she is forced to stand against her own rebellious brother.

With these two powers on the brink of open war, the land soon trembles in the face of an even greater threat.

Who can stand against the Wanderer?

386 pages, Kindle Edition

First published August 31, 2013

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Will Wight

39 books6,513 followers

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5 stars
4,674 (39%)
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3 stars
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43 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 266 reviews
Profile Image for Terence.
1,114 reviews345 followers
September 1, 2022
War is breaking out between Damasca and Enosh. Alin is on the side of Enosh and Simon just wants to stay out of it. Simon quickly finds himself in the middle as Alin and the Valinhall travelers have different expectations for him. War isn't even the most concerning thing happening at the moment. Simon and Alin's attempt to save the people of Myria has released something deadly. The Valinhall incarnation is loose. He intends to kill the king and anyone he deems unworthy.

The Crimson Vault was a strong sequel to House of Blades. After a recent reread I realized I totally misjudged The Crimson Vault. I was too caught up with my expectations to see how excellent the book really was.

The Crimson Vault is largely a story about Valinhall. It gets into its painful history, Kai's story, the Nye, and the Wanderer. This story really brings Kai to life. The eccentric man who loves his former advisor dolls is so much more than he seems. His story is particularly tragic. The most disappointing part of The Crimson Vault is the increased point of view time from Alin, Leah, and some other travelers. Alin is a spectator for the majority of the book which leads to the reader learning seemingly all of Enosh's plans. Leah is important, but I find her uninteresting. I wanted to see more point of view chapters from Simon, Indirial, and any of the other Valinhall Travelers. I came to see them and got too much of Alin, Leah, and some random characters.

The best part of the series continues to be the Valinhall travelers. Simon grows significantly and gains understanding of the world around him as well as the consequences of his actions. Indirial was an excellent addition as the complicated man gets some of the spotlight. I really enjoyed Indirial whenever he appears as he's the embodiment of leadership under difficult times. He's been forced to weigh the cost of yearly sacrifices against the devastation an Incarnation could cause if freed. Denner is a great character as well even with his limited dialogue and involvement. He's just solid and dependable throughout. He's also willing to call Kai on his shortcomings.

The book took on a quite political storyline. Two opposing sides each with useful points, but unwilling to cooperate. The Damascans bound the uncontrollably powerful incarnations at the cost of 9 lives a year. The Enosh found that detestable and wish to free the Incarnations in order to stop the sacrifices. Yet they don't consider the possible devastation a single Incarnation could cause let alone all 10 of them. Neither side seems totally right or wrong. Either way people will suffer and die.

The Crimson Vault is such a rich story. I'm just glad I reread it to fully enjoy the strength and emotion of the story.

My previous review:
Profile Image for J.L.   Sutton.
666 reviews870 followers
December 17, 2022
“He felt his flesh burning away, and his first thought was: I need that foot. I cannot allow it to burn.”

Your Town: Mayor Holland encourages daily exercise with 30/30 challenge - Will Wight, author of “The Traveler's Gate Trilogy” and “The Elder Empire.” Photo courtesy of Julie Davis | Palm Coast Observer

Even though Will Wight's The Crimson Vault (Traveler's Gate, #2) is a continuation of the previous book (the action taking place a couple weeks after), the opening feels very abrupt, almost like I missed something. After the bumpy start, things settled down. More action than I feel is needed, but I like our traveler's world of Valinhall that Wight has created. There are also more connections to what's happening in the wider world that created tension for what comes next. 3.75 stars
Profile Image for Book Haunt.
177 reviews42 followers
April 2, 2016
The second installment of The Traveler’s Gate Trilogy opens several weeks after the events in House of Blades.
In the beginning, I felt as if I had missed the first 45 minutes of a film. I thought “who are some of these people?” and “what in the heck is going on now?” I admit, that could be because about halfway through the first book, my interest waned a bit. There is a nice bit of info that was missing from book one, but this book starts out with the same stilted dialogue and it’s almost as if the author is trying too hard to make up for lost time. There are too many magics, too many creatures, too many places, etc., all stuffed into the first half of this book.
"We are the Gar'rosh" the orange lizard-man said. In Naraka, we punish murderers."

There are so many creatures the author runs out of names for them.

"Something huge roared, and-- though Alin didn't turn around-- he would have bet it had a mouth full of razor-sharp teeth. The whole floor thundered as the whatever-it-was pounded down the hallway toward its prey."

I think Will Wight has included every idea he’s ever had for a fantasy book here. At times, throughout the book, it seems as if he’s throwing stuff in randomly, out of nowhere.
I did really like that the prologue in book two gave us the same prologue as book one, but from another person’s point of view. That person just happened to be Indirial, the mysterious stranger who rescued Simon and his mother. I say, about time we got to meet Indirial!
At Valinhall, Simon is recuperating from injuries taken in battle. Tired of the politics of Enosh, he’s quite happy to be back even though everything at Valinhall tries to kill him. With his new advisors, Kai’s dolls, he is working on conquering more of the challenges that the house has to offer, so that he can acquire more powers.
Alin, Elysian Traveler and prophesied hero, has taken up residence in the Grandmasters’ Palace in Enosh. He is being hailed as a hero in Enosh for killing Overlord Malachi. He knows that Simon had a lot to do with that and he wants him by his side, even though the Grandmasters don’t like him. The Grandmasters are planning a war against Damasca, where they want to destroy the Trees that seal the Incarnations.
THAT'S RIGHT, FINALLY........about 80 pages into this book, Grandmaster Naraka explains to Alin what the Hanging Tree and the sacrifices were all about in the first book.

"Anyway, we learned that Damasca had sealed a very powerful force at the center of the Latari Forest. It is to maintain this seal that the Damascans sacrifice nine lives every year."

Leah has returned to the Damascan royal palace in Cana, where she is a potential successor to the throne, along with her other siblings. Her siblings are conniving to kill her father and take his place. Leah’s father has assigned her to keep an eye on Alin, and to gather information on the Grandmasters’ war plans. Leah has also decided to keep an eye on Simon and do everything she can to stop her brother Talos’s ascension to the throne.
When one of the Hanging Trees dies and the Valin Incarnation escapes, Leah’s father, King Zakareth of Damasca sends his Overlord, Indirial to kill it. While the Incarnation is slaughtering hundreds in its path, the Grandmasters are trying to catch up with it to acquire its aid in their attack on Damasca.
LET THE BATTLES BEGIN!!! Alin is fighting for Enosh, Leah is the heiress in Damasca and Simon is trying to stay neutral. It's really not clear which side I'm on.
There is a ton of action in this book and the second half of the book came together more cohesively. I would even say the end was great! I'm rather fond of two of the supporting characters, Indirial and Denner. It seems like there is a mystery character, Kathrin that these two refer to but she's never mentioned again. Maybe we'll learn more about her in the final book of the trilogy. Yes, it winds up that I can be counted in for City of Light. Hope it's good
Profile Image for Jason.
1,179 reviews256 followers
June 2, 2014
5 Stars

Crimson Vault, book two in the Travelers Gate series is a step up from the first novel. This series has:
A coming of age story.
Great world building.
A likable lead that is easy to identify with.
A cool main plot line.
An awesome magic system.

To me the magic of this book sets it apart. I am always looking for the next cool thing that can stand up with The Force, Allomancy, and of course Saidin/Saidar. Travelers are the magicians of this novel. They are people that can access one of 10 different realms and as a result they have the abilities to channel that realm. Fire based, creature based, light based, and even healing, are just some of the realms main powers. None compare to the power of One, the realm of Valinhall, a place that bestows the individual skills for fighting and surviving. Oh yeah most importantly it gives the user the skill set to kill other Travelers.

I loved the fast pace and dark undertones to his book.

The magic is something special.

Oh yeah...what about indestructible 7 foot long swords....

The Nye are creepy and cool.

Book two takes place after the conclusion of the first. We are given only minor chapters that further develop Simon and others. We are however treated with much more action, violence, and sword wielding. The incarnation is beyond bad ass and ruthless. Leah's father is Kingly in every fashion and he stole some of the limelight of this book.

This is series is tailor made to my likes and as a result I devoured both of these books and immediately grabbed the conclusion.

I cannot wait to read more from this series. I highly recommend it to those looking for a magic laced, dark fantasy series.
Profile Image for Dexcell.
169 reviews39 followers
March 12, 2023
Even better then the first one. This series is super good. It feels like a fantasy version of the Bleach anime.
461 reviews397 followers
November 27, 2017
up until 5am finishing this. review to come when im conscious again.
Profile Image for MangoLoverReads.
146 reviews
June 7, 2023
3.5/5 - I really enjoy the world. I think it would make a great TV series. Though to me, some of the characters are annoying. I know it's because they are young but you can still create characters that are interesting and angst ridden without being whiny children or baby-men. Still a good story that I enjoyed.
Profile Image for Lewis Dix.
Author 1 book5 followers
September 1, 2013
Will Wight is a God!

Holy H E Double Hockey Sticks. I've just finished The Crimson Vault and let me just say that I...kind of sort of enjoyed...okay who am I kidding?! It was amazing! Several twists that I did not see coming, cool new powers, expanded lore, everything I could of wanted in a sequel. Dang, son!!

Profile Image for Rob.
848 reviews535 followers
July 7, 2022
Despite owning the ebook for some time, it took audible releasing new audiobooks that were included with my membership for me to give this series another try.

I'm glad I did. I ended liking this more than the first book (which I liked more in audio and/or on a second read). I still find some of the characters unlikeable, but Simon and Kai have both grown on me. I'll be moving right on to the final book (and not just because the included with audible timeframe is quickly dwindling).

The audio is good. I really like Travis Baldree. I will probably do Will Wight's Shadow and Sea books in audio because he narrates the Sea books.
Profile Image for Ryan Mueller.
Author 9 books80 followers
September 11, 2017
This was another fun and exciting read. It won't win any awards for being deep or philosophical literature, but it's exactly the kind of fantasy I most enjoy reading: fun and full of action with characters I love to root for. It had been a while since a read the first book, so it took me some time to get back into the swing of things. Once I did, though, I was along for the read. Wight is a very good storyteller.

Rating: 9/10
Profile Image for Jack.
104 reviews14 followers
January 19, 2014
I just really have fun with this series, even though I got kind of embarrassed realizing it is somewhat if not very similar to some of the animated "Japanese- style" cartoon's.
Giant swords, incredible "Pokemon" type creatures... ( no I have not watched but in passing, but this takes nothing away from the story and the enjoyment of these novels.
The "territories" that the people draw power from and the "house" that is a main factor in the story as it is made to be able to destroy the other territories or maintain balance is like having so many world's ,dimensions that have so much imagination that I myself explore even when not reading the book, this is what makes these kind of novels for my personally, very surprised at this find, reminds me of the (shattered sigil), and the (night angel trilogy)
Best of all the third novel is due in March, so I will be able to wrap it up... second book leaves ya hanging, But the author included 2 short story novels I believe about gaining some of the "powers' I really liked the book's, again I rate on My enjoyment I am not very critical on grammar or structure well not so much, not a fan of first person ect. but ya fun enjoyable read"
Profile Image for Shreyas.
488 reviews11 followers
July 30, 2022
'The Crimson Vault' (Traveler's Gate #2) by Will Wight.

“Don’t worry about it,” Denner said, clapping him on the shoulder. “This is how everyone learns.”

“No,” Kai said, from across the clearing. “I don’t remember our training including such frequent and obvious failure.”

And there went every ounce of self-esteem Simon may once have possessed.

“That’s because we had a competent teacher,” Denner retorted, walking over to join Kai.

Kai cocked his head for a moment, and then nodded. “Fair point.”

Rating: 4.0/5.

The second book in the Traveler's Gate series was a vast improvement over the first. The story felt truly captivating; something that was essentially missing from the previous book. I was so engrossed with the plot that I breezed through the story within two days.

While Alin and Leah's segments felt quite dry in the earlier book, they were spiced up in this book with the addition of political intrigue. The inclusion of Kai as a major viewpoint character worked well for this book as well. The action, as one can expect from any of Will Wight's books, was top-notch.

Alin's arc was brilliantly portrayed in this book. While Alin was the prophesized Chosen One, I would have been greatly disappointed if this would have been a straightforward story. But Will Wight managed to invert the Chosen One trope convincingly. I had complaints about Alin being saved by some Deus Ex-Machina in the first book, but it blends quite well with how Alin's eventual downward spiral towards the end of the book. The contrast between Alin and Simon has been very established in these books; perhaps one of the best contrasting arcs in these two books so far.

Just like Alin, Leah's arc was a major improvement. I still am undecided about my feelings for Leah as a character - she still exudes an air of superiority and arrogance that annoys me. For almost half of the book, I was more sympathetic towards Talos' cause.. that is, until he got too bad and too crazy for my liking. I need to say, Talos was a villain who was brilliantly developed with some sound motivations. The Grandmasters, on the other hand, seem like some mustache-twirling villains.

Oh, and I need to add, Gilad has some pretty thick plot armor despite being a tertiary character.

The doll advisors are a great addition to the overall story. I loved how each one of them has a unique personality that somehow made their interactions with Simon and the other characters enjoyable.

Overall, I loved 'The Crimson Vault'. It wasn't a perfect book, but it was leagues better than the first one. The story was engrossing enough to keep me awake at unnatural hours. There was an overall improvement in all aspects. I'm excited now to see how this all ends. If you are a fan of Will Wight's works, I think you should give this trilogy a chance.
217 reviews8 followers
May 16, 2018
This series has gotten me fairly engaged in it, while it may not be everyone's cup of tea, I do enjoy the uniqueness of each of the territories. I do feel that everyone powers up a little bit too fast and that it felt a little too much like an anime in terms of the power curve for the characters. This didnt hurt it that much because it keeps the story moving along at a really good pace. Though some fights tend to end way faster than I would have liked or are just too simple

I did forget one or two characters between the books, but the character cast is not crazy. There are what feels like a number of in consequential characters which come and go, but I like that the author doesn't mind sacrificing characters as needed (though sadly its not nearly as impactful as it should be). This too me is possibly the biggest issue with the book, aside from the main protagonist there isnt a great bond between the reader and the characters which leaves you with a bit of a 'meh' effect when things affect most characters.

The plotting and scheming seems quite basic, but I have a feeling things will be getting more interesting from this book onwards.

Overall while I had a number of negative things to say about the book, my overall enjoyment of the book was high. I still feel that if you enjoyed the first book this one has got to be on your too read list. For new comers to the series, I think the first book is a good piece to judge the series on. If it leaves you wanting more then this book will fulfill.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Alastair Patton.
99 reviews200 followers
January 26, 2021

Much better than the first book. The Travelers Gate is a fantasy the pits regular western fantasy (unearned power) against progression/eastern fantasy (earned power) and gives us the best of both worlds. Though Simon was most definitely the MVP and most entertaining character of this book, he had probably the second most amount of page time after Alin. Will be picking up the third here soon
Profile Image for Reiz.
65 reviews4 followers
December 23, 2021
Wow I should NOT have read the last two chapters while trying to sleep. Now I want to binge read the last book BUT IT’S ALMOST 1 AM I HAVE TO SLEEP AND THIS TRILOGY IS TOO GOOD I WANT IT TO LAST MORE SO I CANT BINGE READ IT.
Profile Image for Booksblabbering || Cait❣️.
634 reviews86 followers
November 14, 2022
⭐️⭐️⭐️ 3

Simon is now part of the travellers and must fight threats which threaten the peace.

I definitely preferred book 1 as it felt more was happening. I thought I’d give the second one a go to see if I felt more compelled but sadly, I don’t think I will be Dk to ying to book three, despite it also being free on audible.
I just didn’t feel much connection to the characters and the plot seemed too focused on fighting and being better than others for me to feel properly engaged.

However, I recognise this would appeal to other readers, so don’t let my views put you off if you fancy a hero rising from nothing after deciding to disregard prophecy to gain power to save himself and his friends.
October 2, 2015
Its not often I touch anything with the "Young Adult" tag from fear of overexposure to hollow powerfantasy characters and awkward romantic plots.

Lucky for me, this book is such a pleasure to read that I can overlook the shallow characters and just enjoy it.

The magic system is very cool and it makes me just want to read more in the same universe. And the "over-the-top-Final-Fantasy" Battles are also very enjoyable to read.

This is a very easy read and I very much recommend it if you want a break from the more hardcore series out there.

Will read the sequel!
Profile Image for Coco.V.
48.6k reviews4 followers
Want to read
March 17, 2020
🎁 The Traveler's Gate Trilogy is FREE on Amazon today (3/17/2020)! 🎁
Profile Image for Jennifer.
857 reviews13 followers
December 11, 2022
Opening up just a few weeks after the end of House of Blades, there are tensions brewing, and war between Enosh and Damasca is on the horizon.

On the side of Damasca, Leah has always been loyal. But just how far will that loyalty go when she finds herself pitted against her own brother?

Alin is bound by the prophecy to the Grandmasters of Enosh, and though he has been confident in his position, questions begin to form around his fate as he learns more about the freedom the Grandmasters are seeking.

Simon wants to stay out of the war, but he may not have a choice, as he finds himself being pulled in different directions by the expectations of Alin and those other Valinhall Travelers. When Simon and Alin try to save the people of Myria, they end up releasing something far more dangerous - the incarnation of Valinhall, who intends to kill the King of Damasca, as well as anyone else he considers unworthy.

Where the House of Blades was largely a story of Alin and Simon learning about Travelers, and the two of them becoming Travelers themselves, The Crimson Vault tells the story of Valinhall and its history, along with the stories of Kai, the Nye, and the Wanderer. The story still switches POVs between the different characters to tell the separate parts of the story as they work to come together.

Wight continues to develop the characters in this book, and I liked Simon's growth. He is still questioning himself and his ability to some extent, but he does see a significant amount of growth. Alin, on the other hand, kind of goes the other way; he started confident and ends up questioning a lot more. I didn't really like his character in House of Blades as I felt he came off as an arrogant and over-confident individual. I can't say that I like him any more or less after this book, but I do understand him a bit more. And there were several times when I wanted to shake some sense into him because of the stupidity in which he was engaging. Of all the characters, though, I enjoyed learning more about Kai the most. He was such an enigmatic character in Blades, so it was great to get more of his history. As much as I want to talk about him, I also don't want to ruin your experience of learning about him as you read the story.

Finally, this book really opens up the political machinations that are occurring, and how much those movements are influencing the greater world. Unlike many books with wars where we only see one side - that of the protagonist - because of the characters and their various allegiances, we get to see the beliefs and motivations of both sides of the brewing war, which centers around the yearly sacrifices. Wight does a great job of setting things up so that neither side is fully right or fully wrong.

As for whether or not I will continue the series and read City of Light, if you can read the ending of this book and NOT want to continue on, then you are a stronger person than I am. I can't do that. I have to know what's going to happen. I will also be continuing to listen to the series, because it's narrated by Travis Baldree, and that's really all that needs to be said about that.
Profile Image for Kyle Lorey.
145 reviews3 followers
September 19, 2021
storygraph rating: 3.75

similar thoughts as i had about the previous book in this trilogy! it’s pretty good. i prefer will wight’s “cradle” series, which i read before this, but it’s still a pretty good read. it’s the sort of book which i’d recommend to someone who had already read most of the stuff they’d been BURNING to read and now just sort of want a quick, easy, pleasant read. low commitment. like, i WOULD recommend it, but i wouldn’t recommend anyone put off other books in favor of this one, you know? it’s a good “so you’ve got nothing else to read and you’ve already read all my usual recommendations” sort of rec.

Guide to my Rating Scale, based on the Storygraph Rating:

* 5 Stars: This book was more or less flawless. One of the best things I’ve ever read.
* 4.75 through 4.25 Stars: This book had slight flaws, but I REALLY loved it. Marked as 4 stars on Goodreads.
* 4 Stars: This book had slight flaws, but I loved it.
* 3.75 through 3.25 Stars: This book had significant flaws, but I REALLY liked it. Marked as 3 stars on Goodreads.
* 3 Stars: This book had significant flaws, but I liked it just fine.
* 2.75 through 2.25 Stars: This book was extremely flawed, but I thought it had some merit. Marked as 2 stars on Goodreads.
* 2 Stars: This book was extremely flawed, but I didn’t actively dislike it. It was a waste of my time but not odious.
* 1.75 through 1.25 Stars: This book was irreparably flawed, and I actively disliked it. Marked as 1 star on Goodreads.
* 1 Star: This book was irreparably flawed. I actively hated this book and am worse off for having read it.
Profile Image for Whimsical Amoura.
168 reviews9 followers
September 21, 2022
I know I can always count on Will Wight to deliver an entertaining and magically vivid story. He is such a comfort author for me and I look forward with continuing with all his published works.

Book 2 was fantastic. We got to see more characters within the book have more page time and the stakes have increased. I'm a sucker for the trope Will used in this series.

Whenever I need my day brightened up I know I just have to pick up one of Will's books!
Profile Image for Paul.
198 reviews5 followers
February 28, 2022
So far the characters haven’t really improved and the story is very up and down in my opinion so it is hard to even rate this three stars. The main characters are all still kind of flat and the enemies were somehow very underwhelming.

Also, with Alin being a walking “deus ex machina” and an absolute moron it doesn’t really help the story at all.

Profile Image for Yossi.
411 reviews3 followers
May 23, 2018
This book is a major improvement over the first in the series. It steers away from the YA style into the realms of fantasy. The pacing is exact, the world-building is interesting, and the plot draws you in.
43 reviews13 followers
November 1, 2021
Really enjoyed this book. It continues from the first book in building the lore of the magical territories and subverting expectation on the good and evil roles that the reader might put the characters in.

Profile Image for Jonathan Lupa.
647 reviews5 followers
January 21, 2018
I liked this one better than the first, probably because there was a thematic switch in how power dynamics were playing out. Anyways, it's good for what it is.
Profile Image for Mahesh.
435 reviews38 followers
September 15, 2019
Better than first one.

Like I said in the first book review, Wight's first books will be normal but then he makes things awesome and awesome from the second book.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 266 reviews

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