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Shadowland [Kindle Edition]

C.M. Gray
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (174 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $18.94
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

We grow up with the Legend of King Arthur ... But where did he come from? Who was Merlin? What part did the Druids play in bringing Arthur to his round table? This is the story that came before, when Britain was just a Shadowland.

Shadowland is a story of historical fantasy set in Dark Ages Britain.

`I have lived more years than I can remember, probably more than the sum of all your years combined. Kings have called me friend and brigands have sworn to burn the flesh from my bones even if they have to search all seven halls of the shadowland to find me.'

On the night of midwinter's eve, a storyteller takes his listeners back to the Dark ages and a tale from his youth.

Deserted by its Roman masters, Britain has been invaded by the Saxons at the invitation of Vortigern, traitorous leader of the Britons. Now, as the tribes unite to reclaim their land, one man must rise to lead them and become their true and only king.

Editorial Reviews


Shadowland: Reviewed 4 stars by Vered E for Readers Favorite.

These are dark times. The Romans are leaving the island of Briton, and the Saxons are taking their place, invading the land of the tribes. A false king sits on the throne, demanding allegiance. And all of that seems very far away to Cal and Usher, two boys living in a remote village. All that changes one dark night, when everything they knew and loved is destroyed. Forced to run, Cal and Usher cross a land that is in turmoil, unaware that each of them has a vital destiny to fulfill. Close behind is an implacable enemy determined to destroy a future king and willing to kill anyone who comes in the way. Assisted by a mysterious archer and a prophesy from the Druids, Cal and Usher must grow up fast, for they are about to be thrown into the midst of a battle that will determine not only their future, but that of all of Briton.

"Shadowland" is a tensely written story about the dark days before the rise of King Arthur. Flawlessly weaving history, legend and imagination, C.M. Gray spins a thrilling tale that brings to mind classic epics of days gone by. The mystery of who Cal, Usher and their archer friend are is intriguing and satisfying. Anyone interested in historical fiction around the time of the Saxon invasion, or in stories about King Arthur and his predecessors, will enjoy this great romp through a small but significant time in the turbulent history of Briton.

Product Details

  • File Size: 413 KB
  • Print Length: 222 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1471706397
  • Publisher: C.M.Gray; 3 edition (November 25, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0075OZWSE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #171,893 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 77 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Different Slant April 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My feelings on this book were very similar to Ignite's. I've read a lot of Arthurian stories, and this was, at least, different. I confess that I had actually forgotten what the book was supposed to be about by the time I started reading, which helped quite a bit.

I enjoyed the "current time" scenes quite a bit more than the "flashbacks," actually. They seemed fresher, more vivid somehow.

All in all, I just wasn't engaged with a lot of the story. I'm not a big fan of battle scenes and my impression, now a few days after finishing the book, was that there were a lot of them that I just kind of flipped through. Once everybody started moving in the same direction, it just kind of lost the spark, for me.

There were also errors noted:
arms "flaying" for a hold on empty air
"Warrior's wearing" rough kilts
in a "warriors knot"
hast "heeling hands"
"as he past"
"may once of possessed"

At one point, Cal says "he doesn't remember comfy." This yanked me right out of the setting. Intellectually, I know that the language was very different. I realize people in this time frame may not have even used the word "comfortable." (At least one dictionary points to the mid-14th century.) However, a relatively modern slang word like "comfy" is just beyond the pale.

There is one section where "thee" and "thou" run amok. "Thee have arrived!" No. For one person, "thou hast." For multiple people, "you have." Thee and thou are generally singular.

To give the author credit, I can't be positive that it wasn't deliberate, considering the source. However, speaking for myself, it was, again, jarring and took me out of the story.

It was an okay diversion.
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41 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read - highly recommended February 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
A great story filled with tense scenes. The world described is evocative, atmospheric and really nails the sense of uncertainty as the folk, left behind by Rome's withdrawal from the British Isles at the beginning of the Dark Ages, try to protect themselves and rebuild their culture. There's also a strong sense of mystery, magic and adventure as the plight of the main characters unfolds while they move through the landscape toward their destiny. (Can't say anymore without spoiling!) As you get to know the characters' strengths, weaknesses, hopes and fears I really found myself relating to them and visualizing who they were.
There are some unforeseen and unexpected twists too which move the story forward nicely and some exciting battle/ skirmish scenes. I really was hooked from the beginning. Having read quite a few published novels in the same vein I would rate this for sure. Highly entertaining!
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33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Uther Pendragon carries the day! March 21, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
A fine rendition of the adventures preceding King Arthur and the round table.

The author brings Uther, Merlyn, and the Lady of the Lake to life in this engrossing tale. The characters are real and believable. The action flows quickly as the author stories the lives of our young heroes from young teenagers to heroes of Britain.

If you like the Arthurian Legend genre, you'll enjoy this book.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unusual re-telling March 24, 2012
By Ignite
Format:Kindle Edition
This is an unusual re-telling of the birth of the Arthurian Legends and I almost gave up when I came to the anachronisms, lemons, tobacco, from a man telling a first person story about the Dark Ages. The explanation comes very far into the tale. It's full of mystery, magic, druidism and hard battles.

There's some rather good writing here and there throughout this story but it was let down by its lack of proof reading. It could have been much better but nevertheless, as a lover of the stories of Arthur, I enjoyed reading it.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Same old, same old April 16, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story of King Arthur and Merlin has been told over and over so often that it would take an extraordinarily imaginative viewpoint to retell it in an entertaining fashion. C.M. Gray tries very hard in "Shadowland" but the misspellings, grammatical errors, and erroneous historical details ruin his efforts.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Shadowland April 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Shadowland tells the back story of King Arther through the tale of his father, Uther. What began as great potential paled almost immediately in this book through lack of proofreading/editing. The writing wasn't bad in and of itself; in fact, some of the description was very well-written. I just found the book hard to finish and toward the end I was downright bored unfortunately. But give it a try...if you're not as picky about writing as I am, you'll probably enjoy it.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read April 9, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I, too, am a King Arthur/Merlin fan, and I enjoyed Shadowland.

Some passages were superbly written and, for much of the book, I was 'there' in the Dark Ages with all of my senses engaged. I liked the two perspectives ('then and now'), and I felt the changing role of each character was handled well, too.

I was jarred out of the story occasionally by small errors/typos, which was a pity. However, overall, I am glad I took the opportunity to read this book.

For me, the final chapter tied the tale up wonderfully.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bones of a Story October 16, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book had the bones of a great story, but without the flesh. The author spent a lot of time on things that didn't eventually matter (e.g. the whole wolf detour), and not nearly enough time on things that did. I enjoyed it, but it could have been so much more. I think it is probably true that many authors in the Kindle space have great ideas for books, but have difficulty realizing the potential of a well crafted story.

The 3 star rating really reflects disappointment born of anticipation. To quote Todd Snider, "It ain't the despair that gets you, it's the hope".
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars interesting idea...
but it didn't really develop into anything too captivating. I got more and more bored with it as it went on….
Published 1 day ago by DG
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine addition to Arthurian legend
The storyteller telling the story in this tale brought me to times and places where I was among my grandparents. Read more
Published 12 days ago by AER
5.0 out of 5 stars Pre-Arthurian Tales
We all have heard of the Sword in the Stone, of the knights of the round table and most of the other stories of King Arthur. Read more
Published 15 days ago by Muffydad
3.0 out of 5 stars Should be rated YA
It started out a bit interesting, but I soon found out that it was just another version of the Arthur Legend with the twist that it was a precursor to Arthur. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Louise Mary Viox
5.0 out of 5 stars Early Arthur History
This was a well written book that I enjoyed reading very much. The characters were brought to life by the writer. I enjoy the history of this time. Well written and really enjoyed.
Published 22 days ago by Roy E. Yarnold
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale from the 1950s?
In the mid-1950s R.C.Sherriff wrote an excellent play on the same subject. No reason not to explore similar territory & C.M.Gray does a good job. Read more
Published 25 days ago by F. Barnard
4.0 out of 5 stars nice
I have not read this book yet but I love being able to order books online for my phone or on the kindle fire.
Published 26 days ago by bebop
5.0 out of 5 stars A good story, well told
With his tale clearly envisioned, clever in its telling, GRAY has an uncommon sense for story arc and a gift for including just the right amount of detail . Read more
Published 28 days ago by Nora S. Walker
5.0 out of 5 stars Good read.
A little slow in the Beginning but even that kept my attention. Enjoyed this book and have already recommended it to friends.
Published 1 month ago by Sharon J Adams
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read
We all know the story of Arthur, but this will take back to the beginning. Excellent read for fans of the Arthur story. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
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Topic From this Discussion
Shadowland series
Shadowland was actually written as a stand alone book, however, I am currently working on a sequel as Shadowland has received such a huge following. I hope 'In the Shadow of a King' will be available end of 2014.

Shadowland has 158 reviews with an average... Read more
Feb 3, 2014 by Gecko129 |  See all 2 posts
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