The River Of Shadows by Robert V.S. Redick — book review

The River Of Shadows by Robert V.S. Redick. Gollancz ‘12.99

Reviewed by Russ Nicholson

The River of Shadows is the third in a series of four books and appears to start more or less where book two, The Rats and the Ruling Sea, ended. It is clear from the quotes on the books cover that this author is highly thought of, and this may be so, but frankly I was lost more or less from its opening sentence. The book expects, it would appear, for the reader to be familiar both with the story and the characters, and allows no opportunity for someone who has not read the previous books to get to real grips with it. I floundered along trying to give the book and its characters a chance to ‘speak’ to me but I failed to get involved. I even thought at one point ‘Oh, for a map!” only to discover too late there was one at the back. Call me old fashioned, and many may do, but a map at the back’ Why?

The young hero and heroine Pazel Pathkendle and Thasha Isiq have crossed, with their alliance of rebels, to the southern empire of Bali Adro, there to face strange adventures and to battle the ancient sorcerer Arunis for control of the Nilstone, a cursed relic of great power. In desperation our band of heroes join forces with some of their greatest enemies to win through, but are beset, as before, by betrayal and dark magic.

I’ll be honest and say if you enjoyed the first two in the series then you will probably enjoy this. If you enjoy complex plotting with many complex characters with tongue twisting names you still may enjoy this book.

The River Of Shadows by Robert V.S. Redick. Gollancz ‘12.99

Reviewed by Russ Nicholson

The River of Shadows is the third in a series of four books and appears to start more or less where book two, The Rats and the Ruling Sea, ended. It is clear from the quotes on the books cover that this author is highly thought of, and this may be so, but frankly I was lost more or less from its opening sentence. The book expects, it would appear, for the reader to be familiar both with the story and the characters, and allows no opportunity for someone who has not read the previous books to get to real grips with it. I floundered along trying to give the book and its characters a chance to ‘speak’ to me but I failed to get involved. I even thought at one point ‘Oh, for a map!” only to discover too late there was one at the back. Call me old fashioned, and many may do, but a map at the back’ Why?

The young hero and heroine Pazel Pathkendle and Thasha Isiq have crossed, with their alliance of rebels, to the southern empire of Bali Adro, there to face strange adventures and to battle the ancient sorcerer Arunis for control of the Nilstone, a cursed relic of great power. In desperation our band of heroes join forces with some of their greatest enemies to win through, but are beset, as before, by betrayal and dark magic.

I’ll be honest and say if you enjoyed the first two in the series then you will probably enjoy this. If you enjoy complex plotting with many complex characters with tongue twisting names you still may enjoy this book.