Saturday, 30 July 2011

FANTASY REVIEW: Stands a Shadow - Col Buchanan

Release Date: 15/07/11


Still grieving the death of her son, the Holy Matriarch of Mann has ordered her troops to embark on a mission to the Mercian Free Ports. Riding at the head of her army she plans to finally conquer the city of Bar-Khos, whose walls have kept them at bay for ten long years. Ash has other plans for her. The old Roshun warrior is determined that he will have vengeance for the crimes she has committed. But such a course of retribution is in direct opposition to everything he has lived for this isn't a Roshun vendetta it's personal. While Ash battles with his conscience, Che, the Matriarch's personal Diplomat and assassin, is questioning his own path. Watching as the Mannian army slaughters their way across the world, he wonders whether he believes any of the doctrine he has been taught to follow. As the battle for Bar-Khos intensifies, more and more lives are affected: Bahn who leaves all he loves in the city to try to protect it from the ravening Mannian empire, Bull the murderer who senses a chance to make things right, and Curl, the young prostitute who is determined to seek her own retribution on the field of battle. When the two armies clash all looks set to be decided. But it's not sheer force that will win this battle. But the tormented determination of one man seeking redemption ...


Bursting onto the scene last year with his debut, Col returns us to the Heart of the World to a time of bloodshed and politics, combat and double dealing as the cast from the previous title return to fight again against the ruthless march of an empire.

As with the previous Col plays for keeps, those who survive are changed and perhaps best of all, the double dealing politics as well as carefully interwoven plot line will keep you guessing right the way through to the end. If you’ve been looking for a new world to play in since the completion of Erikson’s opus then this one will more than please especially when you add solid prose, great pace and of course a character to appeal to each readers tastes. All in a most satisfactory read and one that I hope will continue for good while yet, after all the conspiracy runs far deeper than I think many will notice to start with.

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