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The Shadow Saint

(The Black Iron Legacy #2)

4.25  ·  Rating details ·  772 ratings  ·  167 reviews
Thieves, dangerous magic, and a weapon built with the power to destroy a god clash in this second novel of Gareth Hanrahan's acclaimed epic fantasy series, The Black Iron Legacy.

Enter a city of spires and shadows . . .

The Gutter Miracle changed the landscape of Guerdon forever. Six months after it was conjured into being, the labyrinthine New City has become a haven for cr
Paperback, 562 pages
Published January 9th 2020 by Orbit (first published January 7th 2020)
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Average rating 4.25  · 
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 ·  772 ratings  ·  167 reviews

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Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Dark & imaginative fantasy fans
ARC provided by the publisher—Orbit—in exchange for an honest review.

4.5/5 stars

The Shadow Saint, the sequel to my favorite debut of 2019, is here and it successfully met my high expectations with so much energy.

Firstly, a shout out to one of my favorite artists, Richard Anderson, for creating another gorgeous cover art. Remember what I said at the beginning of my review of The Gutter Prayer? I tend to find the content of an SFF book with Anderson’s cover art to be as good as the cover, and this
Nick Borrelli
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would first like to say that The Black Iron Legacy series by Gareth Hanrahan has officially become one of my favorite current dark fantasy series going, to the extent that I anticipate each new release now with bated breath. The world that Hanrahan has created in these books is so incredibly cool and unique that it almost defies explanation. I had an inkling that I would enjoy THE SHADOW SAINT, but I wasn't prepared to love it so much that I would alienate myself from my family for nights on e ...more
Dannii Elle
This is the second instalment in The Black Iron Legacy series, which is fast becoming one of my favourites!

Guerdon was destroyed at the end of The Gutter Prayer and a partially new city placed directly atop of the old. The two are at war for dominance but the gods are circling ever closer and put the petty whims of mortals beneath them in their quest for power. Spies are sent to learn the secrets of those wishing to govern this divided city, but they become increasingly embroiled in more than me
TS Chan
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-review-copy
ARC received from the publisher, Orbit, in exchange for an honest review.

The Gutter Prayer had been constantly lauded as one of the best debuts of 2019. Hanrahan's imaginative and extraordinary dark fantasy worldbuilding, as well as his unique voice, continued to impress in its sequel, The Shadow Saint.

The city of Guerdon itself remained the highlight of the story to me. Again, Hanharan imbued his writing with such an vivid and evocative imagery of Guerdon that it felt like a living, breathing
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Rating: 9.5/10

Thanks to Hachette Audio,, the author, and the narrator for an advance listening copy of The Shadow Saint (The Black Iron Legacy #2) in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this ALC did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

The Gutter Prayer (The Black Legacy #1) was one of my favorite debuts of 2019. It was unlike any fantasy story I’d ever read before and felt like the beginning of something ground-breaking. It checked off all of the boxes of what I enjoy in a fantas
Rob Hayes
Mar 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I believe we are living in something of a golden age of fantasy. There's so much being published and with such a variety of worlds and styles on display, that I feel honoured to be part of it. When I picked up The Gutter Prayer last year, this sentiment was really hit home for me. The level of imagination and world building and characterisation on display was so damned impressive! So I've been itching to start reading the sequel. Well I finally got around to it!

The Shadow Saint picks up a few mo
Jan 04, 2020 marked it as lost-interest
DNF @10%

★ I am going to be honest here, It is my fault that I requested an ARC of this, I take full responsibility for that. The truth is that almost all my friends loved book 1 and I requested this while barely reading a few pages of book 1. I wanted the motivation to read the book and having book 2 always help me to do that.

★ But the truth is that I found that book 1 is good but the writing style is not for me, I think it is a bit dense (subjectively speaking) and this is really an unpopular o
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hanrahan takes a new approach in this follow-up to The Gutter Prayer, which was one of my favorite reads from 2019. While The Gutter Prayer had a nice mix of world-building, action, and character development, The Shadow Saint changed focus and spent about half the book on politics. Guerdon's leadership is in ruins after suffering so much damage from The Crisis about ten months before when The Shadow Saint picks up. Eladora, a supporting character from tGP, is thrust into the spotlight this time ...more
Jan 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Shadow Saint is the second book in The Black Iron Legacy trilogy, but I would recommend reading The Gutter Prayer prior to this as it doesn't stand well on its own and the events will make so much more sense having completed the series opener. I must say that I found this even more engrossing than TGP which I certainly wasn't expecting and much of the confusion over the Godswar was clarified leaving you with a much deeper understanding of where the story is heading. The fact that Hanrahan ha ...more
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
This second book in the Black Iron Legacy was, IMHO, a better book. More interesting.

I'm sure some mileage will vary, but I was a lot more fascinated by the reconstruction following the war, the politics, the spy-stuff, and the total aftermath of all the god-stuff suffusing the world than I was for the previous book's build-up and explosion.

Overall, I think the entire novel was very entertaining.

What would I compare it to? The Powder Mage trilogy. There are a ton of similarities. I'm sure most
Edel Ryder-hanrahan
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, husfriend
Editing to add my proper review:

Okay, I've got to admit to bias just like with "The Gutter Prayer", but it's my opinion that "The Shadow Saint" is actually a *better* book than the first in "The Black Iron Legacy" series. Way more becomes clear about The Godswar and we get to the see the growth of previous characters (particularly Eladora and Cari) in the wake of the events at the end of "The Gutter Prayer". There's a new and interesting PoV character who's got a mysterious background with a ver
Dec 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Originally posted to I Should Read That

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler-free, but may contain spoilers for The Gutter Prayer.

The Gutter Prayer tied for my #1 book of 2019, alongside The Bone Ships, and I was eagerly awaiting the release of The Shadow Saint. I was worried that the second book wouldn’t live up to Hanrahan’s incredible debut, however I should have had more faith! The Shadow Saint is a very different, but equally brilliant book.
Dec 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full review is here, on my blog!~

This book carries on, more or less, from The Gutter Prayer, though it does follow different characters, for the most part.

The city of Guerdon has changed since the events of the last book. There is a New City that has sprouted in the midst of everything, and it has become a refuge for the poor and the seedier residents of the city.

There are rumours abound that hiding somewhere in the ghoul-filled tunnels of Guerdon, a weapon capable of killing the gods themselves
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review and others can be read on my blog, Black Forest Basilisks.

The Shadow Saint is a devastatingly brilliant new installment in the Black Iron Legacy series by Gareth Hanrahan. Although the initial book, The Gutter Prayer, had a few weaknesses in the character development department, these were beautifully resolved and a complete nonissue in this sequel. Eladora is the primary focus of this novel, with Cari as a side character. Several new characters are also introduced: Alic, the spy

Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"Uncertainty leads to fear. Fear leads to a desire to own weapons of terror and irresistible fury."

This was an excellent read! Although the story built tension slowly through out the first two thirds of the book - I was not at all bored. I was absorbed by the attention to detail in the world building and the in depth exploration of all the political maneuvering and religious factions at play in the city of Guerdon. A city on the cusp of the Godswar.

The final third of the book delivered plenty of
Oct 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I UTTERLY ADORED The Gutter Prayer. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read. Captivated me from page one and refused to let go the whole way through. The characters were fantastic. The world building was epic. There was so much depth, history, lore, and meaning to everything.

I loved it so much that I immediately bought the sequel.

The prose in this book, much the same as the first, is phenomenal. So much beauty and lyricism in something that’s overall very dark, tainted, and quite a bit mad. I
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
This review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

The Shadow Saint is the second book in The Black Iron Legacy and starts six months after the conclusion of the first book, The Gutter Prayer. But, it isn’t a direct sequel, the focus is changed and we mostly follow a new set of characters (for those wondering Carillon/Cari, Rat and Spar the trio of main PoV characters from The Gutter Prayer all appear) and a story that is built on the foundat
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Here’s what you need to know about The Shadow Saint: it is the second book of The Black Iron Legacy series by Gareth Hanrahan, but it doesn’t really follow the tradition of a direct sequel. While the story picks up soon after the events of The Gutter Prayer, the focus has mostly shifted to another set of characters, though a lot of familiar faces from the first book return. Not surprisingly, when it comes to these types
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition


Second books are where good series go to die.

Whereas The Gutter Prayer hits the ground running, The Shadow Saint struggled to find it's voice and direction.

Well this was an unexpected disappointment.
One of the biggest problems i had with this book was the repetition. Honestly, maybe putting a recap at the start of this book would have helped. As it is, every opportunity that presented itself to remind readers of something that happened in book 1 was taken and it was tiring.

The political sch

Feb 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The plot of The Shadow Saint follows on from the aftermath of The Gutter Prayer, which was my favourite book of 2019. However, the main narrative voices do not follow the same characters as the previous book, although they do feature in the story. It was a great experience watching one of the minor characters from The Gutter Prayer develop their own strong sense of identity and endure their own journey, whilst also catching up with what our previous characters are doing now. The story line conti ...more
Holly (The GrimDragon)
3.5 Stars~

"So, fuck, there's a zombie chasing her."

The Shadow Saint is the second installment in Gareth Hanrahan's Black Iron Legacy series. The third book is set to be released early next year.

It has been well over a year since I read The Gutter Prayer, which was an exceptional debut! The worldbuilding was mind-blowing and the monsters that littered the pages delighted me immensely!

The Shadow Saint is a heavily ambitious sequel, which wasn't always successful. The story is quite different from
Jan 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan was one of my favourite reads last year and I can honestly say that The Shadow Saint is even better and I am sure will find a place in my top 10 of 2020. Yes, it starts slow, but it is understandable, because we are introduced to new characters and we are filled with more information about the world.

But after that the pace gets a lot faster and doesn't slow to the end. We have three main PoV's in this book and only one of them we met in previous book. Our new
Jan 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Series: The Black Iron Legacy # 2
Published by: Orbit
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Grimdark, High Fantasy
Pages: 567
Format: e-book
Review Copy Courtesy of NetGalley

If you haven’t read The Gutter Prayer and don’t know if you want to, read my review of it here.

The Gutter Prayer was an exceptional debut – no matter how hard I thought about the story, I couldn’t find anything wrong with it! In The Shadow Saint, Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan opens up Guerdon to all-new existential threats, which our cast of new and retu
Feb 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
A strong sequel to the first book. Solidly plotted with an engaging storyline. However, I missed the furious eldritch pacing and tension which made The Gutter Prayer such a riveting read. This book has a lot of politicking, spying, and a calamitous threat that keeps looming at the edges of the narrative.

The worldbuilding is superbly done, and the author meticulously widens the scope of the story. We get to glimpse a much wider world from Guerdon, though they're just glimpses. Majority of the act
Feb 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, favourites
CAWPILE rating: 9.14/10
STAR rating: ★★★★★

Well, that was a rollercoaster ride!The Shadow Saint was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and it did not disappoint. The Black Iron Legacy is one of my favourite series now and I can't believe I'm going to have to wait until January 2021 to see what happens next.

Longer RTC!
Jeremy Szal
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Phenomenal in every way. It took a little work to adjust to the change in structure and deluge of new characters, but the uber weirdness and work of unfiltered imagination is pushed to its absolute limit here, and then some. This is a very dense but rewarding book, and while it's effortless to read, you won't get much out of Guerdon unless you're paying close attention to the writhing secrets that infest every cubic metre of
GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)
I loved Gutter Prayer. I found it wholly engaging and really enjoyed the characters and the world.

This one...not so much. It was a chore for me to get through. I ended up skimming a lot...I didn't wanna DNF it but at the same time, it felt more like work than enjoyment to get through. None of the characters appealed to me, nor did their circumstances. I just couldn't connect no matter how badly I wished that I could.

I'd like to rate this 2.5 stars but Goodreads won't let me. I feel guilty for g
Unseen Library
Nov 06, 2019 marked it as to-read
The first novel that I am looking at in this week's Waiting on Wednesday is The Shadow Saint. The Shadow Saint is the second book in The Black Iron Legacy and follows through from Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan’s debut novel from earlier this year, The Gutter Prayer. The Gutter Prayer was an excellent piece of grimdark fantasy that followed the adventures of several of the disparate and desperate criminal inhabitants of the city of Guerdon as they become involved with a dark plot to unleash the city’s an ...more
Feb 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars

The Shadow Saint picks up a few months after the events of The Gutter Prayer as the city of Guerdon gets back on track.

The Shadow Saint opens up the world where The Gutter Prayer did not while introducing two new characters that take centre stage. Where The Gutter Prayer focused almost solely on the city of Guerdon, The Shadow Saint introduces many different countries with their own cultures and beliefs. Despite this incredible world building, it feels shoehorned in, as there’s little t
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hanrahan shifts the perspective to several new characters and a couple old ones. First and foremost is Eladora who is now Kelkin’s assistant and in charge of, among other things, gaining allegiance to the cause from the occupants of the New City. And then there’s The Spy. A character that keeps you on your toes for every word of every page. A chameleon of personalities and allegiances in order to attain his goal, his chess-like moves keep him several steps ahead. (And those fav characters from T ...more
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