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Shadow's Son (Shadow Saga) Paperback – June 22, 2010

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Shadow's Son (Shadow Saga) + Shadow's Lure (Shadow Saga) + Shadow's Master (Shadow Saga)
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Product Details

  • Series: Shadow Saga
  • Paperback: 279 pages
  • Publisher: Pyr (June 22, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616142014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616142018
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (61 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #817,454 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sprunk's debut novel, filled with the clichés and conventions of heroic fantasy, is amateur in its originality. Caim is an assassin with a tragic and slightly mysterious background. Othir is Caim's adopted city, a city populated entirely by villains and victims. Betrayed by his colleagues, Caim is left with Josephine, the daughter of the man who was to be Caim's next victim, as an unwilling ally against hosts of conniving religious fanatics, conspirators, and evil rival assassins. Sprunk's prose is leaden and riddled with lumps of tedious exposition, his characters are prototypes of the genre, and even his setting is the usual sort of degenerate, decaying imperial city-with no attempt to distinguish his version of this established trope. The result is a journey through a tired plot, with nothing particular to reward the reader for the time invested.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Like many other assassin characters, Caim is an orphan. But he has a ghostlike companion, Kit, whom only he can hear and see, and an uncanny ability to manipulate shadows. Set in a kingdom where the religious are not so holy and the nobility are corrupt, Caim has no loyalties and few scruples. He reluctantly accepts a contract to assassinate a nobleman, only to find that someone else got there first. He and the nobleman's daughter, Josey, become an unlikely pair in the search for her father's killers and the people who set up Caim. The intrigue, action scenes, and ever-more-revealing character insights are masterfully woven together in a book the reader won't want to put down. Questions about the origin of Caim's shadow sorcery and Kit's identity are broadly touched upon but never fully revealed, leaving readers to wonder if there will be another book to tie up the loose pieces. Overall, a first-rate sword-and-sorcery tale, with intriguing characters, that moves at a quick pace. --Rebecca Gerber

More About the Author

Jon Sprunk is the author of BLOOD AND IRON, the first book in the Book of the Black Earth fantasy series. He also wrote the Shadow Saga (Shadow's Son, Shadow's Lure, and Shadow's Master.) Shadow's Son was a finalist for the Compton Crook Award and also a nominee for the David Gemmell Award in two categories.

Jon lives in central Pennsylvania with his wife and son. When not writing, he enjoys travel, collecting medieval and ancient weaponry, and pro football. Visit him online at, or on Facebook or Twitter.

Customer Reviews

After reading Brent Weeks' "night angel trilogy" i picked up this and I really enjoyed it.
The characters are fairly well drawn and sympathetic enough, and the action is fast-paced and keeps the story flowing.
A. Lee
First, even though the author tries to make the book exciting and unexpected, you can mostly guess what will happen.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Roland on August 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
In my own private world the assassin with a heart of gold is almost as big a cliche as the similarly-inclined whore, and perhaps even more annoying than the poor wench. I have never been able to understand some people's infatuation with ruthless killers that end up saving the day while being very mean and bad-ass about it. Somehow it always rings false to me. However, I have a soft spot for newcomers, and so I decided to acquaint myself with Jon Sprunk and his debut novel, Shadow's Son.

Caim is an assassin with an appropriately tortured past, plying his trade in the corrupt city of Othir - capital of the Nemean Empire, ruled by the Church of the True Faith, after a coup that disposed of the last Emperor seventeen years ago. When a routinely-looking job goes wrong, and people begin to die left and right (that is, without Caim's help), he becomes entangled in the intrigues and ambitions of the nobility and the Church. His only allies are Kit - a mysterious spirit woman that only he could see and hear, who has been his companion since early childhood - and Josephine, daughter of his last target. Now the assassin has to fight not only for his life, but also for the girl he has been tied to, and the city he secretly loves. But to stay alive, Caim might be forced to call upon a power hidden deep inside him - one that he has spent his entire life trying to deny. The power of shadows.

Shadow's Son is a fast-paced action ride. Like most assassin fantasy novels out there, it could easily be put under the Young Adult flag, if it wasn't for the blood, gore and violence factor. The characters are clich... archetypes, their motivations simple and clearly stated in POVs and dalogues.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Poisoned Blade on November 11, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Shadow's Son is a short tale of revenge, romance, and action with some good scenes and some awkward ones loosely connected by clichés. Although the story is pretty good, it feels flat because the characters don't really have any ambition and just do what they are supposed to do. I'll try and explain what went wrong...

The story begins with Caim preparing to assassinate a perverted, gluttonous, black hearted, greedy, wicked, cruel nobleman from the rafters of his palace. Accompanying Caim is Kit, a mysterious girlish ghost. Things don't go as planned and Caim must improvise. After some action, Caim's next assignment gets him drawn into a power struggle between corrupt government officials. He ends up protecting a stunningly beautiful maiden with a noble birthright against some powerful enemies. The book is only about 250 pages and the story is fast paced. But, the characters are very stereotypical and their motivations are weak at times. It's as if the author wrote some plot points for a "good guy" assassin story and wasn't really sure how to get the characters from A to B to C to D... The story is a solid one and you can root for the good guys, if you don't think too hard.

The characters are very cookie cutter and 1 dimensional because their motivations are never really explained. It's as if X character does evil things because he is supposed to be evil, and not X character does evil things because his ambitions and opportunities are forcing him to act in this manner.

Caim, the kind hearted assassin who only kills bad people and becomes the perfect gentleman when the situation calls for it.
Josie, the beautiful helpless young maiden with the mysterious past and noble bloodline.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By The Mad Hatter VINE VOICE on May 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
"A killer stalked the shadows."
-first line from Shadow's Son

That first line is very telling about this solid story, which unfolds in Jon Sprunk's debut, Shadow's Son. The city of Othir is the center for nefarious political and not so political dealings. Caim has made a name for himself in Othir as the go-to man for assassination. He is given a job that looks to be a simple sneak and stab turns into anything, but as Caim is thrust into the middle of a deep plot to change the political structure of the region.

Josey a rich, spoiled heiress is dragged into these dealings far too quickly for someone of her pampered upbringing. Caim is often accompanied by Kit a rambunctious and quick-witted entity with no physical presence who can only be seen and heard by Caim. Think of Kit as Caim's as to Harry Dresden's Bob the Skull only a much more loose lipped, freewheeling fairy godmother who is scantily clad. Kit is the jealous type and is quick to runaway whenever the mood strikes.

Wonderful fight sequences is what you expect out of a Swords & Sorcery novel and Sprunk more than delivers on that front as Caim swirls out of the darkness and into the hearts of his enemies. In many ways Shadow's Son isn't a very new plot as we have damsels in distress, cold-blooded assassins, and a political situation ripe for the toppling. Yet Shadow's Son revels in the tropes of Swords and Sorcery keeping it an engrossing, page turner. If you are a reader just after a fun story Shadow's Son is a pleasure. Caim is certainly a likable, albeit closed off, character who rolls with the punches. Caim has unusual powers involving pulling shadows around him. There appears to be more to them, but their extent is still unknown as Caim has pushed himself away from them most of his life.
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