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Cradle #6


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A tournament approaches.

All around the world, great clans and sects prepare their disciples to fight against one another in a competition of young Underlords. Even the Blackflame Empire is drawn in, but their youth are not strong enough to compete.


348 pages, Kindle Edition

First published March 1, 2019

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Will Wight

47 books6,451 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 715 reviews
Profile Image for Petrik.
673 reviews42.7k followers
March 29, 2023
4.5/5 stars

The release of Underlord last year marked the exact moment I decided I have to read Cradle this year, and I can agree that this is the best of the series so far.

To elaborate upon what sparked my curiosity further, Underlord has a consistent and insanely high rating ever since its publication day. During the time of posting this review, the average rating of Underlord on Goodreads sits at 4.69 out of 6,450 ratings; on Amazon (US) it has an average rating 4.9 out of 1,049 ratings, and no one rated it below 3 stars on Amazon. These numbers and the barrage of personal recommendations from other readers were the two sole reasons why I ended up giving this series a go earlier than planned. What made Underlord even more awesome? A lot, but if I were to narrow it down to one main feature, it’s the significant characterizations and development given to the main characters.

“The baby squirrel had finally left the nest and grown into a...well, squirrels never turned into anything scary. Call it an ancient sacred squirrel.”

I’ve mentioned this in my review of Ghostwater, the series has been missing the exposure to characterizations and deeper introspection that would make the character’s constant advancement throughout the series more meaningful and emotional. The second half of Ghostwater started to put more emphasis on this, and I found that it’s super gratifying to see it delivered in full in Underlord. Throughout the series so far, advancement means getting practicing ridiculously hard until you’re stronger. Lindon, Yerin, and Mercy (her background in this book was amazing) can’t advance to the next stage with that kind of mindset anymore.

“Yes!” Lindon said. “Until now, advancement has been clear. You make yourself one step stronger every day, keep practicing and cycling aura and strengthening your spirit, and it adds up. Now, all of a sudden, it's different.”

The next stage of power requires them to dig deep into the deepest part of their soul, and they have to be self-aware and confident with the revelations. The motivations behind why each main character practiced sacred arts in the first place are laid bare, and as it turns out, this supposedly simple requirement is not as easy as it sounds. Underlord featured the most pivotal advancement in the series so far and is also the most emotional in terms of the overall content, these were possible to achieve because Wight finally implemented the characterizations that the series needed in full force here.

“Humans have to discover what drives their souls to action,” Orthos continued. “It’s the spark that starts their transformation.

If you’ve read the first two books already, the title of this novel should be self-explanatory for what you’re getting into, and wow Wight did not disappoint. I truly wish I could tell you the details of the sacred arts being displayed in the concluding chapters of the book, but I have to leave them for you to find out for yourself. The storm of blades, the Blood Shadow, and the rampaging Blackflames was stunningly written. Plus, Underlord was the first time in the series that I truly felt invested in Lindon.

“I will make myself clear. If you face Wei Shi Lindon before you reach Underlord, you will surely die.”

That kind of line is unprecedented before, and to see that it has started becoming a common occurrence in the story now feels incredibly satisfying. In both power and maturity, Lindon has come a long way since his beginning and I’m so excited to see the next part of his journey.

This review is much shorter than my usual standards, but I have to be careful because these books are short and we’re six books (halfway) through the series now. I don’t want to spoil you (yes, you who’s looking at this review even though you haven’t started the series) and everyone who’s about to read this superb book. Underlord is powerful, emotional, and visceral. I can personally understand why Underlord receives such unanimous praise from its fans, it is the best of the series so far, and Wight will have to do a lot of improvement if he wants to top what he has written here. I can’t believe that I now only have one published book—Uncrowned—left in the series for me to read; I’ll try my best to resist reading it until there’s an announcement on the eighth installment.

When you’re done with the book, please read the blooper.

You can order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions

Special thanks to my Patrons on Patreon for giving me extra support towards my passion for reading and reviewing!

My Patrons: Alfred, Devin, Hamad, Mike, Miracle, Nicholas.
Profile Image for TS Chan.
698 reviews868 followers
December 5, 2019
Such insane power. Such insane fun. That, in a nutshell, is the Cradle series, and Underlord is its current pinnacle.

Underlord was everything that its title promised adoring fans (including yours truly), and so much more. The Prologue was so ridiculously epic it gave me goosebumps, and all the awesomeness that was the Cradle series came crashing down on me again. I tried to prolong the enjoyment by keeping myself occupied with things to do, to avoid finishing the book too quickly. Alas, it barely lasted 36 hours from the time I received the download from my pre-order.

This was the first time I had to wait for a Cradle book release and the experience of coming back to the world, and its characters felt wonderful. On hindsight, I believed that I might not have done sufficient justice to the previous five books which I've finished reading on a frantic binge. Having some time to absorb and digest each book fully could have made the initial read even better. Sidenote: I've upgraded Blackflame to 5-stars.

In each book thus far, Will Wight kept upping the stakes in line with the power advancements or upgrades in the sacred arts. The rank of Underlord transcends beyond Truegold on a whole new level of mastery altogether. Given this, the final step to becoming an Underlord cannot be achieved through hard training and spirit-enhancing elixirs alone. It comes from something even more profound and what ensued in this book hence was a level of character development that sealed my absolute investment for all the main characters.

Lindon is the main protagonist from the very beginning, but it took me quite some time to thoroughly warm up to him. I'm so glad that I genuinely enjoy his story now; a part of this was primarily nurtured by his relationship with his co-mentor, Orthos. Yerin remained as badass as ever, and I loved the touch of vulnerability which emerged from her character arc in this book. Meanwhile, Mercy finally had her backstory fleshed out, and it was fascinating. My latest favourite character had to be Dross - a unique entity that Lindon stumbled upon in Ghostwater, which turned out to be instrumental to Lindon's progress. Dross injected even more humour into the story, which previously was almost monopolised by the melodramatic and irrepressible Eithan, who's still a firm favourite. Oh, and how can I not mention the adorable Little Blue.

I cannot commend Wight enough for the worldbuilding and magic system he created for Cradle. While the story primarily took place in the world of Cradle, we get epic accounts of what was happening in the cosmos as supreme beings of power battle across the planets and stars. Within Cradle itself, one could appreciate the size and complexity of the world, with its many political factions, empires, clans and cults, all which some way or another were dictated by the most powerful sacred artists in the world, the Monarchs.

In the many years of reading epic fantasy, I have had my exposure to extraordinary sorcerous powers, but I have yet to come across one so well-conceived as a magic cum martial arts system. This statement excludes anime/manga and gaming since I cannot speak with any authority in this arena. The power of the sacred arts is unapologetically insane. But at the same time, there are also distinct rules behind these arts. I was astounded with the many different paths and techniques that the author managed to conjure. Don't forget, each Path has its Striker, Enforcer, Ruler and Forger techniques, and each upgrade in rank unlocks even more techniques available to the sacred artist. And then, there are natural treasures as well as Soulsmithed constructs made from Remnants and bindings which harness vital aura. It was ingenious madness, and I had mad fun reading it.

Another sidenote: It could be just me being a mega-fan of Brandon Sanderson, I can't help noticing several nods to The Stormlight Archive in this novel.

The ending of each Cradle book always alluded to an even more epic instalment to come, and Underlord was no exception. Its Epilogue is the best in the series so far in building up for the next book, which is titled Uncrowned. What differentiated Underlord from most of its predecessors was that it has the most well-balanced narrative. Amazing action scenes are a given, but we also get emotional and contemplative moments. And while I laughed quite lot throughout the book, I also teared up during a particularly poignant scene.

By now, I've known and accepted that there will be many more books on the horizon to complete the arc that Lindon's journey will take him, especially with Eithan's grand plan in mind. I was informed that Wight mentioned twelve books in total. Strangely though, I am excited with this prospect, as I really cannot get enough of this series. The author had been able to churn out the Cradle books regularly. I surmised that he was able to do this by making each book relatively short (by fantasy standards), and just enough to wrap up the requisite plotline to ensure consistent progression and advancement for our characters to get the story to where it needs to be for a resoundingly epic conclusion.

If what I’ve described fit your idea of a great read, I highly recommend this series. Even though it seemed like we're only halfway through, these books were quite short and so fun that rereading wouldn't be a chore. At least, it won't be for me. What I am suggesting is.. don't wait to start Cradle because you are missing out on some seriously cool and awesome entertainment.

You can purchase the book from Amazon US.

You can also find this, and my other reviews at Novel Notions.
Profile Image for Calista.
3,869 reviews31.2k followers
August 30, 2021
3rd reading:

This is the end of the 2nd omnibus of books 4-6 and they make a great story arc together. Books 4-6 Lindon and company spend their time as Golds. This book opens up the story to a new level. We continue to learn more about the world and keep seeing it expand.

I do have a question. In this book, they mention that the Blackflame empire has less aura in their lands as others and that makes little sense to me. They have forest, mountains, the Serpent's Grave city of dead dragons and I would say that there would be abundant aura there to cultivate. I would think places like deserts, grasslands and not much else would have less aura. Plants and elements like stone are going to generate aura. Anyway.

I am trying to slow down and put off book 7, but I simply want to plunge ahead. I don't want to stop. This is my third time through and I still get sucked into the story. Great writing.

2nd reading:
I am glad to be reminded how great this book is. The last book was fantastic and then Will hits it out of the park again with this fun romp. All 3 of the kids, Mercy, Lindon and Yerin are working to make it to Underlord ( the title). It's fast paced and so well done. They all end up at the same level for a short while. This sets up the next book so well. I do want more of what happens in this world.

I hope this series catches on as it's so good.

I simply love this series. I can't put it down. I was going to go slow and I can't stop.

There's little way to talk about book 6 without Spoilers so...


1st, I have a huge question. Jumping from Gold to Underlord is supposed to be the most difficult to bridge. I have to ask, is Eithan really only an Underlord. I think he's hiding something. He hasn't advanced this whole time and he's so amazing that I can't see him not making Overlord by this point. He is probably higher and pretends to be Underlord. That is what I'm thinking. Even if he's not, he needs to jump up a level too. He should be able to level up. I'm so curious about him.

I could use more about this world and more about these characters. Dig in and let's see some human connection besides simply fighting and fighting.

At this point, I love the rise of Yerin and Lindon, but it's difficult to believe that they can rise this fast when most mortals are not. I know the story gives plausible ways to show them advance, but it just seems that other people would do the same. Still, I love it and I am disappointed if Lindon doesn't level up each book.

So, the Akura Sage, Charity, invites to weak parts of her kingdom who never go to this famous tournament because they are too weak, to come to her special valley with all these resources and there they can advance their youngs ones to overlord. It's inside a portal of somekind.

We learn why Mercy left home and why she is de-powered. We meet new villains. They are Underlords fighting Truegolds and it makes them look real slimy and weak. We know by the end of this spring, our heroes will be Underlords and it's so exciting to see how it happens. The Skysworn finally accept them and stop persecuting them.

At the end of the story, Lindon does make Underlord, but he is recruited to be on the Akura team for the tournament and she will have to compete against Yerin. It's a sad parting. We do see that Eithan is going to be in the tournament as well. I still think he needs to advance to stay ahead of his students, but anyway.

My favorite part of the story is a few pages at the end when we are back in sacred Valley and we see Lindon's sister again who is only a Jade and advanced for that valley. She runs into Orthos, the turtle and we see them about to fight together. I want more of that. I want to see the reaction when Orthos tells Lindon's family that he made it to Gold and was about to advance to Underlord. I want to see the amazement on their faces and hear what they say.

Some crazy stuff is going down with Suriel, the Abideon. I assume she is like some angel type figure on the path. I don't really understand what's going on, but I guess we will.

Will was putting these out 2 times a year and now he is down to 1x a year. I don't want to have to wait and they are so short. I wish it was still 2 times a year because I hate having to wait when you are in a series.

There are problems with this and it's not perfect, but it sure is entertaining and I love it. I want to finish this up. I am having the most fun reading this story right now. It's like a DAn Brown book, I simply can't stop with them.

Well, next is the tournament and I have heard that the book ends in the middle of it, so I don't know if I should start it or not. I wonder how much more he will advance. Is Suriel going to ask him and his crew to join the Abideon? Will Lindon become a Monarch. We only know of a few more levels. He has to go to Overlord, Archlord or Sage, then Herald and finally Monarch. We don't know anything about a Monarch and they are powerful enough they can change reality and create pocket worlds. We still don't know what is going to threaten Sacred VAlley, probably a dreadgod and how will Lindon save them all? I can't wait to find all this stuff out.

I do wish there was more in this and more character development. The pacing can be too fast at times and I want more. These books could be 500+ pages for me. I will probably start the next one even if I should wait.
Profile Image for Hamad.
1,007 reviews1,326 followers
January 27, 2021
This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷 Support me

“It means accepting who you are, not who you will always be.”

Unsouled ★★★ 3/4
Soulsmith ★★★ 1/2
Blackflame ★★★★
Skysworn ★★★★ 1/4
Ghostwater ★★★★
Underlord ★★★★ 1/4

If you look at my above ratings of the series so far, you will notice that the series has been keeping a consistent quality so far after 6 books! I find this by itself to be amusing and I think we haven’t seen the best of the series yet.

It is hard to review a 6th book in a series without spoilers but this will be spoiler-free nonetheless. The writing is as good as usual. I still insist on my opinion that this has a great balance between simplicity, humor, action when it comes to writing. The books have been consistent in size too which makes this the perfect escape between huger books. I just hope that this quality continues to shine through all 12 books.

The characters do advance in term of character growth in this one and also in terms of their ranks which is no surprise given the novels name. What I preferred in this one was that it focused on all characters and not just Lindon. Mercy and Yerin were also stars of this novel and Dross is consistently making the atmosphere lighter with his humor. We also finally got reports and iterations back, a something that I missed in the last 2 entries.

The wold-building keeps getting better and I do mention this in all of my reviews of this series but I do that because I don’t know where does Wight get more ideas to improve the world building with but he keeps outdoing himself and killing it. I can’t imagine where things will end up in book 12!

The plot is kind of slow at first and I felt the book was mainly preparing us for the tournament which I believe will be the focus of the next book. I love how the books always end up in the most interesting way and leaves you asking for more.

Summary: As good as the rest of the series with focus on character building and world expanding with the same good style we are used to.
Profile Image for Deborah Obida.
673 reviews602 followers
May 3, 2022
Buddy read with Snezana

Underlord is the sixth book in The Cradle series, it’s not only my favorite book but the first book I shelf under adult in the series, the characters are still teenagers but the events in this book are so not YA. The magic system keeps going up, apparently the caste/ level after true gold is Underlord.

The events in this book picked up just where Ghostwater ended, this book features lots of new revelations. We finally know why Mercy left home, Eithan’s plan is unfolding and many others.The fight scenes here were beyond amazing, Lindon and Yerin are so much better than they were.

The writing and world building is as great as the other books. The world is well depicted, the writing is straightforward, Yerin, Mercy, and some new characters have lots of POV, Lindon’s POV isn’t as much as it was in the previous book.

Plot Minor Spoilers Ahead
All the Monarchs(the highest magic level) in Cradle do this tournament called the Uncrowned King, they pick the best in their region to compete. The Blackflame Empire is part of the Akura region so they announced that they will pick a winner, all contestants are supposed to be underlord and not more than forty years old.Lindon and Yerin are not yet underlords so they will try all they can to reach underlord and have a chance to compete in the tournament.

To help their prospective contestants, the Akura clan opened one of their special garden that is filled with lots of aura that will help their prospective contestants reach underlord in a short time. They gave all the kings that pay tribute and live in the Akura region access to the garden, they all want to be picked by the Akura clan so they turned it into a competition, of course it’s life and death.
Profile Image for Terence.
1,113 reviews345 followers
March 6, 2023
The great clans of the world often measure themselves by the strength of their youth. Because of this a tournament is coming. The participants will be young Underlords. The Blackflame Empire has been ordered by the Akura Clan to prepare themselves. They have been given the opportunity to train in an Akura family territory that is rich with vital aura, but there is a catch. They will be competing for the training ground's resources and spots in the tournament against the Seishen Kingdom. Each faction must produce young Underlord candidates for the tournament or else. Worst of all, Akura Charity knows what Lindon did in Ghostwater and she's not going to simply let it go.

Underlord was undoubtedly the most sentimental book of the series to date. Some unexpected events hit me right in the feelings while reading this. Lindon, Yerin, and Orthos have grown so much since they were first introduced. Watching them change has been one of the best aspects of the story.

The advancement to Underlord also led to the strength of the story. Other advancements were strictly pushing the current limit to the point of bursting and then moving forward, but Underlord is different. Sacred artists must be at the peak of Truegold, but they also have to open their soulspace and know the reason they practice the sacred arts. Not just a nice sounding reason, the reason they do it. It creates quite the challenge as only artists who know themselves can advance to Underlord.

I truly enjoyed Underlord and the depth of the series thus far. I can't wait to see what comes next.
207 reviews
March 15, 2019
The name of this book and what it suggests is killing me with anticipation.

After reading-
Honestly I'm relieved. I was worried that something would go wrong and I wouldn't like it, but it's even better than I thought it would be. I'm not going to do a real review, but I might after rereading it a few times. All the stuff below will be random thoughts and stream of consciousness stuff. Don't expect quality.


I know a few of those questions may have been answered and I just didn't read closely enough/forgot. Sorry.

Other thoughts.

Like always, the worst part of finishing a great book like this is knowing we now need to wait again for the next breath of awesomeness.
Profile Image for Mysti Dewees.
7 reviews1 follower
March 3, 2019

This book is wonderful. I loved it as much as the last 5. The epilogue.. THE EPILOGUE. Woah guys!
I can’t wait for the next installment in the Cradle series.

Lindon, Yerin and Mercy’s transformations - especially Yerins - are amazing. Nothing short of what I expected from our main characters. You see a more vulnerable side to Yerin in this book, which I love. She’s that badass Sword Sage apprentice, who’s facing death defying odds - literally - and comes out on top. Her Blood Shadow? AWESOME.

Dross is slowly becoming one of my favorite little side characters. I’m loving the snarky comments and witty remarks that come from him, at the worst possible times too.

Orthos! COME BACK! I missed his grumpy turtle self in the second half of this book. He definitely grew on me in the previous books, I was sad to see him veer off on his own path. Albeit, it had to be done, but it still hurt my heart to see him and Lindon part ways for a little while.

Oh Eithan.. what are you up to you nefarious mastermind, you?

Overall, I loved this book so much. I will be anxiously awaiting the next installment. I don’t think it can be written fast enough though!

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Bradley.
Author 6 books3,962 followers
July 21, 2022
I'm still thrilled by this. It's pretty much picture-perfect LitRPG. At every step, we get new lands, new challenges, and in this case, an old-fashioned tournament... of true golds and underlords. That's... rather powerful. It's Goku-level stuff. And it's delicious.

It's a wild, fun ride and I can't wait to dig into the next.
Profile Image for Haïfa.
185 reviews179 followers
January 15, 2020
My first full 5 stars in the Cradle series!

This book had it all. I cheered, I cried tears of sadness and of joy, I wished for the book to strech further so I could prolong the fun and emotional ride I embarked on. And I laughed out loud (guys, you don't want to miss out the Bloopers at the end of the (amazing) epilogue! BLOOPERS!)

I hope I'll have the time to write something more coherent soon!
Profile Image for Annette.
38 reviews19 followers
September 3, 2021
This series is so good! I really liked this one. Here Lindon, Yerin and Mercy need to reflect on why they want to master the sacred arts, which was a great opportunity to evolve both them and the series. It made this entry feel more meaningful than previous ones.

Also, I really love Mercy and she get's to shine in this one!
Profile Image for David S Meanderings).
325 reviews86 followers
April 8, 2022
Update 4/7/22: I read this in 2 days....on my 3rd reread. Freakin love this entry🔥🔥🔥

Update 9/7/21: Still just as good! Cant wait for book 10, Reaper in November!!

5 star reread in anticipation of book 8 coming out in October!!! Love this series!
Profile Image for kartik narayanan.
735 reviews203 followers
March 2, 2019
Underlord is an unputdownable, pedal to the floor, rush of a book.

It manages to tick all the boxes - Fan-f***ing-tastic action, a pace that 'fast' does not adequately describe and characters that are unforgettable. Now, all of these characteristics are part of Will Wight's standard bag of tricks. But, in addition to all of these, this book also has way more humour than in previous iterations which went a long way in making the uber-fast pace more comfortable to read.

I also liked how Linden actually has some significant character development in this book. And this goes well with the theme of the book, which is that advancing to Underlord is less about power and strength (though those matter) and more about discovering who you are truly are. As a result, our favourite characters all has to discover, confront and accept their true purposes in life. I really liked this change in level requirements since it makes the characters do something that they have not done before.

The book has a pulse pounding climax. The ending is quite disruptive and moves the story into new areas which I am totally itching to read.
Profile Image for Jim Robinson.
76 reviews18 followers
December 16, 2021
OK this is getting repetitive. Another 5* installment in this great series

I loved Ghostwater and I wasn't sure this could top it, but you know what I think maybe it did. How could anything be cooler than an underwater pocket world? Well how about the Akura Clan's own personal Night Valley?! Ok maybe not quite as cool, but what you don't know is where this book hands down beats its predecessor - tension.

I cant recall ever being so flat out worried that the gang weren't going to make it. Up to now it had a bit of a light feel to it, a bit like maybe say Harry Potter where as the tension was cranked up here. Maybe not quite to Game of Thrones levels but still had me worrying.

Without any spoilers Lindon and the gang continue to find new ways to be bad ass and their power continues to grow. They are more and more involved with the universe's heavies and he has come a far way from Sacred Valley by this point in the series.

Great read, on to the next one!
Profile Image for Soo.
2,598 reviews256 followers
October 9, 2020
10/09/2019 Notes:

I'm on book 7 and sad cause that means I've caught up.
Profile Image for Maurice Africh.
88 reviews25 followers
January 5, 2023
Hello, welcome to the edge of my seat, it's where I sat for the last 150 pages of this book—my GOD. He did it again! How. Mr. Wight, are these books just getting better and better?
Profile Image for Rob.
848 reviews535 followers
March 11, 2019
Executive Summary: This is might be my favorite of the series thus far, and it's at least the best book since Blackflame.

Full Review
I really loved this book and this series. I think if I had started reading it during the weekend it came out instead of a few days later and I'd have read it in 1-2 days instead of 4. Every time I picked it up, I just wanted to keep reading, but often I either didn't have enough time, or I was too tired to concentrate properly.

After how much I loved Blackflame, I found Skysworn a bit of a letdown. Ghostwater was a better entry, but I wondered if the series had peeked in the third book. Then this book came along and kicked things into another gear.

I watch a ton of shonen anime, and those series often become less interesting to me when the main character gets too powerful. I worried Lindon would be much less interesting the stronger he got.

The typical solution to this problem is to add tougher and tougher enemies, which is a technique that Mr. Wight uses, but what sets it above for me is the cool variety of ways each of the characters get stronger.

He also does a pretty good job with humor. I found myself laughing at something nearly as often as I was cheering for a badass fight scene. I especially love the way Mercy says hello to EVERYONE.

My only minor issue is that I still find myself confused as to some of the larger cosmic events. I'm sure the more careful readers are getting all kinds of information out of these interludes, I find myself scratching my head. I'm hoping that in time all of this stuff will make more sense, and maybe I'll do a reread to see what stuff I was missing.

This series continues to be highly entertaining and I'm eagerly awaiting the next book. I have a ton of questions, and he sets things up really nicely for what's to come next.
18 reviews
March 1, 2019
May the Dread Gods take you Will Wight

Never in my life have I been so happy and yet so filled with rage and despair. Fifteen hours have passed since I downloaded this book, and aside from the seven hours I slept, I've done nothing but read it. Now it's done. Finished! Just like that! What am I to do now? Wait for your next release?
...I mean, probably...
Profile Image for L.L. MacRae.
Author 7 books344 followers
January 27, 2022
For me, the best book since Blackflame. What an ending!! :O :O :O

Super enjoyable entry in the Cradle series, especially as I didn't care too much for books 4 & 5. Obviously a massive part of the progression fantasy sub-genre is, well, progression. It was beginning to feel too fast, which removed the stakes/lessened the impact somewhat.

I'm not entirely sure how Will Wight did it, but this book solidified working hard for the improvements and made every progression feel meaningful. Adored Mercy (she's becoming a favourite character), especially learning what we did of her.

There's not a lot I can say that hasn't already been said, but I am diving straight into the next book and seriously looking forward to what'll happen!

As always, the narration is fantastic!

Highly recommend this series, especially the audiobooks.
Profile Image for aria ♡.
653 reviews44 followers
January 4, 2023
“How has no one killed you yet?”
“Sheer laziness.”

This was so much fun. Eithan, once again remains the most interesting and entertaining character in the series. I know this is going to sound bad but while I do like our main characters, they just aren't as interesting as the side characters or the antagonists. I found myself more involved with Kiro in this book for example. There’s also a romance developing and no…just no

Profile Image for Eva.
185 reviews102 followers
April 8, 2023
A Sanderlanche ending, awesome familiars/animal companions/AIs, lovable characters, and non-stop fun. This is turning into one of my all-time favorite series! I especially recommend the audiobook version performed perfectly by Travis Baldree.
Profile Image for Calvin Park.
183 reviews43 followers
March 15, 2019
Will Wight’s Underlord is amazingly fantastic. I absolutely loved this book. Somehow Wight manages to pack plenty of action, lots of plot points, and some stellar character development into what is actually a relatively short book. The Cradle series is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorite fantasy series. If you aren’t reading it yet, I don’t know what else I can say to convince you—but I’m going to try.

Way back in the first book of the series, Unsouled, I felt like Lindon was interesting, but the side characters were a little flat, lacking depth and strong characterization. I can’t imagine uttering that criticism about Underlord. Wight has crafted a tantalizing cast of characters that really shines. He’s definitely playing the long game here, letting us get to know characters bit by bit over the course of multiple books and that results in some big emotional payoffs in this novel. I try hard to avoid spoilers, but we learn significant things about each of the main characters in this novel. Yet none of the things we learn feel like an ending. Wight has really done a great job of making each reveal or bit of growth feel natural, like it’s leading to something more. If you enjoy strong characters in your fantasy, you definitely need to check out this novel. Of course, the characters aren’t the only thing that shines here. Wight also continues to reveal bits about his magic system, taking his characters and us to the next level of power. What’s so impressive is that he does this in a way that feels natural, not forced, and in a way that really feels like the characters we’ve come to know and love are growing. The plot of this one is also engaging from page one, feels like it has a good amount of payoff that we get in this novel, but also several intriguing strings are left dangling. Underlord is magnificent in nearly every way.

There isn’t a great deal for me to critique here. If anything, I felt like a few scenes could have had greater impact if they had been just slightly longer and given just a hint more depth. I’d argue that’s true for the entire novel at some level. In particular, there’s a character it looks like we’ll see a good deal more of in the next book that I felt like wasn’t given enough page time in this one to make us fully care about her. It’s also possible I just want more of Wight’s amazing world and characters, however, so I have to be careful with this critique.

In the end, Underlord is a phenomenal read that takes all the promise of the series, ups the ante, gives us some great payoffs, and sets the stage for what is sure to be another action-packed installment. If martial arts inspired fantasy is your thing, then you need to be reading the Cradle series. Underlord is just the latest installment in a truly exceptional series, and Wight shows no signs of faltering in his telling of this story.

4.75/5 stars.

5 – I loved this, couldn’t put it down, move it to the top of your TBR pile
4 – I really enjoyed this, add it to the TBR pile
3 – It was ok, depending on your preferences it may be worth your time
2 – I didn’t like this book, it has significant flaws and I can’t recommend it
1 – I loathe this book with a most loathsome loathing
Profile Image for Kyle Erickson.
376 reviews160 followers
August 23, 2021
Man, this book was excellent. The previous five books just built this one to a place where every single page seemed like it was brimming with excitement or anticipation. The fights were incredible and I was genuinely nervous of the results during a fair amount of them. The villains were well done. Every single side character had interesting scenes that elevated their role in the story. The plot was tight and focused less on training (although it was still there, because this is progression fantasy after all). The ending left the story in such an intriguing place that I can't wait to start book 7. I even FINALLY liked Lindon, who had to do some soul searching about himself in order to progress, and had to have difficult conversations with his companions or make hard choices that allowed him to grow beyond "yo I need to get strong, fam".

Everything about this book worked for me, except one thing, which isn't a problem with this book. It's a problem with this series, or maybe, progression fantasy in general. The way that every SINGLE person Lindon comes into contact with in each book is always just so much ludacriously stronger than the previous book. I get it for main/supporting villains. Obviously, Lindon is not going to be doing "final battles" with Jades or Lowgolds when he is close to progressing to Underlord. But Jades and Lowgolds still EXIST. I feel like every character is constantly progressing at an insane rate, even minor characters pop back up and they've progressed off screen to be at Lindon's level or stronger. I get this is supposed to be the draw of progression fantasy, but I disagree. Part of what makes Lindon and Yerin's arc for progression satisfying is that they are progressing so much quicker than others due to a combination of skill, incredible luck, and hard work. It cheapens the story for every person they meet to always be at their level or above them. They couldn't have a friend who they genuinely enjoy being around, who has some sort of other skill, like being really great at cooking and strategy, but is only at a Jade level? They can't have a member of their forces in a battle be a Lowgold? It's just annoying when it's EVERY. SINGLE. CHARACTER. Maybe other people like this aspect. But I don't, because it would never happen. Powerful people are usually surrounded by less powerful people. Eithan, Lindon, Yerin, Mercy, and Orthos only bothering to talk to people if they're more powerful reeks of billionaires not consorting with peasants, and it cheapens their characters and the story in general. That's my two cents on this issue.

But this book isn't any worse than the rest with this; I mention it here finally because most of the series is constantly mentioning how rare it is to be Truegold and then suddenly in this book there's like 829272 Truegolds, haha.

But that's the end of my rant. This book is great. I look forward to book 7!
Profile Image for Narilka.
582 reviews39 followers
July 10, 2022
Rating: 4.5 stars

If you've been paying attention to the book titles in the series, you've likely noticed they give a big hint as to what the book's focus will be on. Based on the title alone I was expecting to read about what it takes to become an Underlord. I was not disappointed! In order to progress, Lindon and team must dig into the deepest parts of their soul for revelations that will take them to the next level of their abilities. I am amazed at the character depth the author was able to fit in and each insight our favorite characters learn about themselves.

Wow! That was one hell of a final fight. Even knowing there are several more books to go, that's the first time I've been truly worried about one of the main characters making it to the end. I loved the twist at the end the Akura family had for Lindon. No idea how that's going to play out so I'll find out soon. Thank you Mr. Wight for not letting us worry too long about our favorite turtle! This installment definitely feels like another turning point in the series.

Be sure to read the bloopers at the end! They are pretty funny.
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