The Rise of the Red Shadow – Prequel to the Book of Deacon Trilogy by Joseph Lallo Review

The rise of the red shadow

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.

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The Book of Deacon trilogy by Joseph Lallo (spoilers)

The Book of Deacon series covers

So I have just finished the Book of Deacon Trilogy by Joseph Lallo. All in all I enjoyed it hugely. It was a nice quiet light fantasy with all the favorite magical elements, Dark, Light, Grey, Elemental, a little bit of Healing and some scary crystals and really bad dudes. I feel that it was a good solid trilogy that makes a nice filler between heavy series or just a nice holiday series when you don’t want to think too much. You can just read the story and let the events unfold in front of you. There were some issues with the series but I will get into that in a little bit!

The characters are all mostly likable (Ether being the exception) and even though the bad guys are truly evil, one can’t really hate them. They are all simple characters that are easy to understand (maybe a little to simple but…) and in the case of Myranda and Deacon, easy to get behind. You feel for her point of view about the war and about what it has done to her homeland. This being the driving factor for her as a Chosen.

Personally I rather liked Leo/Lian, he was for me the most well drawn character and the one that I felt that the series could easily have been based more on (on a side note I am looking forward to the prequel Rise of the Red Shadow as it follows Lian). He was certainly the most complex character, with his past as a slave and career as a famed assassin turned reluctant hero.

But I may be a little ahead of myself! I have not even told you what the series is about… shame on me! Let me put that right, right now.

There are two countries, the Northern Alliance and Tressor. They have been at war for about a hundred and fifty years… During that time things have gotten a little out of hand with evil beings from another set of worlds having come through a portal and slowly setting themselves up to take over this world as well. The only issue is the Chosen, Five heroes that were touched by the gods and made for the purpose of protecting the world. So the story starts as we follow the Chosen as they find each other an slowly all agree about what needs to be done. We have have Ivy, Myn, Leo/Lian, Ether and Myranda.

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Review of the Duncton Chronicles by William Horwood

Duncton chronicles
Duncton Chronicles covers

Duncton Wood is in my opinion one of the most under-read fantasy series in the world. I think that it is mostly overlooked as all the characters are moles. Yes moles, as in those wonderful creatures that leave little dirt mountains on your lawns. Although anthropomorphized and given their own history and a  written form of communication as well as social order. The moles of Duncton Wood are still moles and as such have no clothes, technology or weapons. In essence this is a brilliant low fantasy series. 

Duncton Wood is a true epic fantasy series in the most classic way. It is set in the fictional Duncton Wood in Great Britain where the moles of Duncton are under the rule of the rather evil  Mandrake and Rune who are actively squishing the old traditions, namely those surrounding the Duncton Stone, the center of their religion. But along comes a hero: a young mole named Bracken who leaves to find himself and a way to win his fight against the evil of Rune and Mandrake while winning the paw of his love, Rebecca, Mandrakes daughter.

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Why The Shannara Chronicles by Terry Brooks Is Worth Reading

Talismans_covercleanversion Scions_covercleanversion Elf_Queen_covercleanversion

On the surface it may seem like another fantasy series and one that has been around for a while so nothing new… But you could not be further from the truth. The many books of the Shannara series is a first glimpse into a number of genres, fantasy and otherwise. Within its epic fantasy there lies hints of science fiction, epic fantasy, grimdark fantasy, urban fantasy, low fantasy and even a little post apocalyptic fiction. It is a series that is molded by elements of many genres and it is a series that has within its unassuming covers something for everyone. That can’t be said about many series.

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