Shadow�s Son by Jon Sprunk — book review

Shadow’s Son by Jon Sprunk. Gollancz ‘12.99

Reviewed by Karen Stevens.

Caim is an assassin with a strange magical ability that he barely understands ‘ the power to call shadows to conceal himself or his companions. Quite handy in his line of work you may think, but recently this power is becoming unpredictable and possibly dangerous. The rest of his life isn’t going too well either; talked into accepting a job at short-notice, he finds the target already dead, brutally murdered, and himself set up to take the consequences. Escaping with Josey, the dead man’s daughter, and his strange spirit friend Kit, Caim finds himself caught up in a sinister plot. As the death toll mounts, Caim will have to finally embrace his heritage if he’s to survive the powerful enemies ranged against him and uncover the heads of this conspiracy.

Shadow’s Son is a frustrating novel as it has an equal number of good and bad points. To the good, there’s plenty of action right from the start as Caim and Josey struggle to stay one step ahead of their enemies. The main character of Caim is well-drawn and realistic, and the writing (barring the odd info-dump) is acceptable; adequate without being particularly inspiring. This is a novel where good and evil are starkly drawn in black and white without any shades of grey.

To the bad, some of the characters are shallow and under-developed and Kit is bloody annoying. The main problem, though, is that there’s nothing new in this novel; if you’ve read fantasy, you’ve read most of this before. That said, this isn’t a bad book by any means. If action-heavy fantasy is your thing, or you’re new to the genre, it could be worth a look.

Shadow’s Son by Jon Sprunk. Gollancz ‘12.99

Reviewed by Karen Stevens.

Caim is an assassin with a strange magical ability that he barely understands ‘ the power to call shadows to conceal himself or his companions. Quite handy in his line of work you may think, but recently this power is becoming unpredictable and possibly dangerous. The rest of his life isn’t going too well either; talked into accepting a job at short-notice, he finds the target already dead, brutally murdered, and himself set up to take the consequences. Escaping with Josey, the dead man’s daughter, and his strange spirit friend Kit, Caim finds himself caught up in a sinister plot. As the death toll mounts, Caim will have to finally embrace his heritage if he’s to survive the powerful enemies ranged against him and uncover the heads of this conspiracy.

Shadow’s Son is a frustrating novel as it has an equal number of good and bad points. To the good, there’s plenty of action right from the start as Caim and Josey struggle to stay one step ahead of their enemies. The main character of Caim is well-drawn and realistic, and the writing (barring the odd info-dump) is acceptable; adequate without being particularly inspiring. This is a novel where good and evil are starkly drawn in black and white without any shades of grey.

To the bad, some of the characters are shallow and under-developed and Kit is bloody annoying. The main problem, though, is that there’s nothing new in this novel; if you’ve read fantasy, you’ve read most of this before. That said, this isn’t a bad book by any means. If action-heavy fantasy is your thing, or you’re new to the genre, it could be worth a look.