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Master of Restless Shadows: Book One

(Master of Restless Shadows #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  269 ratings  ·  87 reviews
Freshly graduated Master Physician Narsi Lif-Tahm has left his home in Anacleto and journeyed to the imposing royal capital of Cieloalta intent upon keeping the youthful oath he made to a troubled writer. But in the decade since Narsi gave his pledge, Atreau Vediya has grown from an anonymous delinquent to a man renowned for penning bawdy operas and engaging in scandalous ...more
Paperback, 406 pages
Published October 6th 2019 by Blind Eye Books
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This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Esin I feel like the way Atreau is written in Champion of the Scarlett wolf hints that he had a crush on Elezar. That's just my take on the way Atreau resp…moreI feel like the way Atreau is written in Champion of the Scarlett wolf hints that he had a crush on Elezar. That's just my take on the way Atreau responded to Elazar in some scenes.(less)
Mikou Now, the Blind Eye Books only says 2021, but the Amazon listing says September 21, 2021.

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Shin Mon Thway
Ah .. where do I begin .. ☺️ First of all, I’m the biggest fan of Ginn Hale. ❤️ Her duology “Lord of White Hell” is one of my all time favorite epic fantasy books. I just love how creative, expansive and complex her worlds and characters are. But I have serious mixed feelings about this book. 😅 Okay, I’m confusing you .. aren’t I? Let me recap a bit more.

First of all, I read “Lord of White Hell” duology two years ago and my memory isn’t that fresh of the Cadeleonian world setting and backgroun
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
DNF at 13%

No rating.

Look, I love Ginn Hale, but I was lost reading this one. I'm not typically a fantasy reader, and I would recommend reading Lord of the White Hell, Book 1 prior to starting Master of Restless Shadows because they are (apparently) set in the same world.

*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*

Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kaje Harper
I should have reread Champion of the Scarlet Wolf, Book One series before this one. (I've reread White Hell often enough to remember it, but not the second series.) This book has a lot of characters and elements, and they draw from the previous books, in addition to some engaging new introductions. Having a better picture of who some of them were would have made the story clearer.

Having said that, I was caught up enough in the story not to put it down and do the reread, because I didn't want to
Master of Restless Shadows by Ginn Hale // Or, The Gays vs. the Fantasy Church
★★★★☆ | This releases on my birthday, yo. (At least one of the editions?)

"For his part Narsi wondered how Lord Vediya managed to woo so many lovers when he so blithely and constantly implied himself to be riddled with merrypox."


⚔ Two M/M Relationships; all four have POV
⚔ Side Sapphics
⚔ Side Trans Man
⚔ Lots of Religion Talk; kinda parallel to Christianity & Rome/Vatican
Magic in a World without Magic
Dec 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Now starts the wait for part 2.
Most frustrating were the 30 pages in the end, listing all the names and places you have to know, and necessary information to understand the story. I wished this list was provided on page one to thirty. It would have made this novel less strenuous.
Further, I would have liked some romance.

Still, the last 50% I enjoyed.
Michael S.
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Let’s get this out of the way: if you do not read the other books in this series, you will be horribly lost. It’s been a couple of years since my last dip into this universe, and I struggled with the first few chapters.

A few things I thought differed somewhat from previous entries:

1. If memory serves, this is the first pair of protagonists in the series without some magic talent between them.

2. As if to contrast, magic plays a huge role in the story. Granted, the most recent books took place in
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Simply stunning. I’m not sure what else I can say.

Courtly intrigue, assassins, magic, burgeoning (queer) romance. Everything I look for in fantasy. Again - stunning.

If you’ve not read Ginn Hale then it would be in your best interest to do so right now. Like, immediately. But be warned that Master of the Restless Shadow is part of a series that begins with Lord of the White Hell an must be read in order.

5 stars - Wow
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an electronic ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

5/5 stars!!

Did I expect to give any less to anything written by Ginn Hale?? Absolutely not!

First of all, I loved the first 4 books in the Cadeleonian Series, so of COURSE I was so excited when I learned there was going to be 2 more, and that we were finally (FINALLY) going to learn a little more about Atreau, his past, and what really happened to him during and after the events of Champion of the Sca
Oct 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star, lgbtq, series, fantasy
It’s been 9 years since I read the White Hell books and about 5 years since I read the Scarlet Wolf books. And I have a terrible memory. So aside from a few key people I wasn’t sure exactly which characters and how much of their backstories we were meant to know already. It would’ve been a good idea to do some rereading but that’s not my habit so I muddled through.

This first book mostly lays out the players and factions for the conflict that’s brewing. It didn’t keep me quite as completely engro
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
On my blog.

Rep: gay mcs, bi mc, trans side character, wlw side characters, brown(?) mc

CWs: torture, mentions of past torture, violence

Galley provided by publisher

If you asked me whether I wanted to read a politicking fantasy with murder mysteries and gay characters, my answer would be fuck yes. Of course that’s something I want to read. So this was definitely a bit of a letdown in that respect.

Master of Restless Shadows is the first book in a sequel series, which, while not disastrous for un
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-au
If this is your first Ginn Hale book, I would advised against starting with Master of the Restless Shadows. This is the third duology that started with Lord of the White Hell. The cast of characters, plot, conflict and world building is a continuation of everything established in previous entries.

So after reading Lord of the White Hell and Champion of the Scarlet Wolf, you’ll now have insight into the lives of four characters: Atreau, Narsi, Fedeles and Ariz. Having four different point of views
Joyfully Jay
Oct 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kris
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.25 stars

Master of Restless Shadows is an epic high fantasy. Lush description and detail lay out complex world building. There are dozens of characters, multiple plot twists, and Hale weaves a tale that flows seamlessly from one thing to the next. Page after page, new information is revealed, layers are built, and when this lengthy story ends, it’s on a cliff hanger. Because there is so much more to come.

I have to say that the blurb is a little misleading in its simplicit
Jul 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
** I received an electronic ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest review.**

Actual rating: 4.5 stars

Ginn Hale's newest fantasy continues to explore the universe she has previously established in other works. In this book, we follow a wide variety of characters, but most notably Narsi and Atreau. Narsi is a newly appointed master physician, whereas Atreau is an author, nobleman, and is much more than the lush he would have his peers perceive him to be.

Let me begin by sta
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an electronic ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for honest review.

I've never read a Ginn Hale novel before and I'm glad that I did. This book is so full of interesting characters. Spies, assassin's, corruption, greed, God's and monsters, that leave you on your toes wanting to know what happens next.
The writting was phenomenal. I found myself reading this book fast, it was hard to stop put it at one point.

I can't wait until the second book comes out. I highly recom
Sep 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Master of Restless Shadows is out on the 6th of October. This is another great edition to two of her other series, Lord of the White Hell and Champion of the Scarlet Wolf. While this could be read as a stand-alone I do recommend reading the other books. This is a fantasy series following Atreau who is a familiar face from previous books. Loads of court intrigue, assassins and a group of allies desperately trying to avert a war. While slow to start, this ended on a high and I cannot wait to read ...more
June ♛
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Netgalley provided me with an arc in exchange of an honest review. All the following opinions are my own.

This was such a nice book to read!! It had, in my opinion, a great balance between Greater Plot and Romance Plot. There were some really exciting bits, and then there were some dull bits, but overall I think it was nicely paced and the story nicely developed.

I'm gonna be honest, though: Although i can recognize the plot is really interesting and exciting, I was more invested in the character
Dieter Moitzi
Jul 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay-book-reviews
I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.
This review has been originally posted at Gay Book Reviews - check it out!

When I received this ARC, I didn’t expect much, for some unfathomable reasons. And I was in for a very, very pleasant surprise (mind you, I prefer surprises to be like this rather than the other way around). The plot, split up between several third-person narrators, grabbed me at once, despite the first chapters being almost overwhelmingly complex. But noth
Riina Y.T.
What a difficult book for me to rate!

I'm a big fan of Ginn Hale's fantastic storytelling. I've been dying to read from Atreau's POV ever since Lord of the White Hell, Book 1, which if you don't know has a second installment and continues with Book 1&2 of Champion of the Scarlet Wolf.

So, Master of Restless Shadows​ ​gives us not only Atreau & Narsi but also Fedeles & Ariz. Yep, FOUR POVs, two romances and many many side characters. Now, that might delight many of you! As for me? I don't know ho
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
How wonderful to return to Cadeleon! I loved this. It's gripping and complex and full of intrigue and magic and danger--a big, meaty high fantasy. I love this world and these characters. Note that this is a continuation of the story started in Lord of the White Hell and continued in Champion of the Scarlet Wolf, and they all share characters and plot. This book doesn't stand alone. There are a lot of characters and a big plot, so if you don't remember, you may wish to re-read. There is a glossar ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are a huge fan of the Cadeleonian Series and have read the previous four books, you might be expecting the story to be told through two perspectives and for there to be two major characters-Atreau and Narsi. Quickly, you will find out there are four major characters and four perspectives. A lot of time and importance is given to several lovable and fascinating characters, but each character is crucial to the plot Ginn has created. This book gives voice to several powerful women as well, w ...more
Apr 15, 2019 marked it as to-read
YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS. do you know how long i've been waiting for this???? and it's about atreau??? i am so EXCITED. ...more
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's been a while since I read earlier books set in this world. It took me some time to start reading the Lord of the White Hell books, but I read them pretty fast once I started. I read book 1 of Champion of the Scarlet Wolf, but only read part of book 2. That was also some time ago.

There are some reminders in here about what happened when Fedeles and Atreau were in their teens, and then when Atreau spent time in the north with Elezar Grunito and became acquainted with Skellan. Fedeles is still
Sep 17, 2019 rated it liked it
3/5 stars :

I received an e-ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I really wanted to love this book, I really, really did. It has so many of the things that interest me in a book: fantasy, LGBT+ rep, political intrigue, etc. But in the end the story just didn't deliver what I was looking for.

I'm giving this book 3 stars because even though I didn't like it much I can say that the book wasn't bad. I understand why other people love it and I would encourage any
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got this book as ARC!

First of all, if you haven't read the books Lord of the White Hell 1+2 and Champion of the Scarlet Wolf 1+2, you should definitely do so before reading this book, in the order I mentioned. One, because they are brilliant fantasy queer books, two, because you might get confused if you try to start with this one. And third, reading this book will spoil you the first two duologies, because its a continuation in the same world with different characters, taking place several ye
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
14 July 2019

I sit here in wonder and self-recrimination. I did my biannual re-read of The Lord of the White Hell and Champion of the Scarlett Wolf back in November or December. Now I'm wishing I had done it even more recently. But, that's not my biggest concern. My biggest regret is that now I have to anxiously await volume two of this wonderful duology.

The setting is approximately thirteen years since the events of the Lord of the White Hell duology. In this, our MCs from the Sagrada Academy an
Apr 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I'm a bit disappointed. I've enjoyed past installments in this series a lot and have found them to be an equally balanced romance and fantasy novel in one, and that was what I was looking for here again. But instead of reading about one couple, the book presents two, yet both relationships do not develop very far. Additionally, I found the pacing too slow and even considered quitting because neither the plot nor the romance held my attention. And now, this book being apart 1 of 2, nothin ...more
I did enjoy the story, but there was a lot going on all at the same time, with too many characters and all their different alliances and plots. It made the story feel way too chaotic. Plus I didn't get any sense of who was the main star of the show. Was it Narsi the physician, Lord Vediya the spymaster, or maybe Master Ariz? It was never clear. And there was hardly any romance at all, which was a bit disappointing. I think part of my problem was I couldn't help comparing this book with the previ ...more
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Have you ever read a book that you couldn't stop reading but once you'd finished you couldn't say if you _liked_ it or not? That is this book. Now bear with me, I know that's not the most encouraging of things to say so let me continue...

This book has phenomenal world building and characters and I could not stop reading it. I was drawn into the story completely, and the world that Ginn Hale created. I was _fascinated_ the entire time I read this, even as I scratched my head and pondered how I fe
Shan( Shans_Shelves) 💜
Oct 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
*Thank you to A Novel Take PR for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.*

When I said I wanted Fedeles to get his HEA, this is not what I meant. Can you hear that?...

It’s the sound of my heart shattering. After that ending, I cannot wait for volume 2!!!

Review to come soon!
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