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The Shadow Saint

(The Black Iron Legacy #2)

4.54  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  40 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
Paperback, 567 pages
Published January 9th 2020 by Orbit (first published January 7th 2020)
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Average rating 4.54  · 
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 ·  98 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Nov 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 T. 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 ...more
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
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
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
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 ...more
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
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
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 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.
Christine Sandquist (eriophora)
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,

Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well, duh.
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
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
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 ...more
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 ...more
Damien Kelly
Dec 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An ARC of The Shadow Saint was provided by Orbit in return for an honest review.

This is an extraordinary second act in The Black Iron Legacy, with the Godswar crashing down on a transformed Guerdon with an absolute fury. The post-Crisis/Gutter Miracle city is spun askew from the one we saw in Gutter Prayer, and Hanrahan captures this pivot by shifting his POV characters around, expanding the role of Eladora from book one and bringing in other new central characters; chief amongst them the
Judith Moore
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally posted at Chain Interaction
I definitely recommend reading The Gutter Prayer before you embark on reading this book, there’s a little bit of explanation as to what is happening but you are certainly thrown in the fire (as it were). I definitely think you’ll have a better reading experience if you have a working knowledge of the events of book one.

That being said, this book – while it takes place just after the end of book one – does not have the feel of a direct sequel. Where The
Lynn Williams
Jan 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Shadow Saint is a solid instalment in the Black Iron Legacy series. No suffering from the dreaded ‘middle book syndrome’ to be found amongst these pages, and although this was a read that took a little time to fully grab my attention it really is another very impressive book.

Firstly, I would point out that as this is a review for the second book in a series you might want to be aware that potential spoilers may be lurking, I do try to avoid these but
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have spent the last 12 months eagerly anticipating The Shadow Saint by Gareth Ryder-Hanrahan after I read (and absolutely loved) his fantasy novel of The Gutter Prayer. Few books that I read last year came close to The Gutter Prayer in terms of sheer insanity, unforgettable characters and never-seen-before creatures, many-layered world building, and a plot that didn’t let go until the last page. To be honest, as much as I was looking for the second installment in The Black Iron Legacy series, ...more
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
*copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review*

So. The Shadow Saint. It’s good. Like, really, really good. It’s the sequel to Gareth Hanrahan’s The Gutter Prayer, which I also thought was, er, really, really good. Before digging into it a little more, I may be able to save you some time by saying that if you read and enjoyed The Gutter Prayer, you’ll be wanting to pick up the sequel. You won’t be disappointed.
There’s a lot going on this time, as the text examines big issues – religion, politics,
Mark Romero
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding sequel. Not as dark as the first book but had much more political intrigue and world development which I really liked. Again, the characters (both old and new) were spot on and well developed. Love this world.

I'm really impressed with the amount of story in these books. I think because the author jumps POVs around within the chapters, you get a more complete story quicker and is better developed. At least it feels that way. It always a good sign that around 200 pages, I got excited
Jon Adams
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
So, is the rating for the book as a whole, or just the writing? I love the writing (characters and plot are top-notch), but I can't remember the last time I read a book by a major publisher that had this many proofreading errors. More than the vast majority of self-published books that I help proofread. I don't know if it's just me, but that really takes me out of the story.
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review to come but just woooow!
Will Klein
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This post originally appeared on

Okay, let’s do a checklist here of things I like that The Shadow Saint has in it, yeah? Krakens attacking ships: check. Skeletons with dry senses of humor: check. Horrifying surreal imagery: big ol’ check. Ghouls: still a check there too. I could keep going for a while but I think you all get the idea, The Shadow Saint ticks a lot of the boxes of things that I like in a book, and I really, really liked it. Sorry for the review spoiler, but get
Kamila Komisarek
Jan 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
„The dead of Haith might stand vigilant in their endless ranks until the end of time, but the living folk of Guerdon don’t have time to wait. There’s always another deal to be made.”

“The Shadow Saint” is the continuation of “The Black Gods Legacy” series. I really enjoyed the first book, so I was very excited to dig into the sequel. Thank you NetGalley and Orbit for the review copy!
The action is picking up a few months after perilous events of “the Gutter Prayer”, called now the Crisis. There
Jan 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is the second book in Gareth Hanrahan’s Black Iron Legacy. I read The Gutter Prayer, his first book, in January last year, and it is easily one of the best fantasy books I have ever read. I obviously went into The Shadow Saint with high expectations and also a little trepidation. The curse of the second book, would it be as good? Would I love it just as much?

I don’t do spoilers but I will be referring to events that happened in The Gutter Prayer. Read no further if you haven’t read that yet
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
David Harris
Dec 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm grateful to Orbit for an advance copy of The Shadow Saint.

"The spy climbs a stair of fire to get to Heaven..."

This is the sequel to Hanrahan's first novel, The Gutter Prayer, which introduced us to the city of Guerdon, its Machiavellian leader, Kelkin, the Godswar which rages abroad (but it's getting closer!) and most particularly to Carillon (Cari) Thay and Eladora Duttin, cousins whose fates are bound up with the city, the imprisoned Black Iron Gods and with the Godswar.

The focus of that
Jan 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was delighted to receive this from the publishers Orbit via net galley. Once again we find ourselves in the city of Guerdon. After the god bomb and the following crisis we might ask ourselves what happened to our band of strange comrades? Fear not we are about to find out in this sequel to The Gutter Saint. The Stoneman has now evolved into a new city within the old. Rat has become more formidable as a great ghoul. Silk purse is still Silkpurse and Carillon seems to have disappeared. The ...more
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The Black Iron Legacy (3 books)
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