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In the Shadow of Swords, by Val Gunn Book Review | SFReader.com
In the Shadow of Swords, by Val Gunn Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Errant Press Published: 2011 Review Posted: 8/11/2013 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
In the Shadow of Swords, by Val Gunn
Book Review by Michael D. Griffiths
Have you read this book?
In the Shadow of Swords is a fantasy novel in the vein of the Arabian
Nights or perhaps Sinbad, although much more through the lens darkly.
The author, Val Gunn, has crafted a detailed world in Mir'ja, and one
must imagine that this is a novel that will inspire a series.
Ciris Sarn leads a cursed life, which is fitting for the world's most
famous assassin. He struggles to break free from a cloudy web of
plotting that has been his master. When the ancient tombs know as, The
Books of Promise, are discovered it is a turn of events that could aid
in his freedom or lead his path in doom.
Gunn increases the tension but adding two more points of view. Marin
Altair is the widow of a heroic man that Sarn had recently killed. She
swears to take his life and as the Magical books draw them into the
circle of treachery that is not only after the power of the tomes, but
also the control of Mir'aj.
Munif comes into the adventure as a complex character. He is a former
drug addict whose past behavior haunts him almost as much as his need to
return to those times. Soon he is as enmeshed as the others as the
politics turn deadly with betrayals and surprises.
Throughout the majority of the story these three character travel as
loners finding sparse allies but then losing them just as quickly. Soon
however, the quest for the last Book of Promise draws these individual
threads into one rope and their paths mingle as the mythical mission
becomes their reality.
The world of Mir'ja is a place where magic and monsters are as real as
taxes. Some of the creatures these heroes encounter are detailed and
fierce and are things best left avoided.The use of magic is a greater
mystery. Some things are hinted at while other effects explode into plot
If a negative factor had to be tossed into the ring, it might be that
these fabulous beasts are not explored enough. In one scene a complex
and quite frightening creature is introduced, but the heroes simply hide
and let it go on killing the local innocents. Another thing that could
bother the reader, is the fact that even though the book boasts to be
following the exploits of Ciris Sarn, as soon as we start to know the
assassin, the book sweeps us into the other two characters and, at
first, returns to the main character only briefly. However, since these
characters are interesting in their own right, most readers should be
able to overlook this issue.
In the Shadow of Sword is an inventive book and Gunn's world easily
sweeps you into its complex realm. Magic and monsters mix with
subterfuge to weave an enjoyable tale that will keep people turning
pages. Most readers will certainly hope that we will get to see more
books about Ciris Sarn and set in the world of Mir'ja.
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