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Shadowforged (Light & Shadow) (Volume 2) Paperback – April 11, 2013
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In Book 1 Catwin was my favorite by far, especially with Miriel being such a snot most of the time, but by Book 4 both girls were tied in my affection. Yes, you could say I loved this book and the two main characters, and of course Catwin’s mentor/terrorizer, Temar. I also loved Donnett, the crusty old soldier/guard who helped teach Catwin to fight. Hint: his words on who to suspect in the attempt on their lives was right on, unfortunately. I have to admit I sure never saw that one coming! ....Sorry, that’s all I’ll say about it.
I felt Book 2 & 3 were just as good as Book 1, and the final ending was much better than I had any hope it would be. Book 4 is not part of the main story so it is less nerve wracking than the rest but it did give a much better background for each of the main characters and I’m glad I got it with the set. If you liked the story as much as I do, you’ll probably want to read it, too.
In conclusion, I love “good” sword & sorcery epics, so the Light & Shadow Series has found a permanent spot in my “Best Books” collection, which I keep on my Kindle to reread at my pleasure. I highly recommend it to others.
I also had a few problems with the rebel uprising that never really seemed to be an uprising at all. And the military strategies were truly laughable, but this book really isn't about those things so much as the interactions between the main characters.
Again, the editing was slipshod, and it was enough for me to want to comment on it. I would love to see that cleaned up in future books.
Despite starting out with negatives, I have to say I really, really like this series - enough to get up in the middle of the night to download the next book.
The writing gets better with each book by this author. The characters deepen; the relationships become richer; the plot moves with a steady pace which, as I noted in my review of "Mahalia" (a stand-alone by this writer), is much more realistic than the compressed frenzy of many fantasy books these days.
I won't spoil the ending, except to say that it caught me totally by surprise and then I wondered why it did since -- as soon as I read it -- it seemed an inevitable outcome of the earlier character development.
I am particularly intrigued by the depth of the characters (primarily Catwin and Miriel, but to a lesser degree the King and Temar) who are well-rounded. Both Catwin and Miriel are able to empathize periodically with others even in the midst of their own experiences. They are very real, in other words: neither too "perfect" nor completely self-absorbed. The girls mature toward womanhood in this volume, both chronologically and emotionally. In "Shadowborn", they seemed a little old for their years, but here they settle well into their mid-adolescence (15 -17).
I am eagerly anticipating opening "Shadow's End" which concludes this trilogy.