Cheryl's Reviews > Shadowfall

Shadowfall by James Clemens
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's review
Jul 29, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: rainy-day-reads
Read in May, 2009

In Brief: A decent fantasy novel with a good mystery and an interesting premise.

Shadowfall takes place in a world where the gods are bound to specific lands, and their bodily fluids drive the "magic" of the world. The story follows three different protagonists: a fallen knight who witnesses the murder of a goddess and gets wrapped up in larger events, a young girl who acts as a handmaiden to one of the gods, and another knight dealing with the politics of her order. These three explore different aspects of a much greater mystery, and eventually meet.

What Worked For Me: I found all of the protagonists to be likable enough people. They never drove me to roll my eyes and sigh, like so many other fantasy heroes. The writing was easy to follow, with the occasional artistic flourish, although nothing that really wowed me. I appreciated the author including the darker aspects of the story without reducing it to something akin to creepy torture porn.

What Didn't Work For Me: The story moved a little too slowly for me. I'm not sure how the author could have remedied that. Perhaps a little bit less downtime between dramatic events? It's not a huge quibble, really, but by the time I hit the last third of the book I really just wanted to get it over with.

Overall: Like I said, I found Shadowfall to be a perfectly good fantasy novel. The characters bring the mystery to a good endpoint, with plenty of twists along the way. Actually, the book so finished to my liking that I don't feel very compelled to hunt down its sequel. Perhaps if I see it in the bookstore one day I'll pick it up, but I've many more things in my queue.
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