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The Brightest Shadow

(The Brightest Shadow #1)

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  56 ratings  ·  13 reviews
The arrival of the Hero was worse than anyone could have imagined.

To take her place as a full warrior of her tribe, Tani must travel across the vast grasslands of the Chorhan Expanse. But she has her sights set higher than a mere ritual journey: she wants to uncover a solution to the impending war that threatens her people. Her world has never been peaceful, torn between
Kindle Edition, 1231 pages
Published March 6th 2020 by Sarah Lin
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Average rating 4.34  · 
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TS Chan
Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc-review-copy
ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Eastern-inspired with great classic wuxia elements, The Brightest Shadow is a commendable fantasy entry with impressively thoughtful worldbuilding, and an interesting diverse cast of characters.

I grew up watching a lot of wuxia classics, the most famous being The Legend of the Condor Heroes. Sarah Lin paid homage to these great classics by incorporating cultural and martial arts elements which would feel very familiar to wuxia fans
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who has read my works knows that I enjoy playing with classic tropes. Among my favorites is the classic story of the Hero and the Dark Lord, equal and opposite forces destined to clash and tear the world asunder.

Most of my favorite incarnations of this trope tend to be in the form of Japanese games and literature things like Maoyuu, for example, which is a love story between the Yuusha (Hero) and Maou (Demon King) of that particular setting. Ive seen a couple Western stories that tinker
Feb 12, 2020 rated it really liked it

I read this book as a beta/ARC reader. The following review is an honest impression of the book.

If you know me around r/fantasy, you'll know that I'm not the biggest proponent of 'relatable' SFF but heck, I feel so far this book was written for readers like me who grew up with an eclectic mixture of Western fantasy, JRPG, and wuxia. Perhaps I've just grown accustomed reading about stories unfamiliar and unrelatable to me, but reading this book felt like coming home.

Tani of Rhen tribe is on
Sarah Lin
Mar 21, 2020 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Thanks for reading my book! I'm not going to rate my own work, so I'll use this review as an opportunity to highlight some things that may interest you. If you want more content for TBS, I'm making a series of lore posts on my blog here:

Fans have also contacted me regarding subreddits and wikis in the works, but I don't believe they're quite ready yet. I'll add anything here that might be of interest to a general audience.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
(Review originally posted on r/fantasy.)

This review became excessively long. Since no book is for everyone I'm going to begin with a quick list of some strengths that will let those who aren't interested skip the rest of the review. Anyway I liked The Brightest Shadow a lot and here are some reasons you might like it (or might not):

- It's a story that balances plot, character development, and action in ways that honestly surprised me at times. Normally I expect books this long to be a bit
Μαρία Ν.
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I would like to thank the author for being so kind as to give me an ARC to review.That of course has not influenced my review.

Now on to the review:

"The Brightest Shadow" features a complex story that deals with many serious themes(such as war,prejudice,e.t.c) and its plot-twists are impactful.The story has such a beautiful flow and no consistency issues.I loved that each part deals with a specific story arc and can be read separately,as the ending of each part ties all loose ends.I really loved
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: awesome, fantasy
I have a problem... I read way too fast. This means that I blow through a normal sized book in around 2-3 hours. So when I opened up The Brightest Shadow and my Kindle informed me of a 10 hour read ahead, my sein pulsed in a happy little pattern.

Sein? Yes, in this book Sarah Lin plays with an interesting twist on the whole cultivation genre. Instead of the standard Qi you find in most eastern fantasies, the practitioners cultivate something called sein, which allows them to perform super human
Feb 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My favourite book from Sarah Lin so far!

The Brightest Shadow is an Epic, Progression Fantasy that nails what I enjoy most from both sub-genres. It has a large fully realized world, filled with numerous cultures , beliefs, traditions etc. Reading it makes me wish I had a Wikipedia for the world so that I can track down every country, continent, city, culture and person that's mentioned and learn everything there is to know about them. The progression fantasy elements are well thought out, and
Samantha Casale
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing

Having read Sarah Lin's other works I had high expectations for this piece. As soon as I started reading I was struck by two things: how different the writing feels compared to the other works, and how epic this is.

Now when I say the writing feels different, I mean that every bit of it feels like it's part of the bigger picture, that every paragraph is setting the scene of this story. There's a delicate balance between explaining the world invented in this book and bogging the reader
Ian Isaro
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Most of the attention is on all the Asian influences but the African elements deserve note as well. This is definitely not the Great African Fantasy Novel, in philosophy or aesthetic. But Lin has captured the beauty of the Serengeti quite well and the cultural pieces are more than just imported Asia.

I did not receive an ARC or promise to leave an honest review, but I was once in the same writing group as the author. Reviving this account is a gift for an old friend, in exchange for a good book.
Bernard Dix
Mar 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a very engaging read, masterfully planned out with world-building detail and characters.
The main characters, such as Tani, are developed well. The different cultures and people groups were well developed, showing nuance in that there were not cultures presented as good or bad. The cultural backgrounds were part of how each character responded. We hear about the sacred texts of the various groups and wonder who is stealing them and for what purposes. This isn't a shallow, easy read, but
Mar 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Decent Book, that doesn't feel like an Indie Boom

This book is amazing. It flows very well, the dialouge works, except for a few points, the plot and Worldbuilding is excellent. There were a little problems with a certain character's character development in part four and few pieces of dialouge was stiff. But over all it's a pretty great book.
4.7 Stars
Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
After some vacillation, I decided to round up for ambition. I do think the pacing has some flaws, and it definitely won't appeal to people who want a high octane rush, but it was extremely worth it in the end.
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Hello! I'm Sarah Lin and I write various kinds of fantasy. If you want to keep up with my work, feel free to check out the following:

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