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A Ruin of Shadows

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  209 ratings  ·  68 reviews
General Daynja Édo is a legend: head of the Boorhian Empire's military and possessor of a mask of invulnerability. She has raised her Shadow Army of seven assassins from childhood. But mounting disillusionment over a life of brutality, a petulant emperor, and prodding from The Artful Djinni force her to defy orders for the first time in her thirty year career. When the emp ...more
Paperback, 66 pages
Published April 24th 2018 by Dancing Star Press
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Average rating 4.10  · 
Rating details
 ·  209 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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S.A. Chakraborty
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this story. A brutal yet wickedly funny tale of vengeance.
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The mask-wearing General Daynja Édo, gifted with invulnerability, became a soldier for the Empress of Boorhia at a young age and, decades later in the reign of the Empress' son, she has conquered the known world for the Empire using her particular skills and her army of seven Shadows, each hand-picked and carefully trained. She is revered within the Empire and feared outside it, but when she refuses an order to kill the insignificant ruler of a tiny, pacifist country, the Emperor sends her own S ...more
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this story! A Ruin of Shadows is a very quick novella; I read it in an hour, but wow does it make an impression.

General Daynja Édo has spent decades building the Boorhian Empire. With her “army” of seven shadows (assassins), she has spent her life in brutal violence. Now, after thirty years, she’s wondering if she’s made the right choices with her life. When the new Emperor, a man she has no respect for, gives her an order she finds abhorrent, General Daynja Édo plots rebellion.

The Gener
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
The absolutely stunning words and world of L.D. Lewis are not to be missed. Our heroine is an intriguing and complex character that you want to follow to the ends of the world. This is a quick read and leaves you craving more. Pick it up ASAP
Brent Lambert
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
General Edo is like Okoye if she got older and had to deal with a whiny ruler instead of T'Challa. This is the story of a woman with enough confidence of self to recognize all the ways she helped build an empire and precisely when she's grown tired enough of it to take it down. Imagine if the head of the CIA lived in a technologically advanced, black fantasy kingdom and was an actual badass who decided to just ruin America. That's a wild way to describe Edo's journey, but you'll see what I mean ...more
Bogi Takács
Enjoyed this a lot, a bit more later when I put up my 2018 novella highlights :)
Source of the book: Lawrence Public Library (who ordered it on my request, thank you!)
Apr 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, lgbtqia-rep
Enjoyed the concept and the humour of the protagonist Edo. The world was fleshed out to the extent that I was disappointed that there weren't another 250 pages. ...more
May 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars

I feel like I just watched a Marvel movie. Action packed with a little bit of laughter. The ending was everything I hoped it would be.
Eden Royce
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved everything about L. Lewis’ latest release, A Ruin of Shadows. Not only is it aptly named, it featured a woman – General Edo – who is heading toward the end of her career, a career which was laying waste and conquering territory for the government.

When she is asked to destroy another civilization, Edo balks. Instead, she wants to withdraw from her duties, and move away from her bloodied history. But her desire to retreat is met with hostility from the powers that be and they demand she c
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I mean, I could say that I am biased, except it's not like I love this book because I published it, I am publishing it because I love it. ...more
Dec 27, 2018 added it
Shelves: read-in-2018
quick read but i enjoyed the pov of an older, jaded/cynical, badass woman
Jeffe Kennedy
Oct 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this novella because my fellow SFWA Board Member, Nathan Lowell, recommended to me. And wow - was he ever spot on with just how amazing this story is. The protagonist is unusual, a war-weary general grown weary of serving a corrupt empire, yet unable to easily extract herself from her invisible chains. The way she breaks free - and her powerful triumph - had me rapt from beginning to end. I can only hope this is a prequel to more and longer stories with this riveting character in a brilli ...more
Apr 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Badass. Cool fight scenes, complicated hero, delightfully capable but unworthy opponents. And djinn.
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This fell under my bed and I forgot til this morning when I finished it in one sitting. I want more. Reminds me a bit of Ember in the Ashes.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Short but full, complete. Surprising heartbreak, surprising heartfulness (surprising only b/c I was thinking of it as an adventure story). Some nice style to the writing too.
Emma Cathryne
Nov 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This was a triumph of a novella. Dense with lore, action-packed, humorous and slightly melancholy, I was bowled over by Lewis' ability to create a meaningful story while expending less than a hundred pages. The story follows a middle-aged assassin named General Édo and her squad of seven Shadows, elite assassins that work with her in service of the empire's imperial aspirations. However, when Édo is asked by the Emperor to cross a moral line she didn't know she had, she flips the script on her h ...more
Allie Genia
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
HOT DANG. This was an awesome little read! I read the whole thing in just a few minutes, but it was a hell of a lot of fun. The General is a complete and utter badass - Lewis' writing was really exciting as well in the amount of world she packed into the scant number of pages. I'm really excited to read more of her work (and to get more from Dancing Star Press!). ...more
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Don't let the length of the story dissuade you, packs a big punch in a small package! Can't wait for more from this author ...more
Michael Mammay
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
L.D. Lewis really knows how to tell a story. This is a short book...maybe 20 to 25,000 words...but it reads like more. It has a full story, beginning, middle, and end, and packs more punch than a lot of things three times its length. I can't believe how much world building the author crams into so few pages--it never feels forced--and how seamlessly she weaves character, world-building, and action. Every page matters, as the tension is high throughout. Just really well done.

General Edo is a fan
Emily Timbol
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
[FULL DISCLOSURE] the author of this novella, L.D. Lewis is a friend and critique partner of mine. That doesn’t make my review—which is an easy 5 Stars—any less valid, because I’ve had no problem giving friends/critique partners 3 and 4 star reviews before. However A RUIN OF SHADOWS captured me not just from the first page, but the first sentence. And even though I’m in the middle of an incredibly stressful time of work right now where I can barely focus on anything else, Lewis’s writing still m ...more
Greg Andree
May 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't want to say too much about A RUIN OF SHADOWS aside from the fact that I loved it. I want you to discover the badass, grimly hilarious, General Édo on your own, a badass Black woman who built an empire for an empress on the strength of her mind, body, and brilliant military force that she trained from childhood.

This isn't an origin story in the typical sense, because the General is a veteran of 30 years, but it is an origin. This is the story of a new unworthy emperor taking over the emp
M.L. Desir
A Ruin of Shadows is further confirmation that there are still new stories to tell in the fantasy genre. I love this book and any free moment that I could spare, I read, rapidly turning pages until I reached the awesome ending. The characters are well-rounded -- especially the main character General Édo -- who is a mysterious and compelling force to be reckoned with. My other favorite character is loyal Djinni. The elegantly written fight scenes (oh yes, they were brutally violent and bloody, bu ...more
Charles Moore
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I just realized that I never logged, rated and reviewed this book anywhere, even though I've urinals read it three times in the last 6 months. I don't know how that could happen. But this way a great book will be my first read and review of the year.

What I love so much about this book is how perfectly written it is. Amazing exposition, from the very first page you get drawn into this magical world and while you learn more about it over time, it's never confusing, but keeps making your reading ex
Jess Crafts
Aug 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
An action packed fantasy short story following the General of a unit of assassins who turns against the empire and has to survive her unit hunting her. I loved the different assassins even though it's bittersweet with them being enemies! But Edo herself is a great character, logical and pissed off in the perfect amounts! The invincible mask, and the secret djinni added a brilliant touch of fantasy. It all wrapped up perfectly in such a short story but I totally would have read a full novel about ...more
LH Moore
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A Must-Read

General Daynja Édo is charged with one last mission, but she has something else in mind. With her elite squad of assassins and an army at her heels, she reminds them all about why she is still the best out there.
Luther Siler
Downloaded this when a tweet by the author randomly caught my eye; I'm glad I did, as this is a very nicely put together little story that reminds me of something Kameron Hurley might have written. I look forward to more from L.D. Lewis in the future. ...more
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Invincible Hero. Quick read.
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
i am surprised to have found myself rooting for the deadly violence from the protagonist by the end--very good writing to have tricked me into it. also very good writing to have built a world and backstories so fully in such a short story that certain moments have real emotional impact.
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L. D. Lewis is a data analyst and coffee enthusiast. She also serves as Art Director for FIYAH Literary Magazine for Black Speculative Fiction. She lives in Georgia under perpetual deadline.

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