Shadow's Son (Shadow Saga, #3)
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Shadow's Son (Shadow Saga #1)

3.57 of 5 stars 3.57  ·  rating details  ·  2,324 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Some fantasy novels are gritty and dark, and some are absolute murder...

Treachery and corruption lurk at the end of every street, in the holy city of Othir. It’s the perfect place for a freelance assassin with no loyalties and even fewer scruples.

Caim makes—or perhaps more accurately, takes—his living on the edge of a blade. Murder is a risky business, but so far he reckon...more
Hardcover, 294 pages
Published July 8th 2010 by Gollancz (first published January 1st 2010)
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Seak (Bryce L.)
I admit, I have a penchant for assassins. Am I the only one? Looking at the amount of fantasy and science fiction novels revolving around assassins, I'm gonna take a stab in the dark and say, nope.

In the holy city of Othir, treachery and corruption lurk at the end of every street, just the place for a freelance assassin with no loyalties and few scruples. Caim makes his living on the edge of a blade, but when a routine job goes south, he is thrust into the middle of an insidious plot.

Pitted aga...more
I wanted to like this book. Really, I did. I read it for a fantasy book-of-the-month group, and Jon Sprunk seems like a nice guy, and I've got nothing against fantasy-assassin lit, but…Shadow's Son is just badly written. Really badly written. Bad.

I'm not going to post any big spoilers here without spoiler tags, so don't be nervous. But, in order to demonstrate the pervasive badness of this book, I will be posting some short quotes and such. Don't worry, I won't ruin any important surprises.

Such good fun! I really enjoyed this fantasy adventure. It's not the best thing I've ever read but it was fantastic for what it was. It had a nice dark streak that I always appreciate in fantasy and although there were some fairly bleak images and ideas it came across as a fairly hopeful book in the end.

The obvious plot points weren't all taken. It wasn't exactly what you expected at every turn, but wasn't exactly the opposite either. Both can get predictable and boring which this wasn't. I'll...more
Sep 05, 2010 J.M. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Joe Abercrombie, Fans of David Gemmell, Fans of Assassin's Creed, Fans of Jerry Bruckheimer
Recommended to J.M. by: Jon Sprunk
SHADOW'S SON by new author Jon Sprunk is written in a fast-paced, take-no-prisoners style that, at least to me, evokes a feeling that reminds me of the popular video game, "Assassin's Creed." Not a bad thing! Like the game, SHADOW'S SON is a thrill ride from page one and doesn't let up.

The tale centers around Caim, an angst-ridden, dual knife-wielding contract killer, and Josephine, a pampered nobleman's daughter who shows more fire and mettle than expected. There's also Kit, a third protagonist...more
Marcus Gipps
Oh bugger, I've just lost the review I'd almost finished writing of this book thanks to bad mouse control and unnecessary panic. Ho hum.

Anyway, yes, another Gollancz debut. Once I had realised that my holiday was going to be fairly genre heavy, I decided on an SF/Fantasy pattern. I also fancied a light/heavy pattern - I generally like my books to involve some thought on the part of the reader, but on the other hand, what is a holiday for if not to read something a bit more trashy than usual whil...more
A really good book, fast paced, full of intrigue and action, no long descriptions or brooding. Caim and Kit were likable from the very beginning. Josey behaved like a spoiled brat at first but she matured quickly and she turned out to be a strong-willed, courageous woman. I'm curious about Caim's powers and I would love to read more about his quest to the North.
[7/10] A really fast and entertaining debut.
I didn't care much for the opening chapters. The story is rather standard: an assassin with a mysterious past, some fishy political maneuvers, a perky damzel, a generic city with dark alleyways on one side and sumptuous mansions on the other. The prose is functional, but not the kind that wins Pullitzer prizes.

Regarding the cover : I think the cowled figure with weapon in hand has been overused in the past 5 years or so, and I wish publishers would co...more
Looking for a quick and exciting read a while back I cast my eyes over my ever growing list of books I should read some time (better known as my Goodreads to-read shelf) and settled on Jon Sprunk’s Shadow’s Son. Given my penchant for character-based fantasy I thought it might be a good fit. As it turns out I was right and Shadow’s Sonmakes for an energetic albeit somewhat dark read. Caim is a haunted young man; both literally and figuratively. He is plagued by the memory of his famiy’s death whi...more
Zachary Jernigan
I was just interacting with Jon on Facebook, and it caused me to think about this book -- honestly, a thing I've done more than a few times in the two years or so since I read it. For what at the time felt like a fairly straight-forward tale, filled with archetypal-if-well-written characters, SHADOW'S SON has certainly had some sticking power in my brain. I think back on it more fondly than I had imagined when I read it. I remember its strengths.

And so... I'm amending my 3-star rating from befor...more

I shouldn't like this book as much as I do. I should be writing about how many fantasy cliches it has and how unimaginative the narrative is, but I'm not. Instead I'm going to write a review about how damn fun Jon Sprunk's Shadow's Son was to read.

Caim is a knife for hire and he's got the reputation as one of the best. Orphaned at a young age his only companion is a woman named Kit. Unfortunately, he's the only one who can see her. As an assassin, there's...more
Excellent debut from Jon Sprunk grabs you from the first page and never lets go till the end; the subject is very conventional,kind of like the Brent Weeks trilogy but without the panache of that, but the writing is excellent, among the most energetic in fantasy from what I read so far and that elevates an otherwise very good but generic assassin fantasy one level. An A+ for the style and the series became another get/read asap the next installment
You could make an argument for establishing a new sub-genre called something like "assassin fantasy," given the amount of novels currently on the shelves with heroes in that grim and surprisingly popular profession. So when the cover of Shadow's Son, Jon Sprunk's debut novel, shows a man wearing a hood and flashing a set of matching knives, it's not hard to predict the main character's occupation before even opening the book.

And yes, right in the opening scene, the novel's protagonist — Caim — i...more
May 16, 2011 Kathryn rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoyed Farlander
Shelves: favourites
So, Shadow's Son... We meet at last. This is a book that's been on my radar for some time now, but for one reason or another I never ordered it until Gollancz released a new edition last week in the UK (Release date was 12th of May, I believe).

The book revolves mostly around Caim and two supporting characters, Kit and Josey, and the interconnected plotlines between Caim, Josey and a number of other characters. Whilst this works beautifully in the last two-thirds of the book, I felt the set up i...more
This actually got 4.5/5 Quills on my site! Hope you check out the full review below. This is a great start to a trilogy that is full of great characters and espionage. This is definitely one to check out! Don't miss it.

Review of Shadow's Son by Jon Sprunk
I enjoyed this novel although I doubt it will remain a memorable novel. I found it a curious thing really. A novel well written enough that it would not be discarded as despicable and yet lacks the x factor that locked me onto it as a grand novel. I probably would only read the sequel if I was out of books to read and needed another light read...
I always like assassin books and this one hits the mark. A good blend of magic, mystery and killing. I was intrigued by the magic and I hope there is more to it in the sequel. My only gripe is that I wish it was a bit longer and I would have like more to the backstory and history of the world. A solid piece I will be reading the sequel.
Kelly Martin
I bumped into Jon Sprunk at Pittsburgh Comicon in April 2011 and after talking about some of the similar themes in our works (we both have written fantasy stories about "shadow assassins") we ended up exchanging copies of our respective books with each other.

First off let me start by saying I found Shadow's Son a worthy entry into the currently popular "Shadow Assassin" genre populated by myself and several other authors (such as Brent Weeks). I'm also comforted that in each case I haven't seen...more
Lady K

L’histoire est très intéressante. Je n’irai pas jusqu’à dire qu’elle est innovante, mais j’ai passé un très bon moment de lecture ! Même si j’ai trouvé qu’au début il y avait trop de politique, de personnages présents sans aucune présentation avant et pas assez d’explications. C’est assez handicapant quand il est question de géographie, sans carte et sans explication. Il est difficile de visualiser ce nouveau monde. La fin du tome ravira tous ceux qui n’ai...more
Bryan Schmidt
An excellent debut. Sprunk does so many things right, from using sophisticated vocabulary just enough to add flavor but still be discerned in context and never too much to distract from the narrative. His sword fighting scenes are top notch, as if he himself were an experienced fencer (he says he's not). His protagonist is an anti-hero, a noble born orphan assassin, but unlike so many, Sprunk counters him perfectly with a truly heroic companion in Josephine, a woman whose nobility and honor and...more
Ranting Dragon

This is Jon Sprunk’s debut novel, and it’s a dark read. This book may look small, but once you begin, it is apparent that this is an intelligent read. I should note right away that if you aren’t a blood-splatter and guts type of person, you might want either to brace yourself or skip it. Sprunk truly does give a blow-by-blow, or should I say a blade-by-blade, account. There are a few twists in this story I wasn’t expecting, but I got caught up in this assa...more
Lyle Appleyard
I received a copy of this book as part of the Goodreads Firstreads Giveaway.

I have always enjoyed fantasy novels. This novel is more than just a fantasy novel. It is also a political thriller. There was no quest. There was double dealings, killings and a hidden conspiracy. This brought the fantasy novel to different level. There were the shadow creatures and Kit that still made it a fantasy movel.

Caim was a greeat anti-hero. He was a hired killer that cared about no human. He trusted no human. H...more
Story: 3/5
1: Being Vague, rambling plot with no little believable storyline
5: Ripping yarn, clever, thought provoking

Another Assassin story in the same vane is Brett Weeks. The basis of the story is your typical assassin has tasks, starts to question choices in life, meets a pretty girl, helps overthrow corrupt government and changes life. You have probably read this story many times before. There is rally nothing new here, it was just ok. The magic aspect is not explained at all, it is just th...more
Fast-paced fantasy with plenty of exciting action. The magic used in the book is fairly cool, and reminiscent of Nightcrawler from the Marvel comics, as well as Shadowalkers from D&D/Forgotten Realms. Kit, a familiar-like ghost who accompanies the protagonist Caim is a really cool character. Her role as an unseen character reminds me of Uncle Virgil from the Dragon and Thief series.

The characters' personalities are pretty straight-forward, and as cliche as the plot. Assassi...more
Jared Millet
It seems like I've been reading a lot of sword n' sorcery lately, but nothing modern that was such a rousing, uncomplicated, straight-up adventure as Shadow's Son. It even opens up with what I'd characterize as a James Bond pre-credit sequence, for Pete's sake.

This is a book that gets straight to the point and sticks with it all the way through. Caim is an assassin haunted by 1) the murder of his father and 2) an invisible waif who only he can see. He also has mysterious shadow-based powers that...more
Shadow's Son is attention grabbing, fast paced, and an overall stand out fantasy novel.

From the moment I picked up the book it was virtually impossible to put down. The writing and set up of the novel/chapters really played major factors in keeping this a fast paced novel.

The novel is set up at just about 300 pages and it's a perfect novel to keep any readers attention. Jon Sprunk knows just how to describe a scene, character interaction, or important plot element without dragging it out. There...more
I honestly didn't think this sort of fantasy got published any more - the pedestrian, cliche-loaded, mediocre-tolkien/mythology-aspirant sort. At least the plot moves fast, though I suspect it has to or otherwise you'd be able to see daylight through the holes that turn into lace. Characters made of thin cardboard in utterly familiar shapes, a brutal dichotomy of good and evil, and a setting that's both generic and wildly anachronistic in its influences. Sort of like in was written from an unhol...more
Aiden Sawyer
I enjoyed Mr. Sprunk's story a lot. The dark hero character of Caim was well developed and had a couple interesting twists that set him apart. I was worried that the relationship between Claim and Josie was moving too quickly at one point, but Sprunk adeptly pulled back to maintain just the right amount of romantic tension as the book came to a climactic and satisfying close. A book well worth the read though I had hoped to find the ebook editions at a better price which by no means is a knock o...more
This is a pretty straightforward action-packed fantasy. There's not a whole lot here that's new. It's also not one of those that's so hard to read that you have to concentrate hard every second. It's just a nice, quick fantasy.

Full review here:
Kevin Breaux
Just remembered that I forgot to post a review for this one. I feel silly, got caught up in my own projects. I was very impressed with Jon's ability to pull me I to the story and keep me hooked. I was fully engaged and enjoyed every page. Going to read the next book soon.
This book was amazing. It was everything I could have asked for in a novel. It will take its rightful place among my favorite books of all time.
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The Sword and Laser: Shadow's Son audiobook giveaway 1 25 Jul 08, 2012 10:40AM  
Sci-fi and Heroic...: Shadow's Son by Jon Sprunk 2 15 Oct 13, 2011 08:07PM  
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Fantasy author living in central Pennsylvania. I love to travel (especially places with old ruins), watch football (American NFL, not that soccer stuff), drink (rum and coke, preferred), and enjoy life.
More about Jon Sprunk...
Shadow's Lure (Shadow Saga, #2) Shadow's Master (Shadow Saga, #3) Blood and Iron Az Árny csábítása (Shadow Saga, #2) Az Árny csábítása

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