As promised, here is the review of the prequel to The Book of Deacon Trilogy and all I can say is that it is one of those rare things. A prequel that is leagues better than the original series. However much I may have enjoyed the Deacon series I enjoyed Rise of the Red Shadow more.
In this novel we follow Lian as he becomes the famed assassin that we all knew from the original series. We get a brilliant view into the history of the story as well as a great action and emotion packed set up for one of the best characters in the series.
The story is a simple one, it starts the day he is captured and sold into slavery and continues right through a time shortly after he has left Entwell with the title of Lian. Along the way we meet Sorrel (I won’t say more! It is a surprise!) and we get to know the infamous Ben. We also get to understand how he became the way he is and also realize that however cold he may have seemed from the outside through the other characters perception of him, he really isn’t that cold a killer. I mean he is but… Read the book!
I can’t find a flaw in this wonderful novel. One can see that Lallo’s writing has matured greatly and I would go so far as to say that I will be looking out for other series of his in the future. Fun with moments of seriousness in it; this is just that perfect combo for those looking for a great series to read that hearkens back to those days of great fantasy series like Memory, Sorrow and Thorn by Tad Williams or Cycle of Fire by Janny Wurts.
Recommended reading order –
The Book of Deacon
The Great Convergence
The Battle of Verril
The Rise of the Red Shadow
This is not a prequel that comes first but rather something that one can only really enjoy after you have read the first series.