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Shadow King: A Tale of the Sundering (Time of Legends) Mass Market Paperback – December 29, 2009

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gav Thorpe has been rampaging across the worlds of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 for many years as both an author and games developer. His works include the hugely popular Angels of Darkness, the Last Chancers series and the ongoing epic tale of The Sundering. He is currently laying low in Nottingham and avoiding the authorities, while his mechanical hamster Dennis is hiding out in the Amazonian rainforest where he is worshipped as a god by several lost tribes of natives. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Time of Legends
  • Mass Market Paperback: 522 pages
  • Publisher: Games Workshop (December 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844168174
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844168170
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.5 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #707,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas Lau on December 20, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I know the series is based of long established Warhammer background material, but this is silly. There are two major criticisms I have with the book.

The first problem is that the title is somewhat misleading. Alith Anar (main character) only actually accepts the of being the Shadow King on page 420. And this being a 522 page long book it means we get less than 100 pages of him actually being the Shadow King.

The second problem is the mentally retarded and purely idiotic plot twist roughly two-fifths of the way. Malekith is brought back from the island on which he had been burned to death (presumably) in the first book. Morathi his mother is allowed to see the burned (most likely charred) body and suddenly decides to accompany the body back to Naggaroth..... and only a single guard semi tried to prevent her from leaving.... and was held back by his other guards.
Seriously, WHAT THE HELL is that garbage? I know this is unchangeable background material for Warhammer and it is tough to write about pre existing material. But letting Morathi simply go was to me the same as letting a mass rapist, mass murderer, super genius in nuclear physics and technology (and maybe even viral engineering) leave through the front door of prison because his long lost son died.
Would anyone really expect that this would never ever, ever EVER come back to haunt us?
We could not give her some insanely convoluted and traitorous escape? No, the front door was the only way we could make her leave?
In other words: if Morathi had been stopped by a door or a gate, the elves would never had it become worse for them.

These two problems are what made me give it a 3 star rating. But all is not lost.
The actual growth of Alith Anar was fantastically written and illustrated.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
One of the many pleasures about this novel, the second in the Sundering trilogy, is its sense of inevitability. Shades of grey are a Thorpe forte. Shadow King, the story of a man (and of a people) shaped by the borderline between two cultures and the two sides of their own nature, suits Thorpe's talents superbly.

Not that Alith Anar's rise seems inevitable. GW fiction works well when it focuses on character; following Anar around through his adolescence, you see an unlikely candidate for a future legend. Dreamy and sullen, Anar's main concerns are spending long periods on his own or mooning after his love interest, Ashniel. So long as he's left alone to copy the occasional line of verse or to hunt, he's content. Such a state of affairs cannot endure, however; House Anar, normally a bastion of neutrality within Nagarythe, is forced into taking sides in the bitter dispute between Morathi's followers and those of their one, rightful ruler...Prince Malekith, champion of the Phoenix King, respected by all, admired deeply by the young Alith. Seeing this, the death of Bel-Shanaar and later the rise of the mysterious 'Witch King' through Alith's eyes, you see the convincingly bitty way history seeps through its people.

That goes for the growth of its heroes, too. During what is effectively an undercover mission, Alith is almost surprised at himself for how easily he can fit into the simpler life of a court cook. (He developes quite a hand for cutting up meat.) In an amusing scene, he finds how much easier and direct a tryst is with a lower-class female elf. Disguise, duplicity. Today the Shadow Warriors will slay their fellow elves; tomorrow they will mourn them.

If ambivalence is their failing, it's also a kind of integrity.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a nice story that fallows the main character through a huge journey to avenge his family and his nation. It also has a nice twist at the very end if you read it in sequence with the first one. It is a tale that really keeps you wondering what will happen next.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Great book! I have to commend the author for making what could have been a contrived story of loss and vengeance into a very compeling read. Alith Anar's tale really came to life in the pages, making me see his heartfelt story on a more personal level even as it meshed with the over arching story of Malekith and the elven civil war (if that is the right way to categorize this war). By the time Alith's story reached the point in time where Malekith ended, I could barely put the book down, wanting to see where our hero was heading as fate continued to slap him down again and again.

The only criticism I have of Shadow King is that certain events just did not seem very realistic. I won't post spoilers, but certain things toward the end of the book seemed rushed as if the author had to tie up a loose end quickly or throw in a clever plot device to jerk our main character back into line for where he is suppose to go. These few scenes annoyed me even though I was too attached to Alith by this point to put the book down. Perhaps I am being too harsh, but they really were glaring missteps to me.

However, Shadow King is a page turner, especially if you enjoy the warhammer universe or just a good tale regarding the pursuit of vengeance.
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