After the loss of friends and comrades, after betrayal and battle, master thief Shadow Harold finally enters Hrad Spein - the dreaded underground complex where the object of Harold’s quest, the Rainbow Horn, is hidden. With nothing more than his wits, the advice of a goblin shaman, and a stolen map, he must succeed where battalions of soldiers and wizards have failed. On top of that, Harold must outwit an enemy within Hrad Spein who is working with a powerful sorceress in an attempt to find the Horn before he does.
Before the master thief are many dangerous obstacles - including ghouls, long-dead armies of elves, orcs, and magical traps...and, he is sure, even more deadly obstacles that are yet unknown. Will Shadow Harold be able to pull off the greatest theft in history?
Unfortunately, even if he does, he’ll not be home free. The Forest of Zagrabia, through which Harold must make his way home, is controlled by the armies of orcs that have come to join The Nameless One. For the first time in centuries, they have united into a vast army about to cut a bloody swath through the lands of men. Another huge army collected by The Nameless One has already begun the titanic battle with King Stalkon, and the war has begun, bringing bleak days of despair and devastation.
Harold will have to use all his guile, cunning, and luck to find a way to escape the Labyrinth and get to Avendoom in time to save his world from destruction.
Alexey Pehov is an exciting new-generation talent whose fantasies have gained him a large and still rapidly increasing fan base in his native Russia. In 2002, the complete Chronicles of Siala (comprised of Shadow Prowler, Shadow Chaser, and Shadow Blizzard) was awarded the Russian fantasy community’s highest professional honor, the Silver Kaduzei.
©2012 Alexey Pehov (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
While listening to this book, two thoughts occurred to me during the last part of the book. My first thought was that there was no way the Pehov could finish the story in the amount of time left. And that’s when the second fear hit me…. He would pull a “Christopher Paolini” and force the ending to be crammed into this book. Like Paolini, he built an amazing world, with many great characters, and again like Paolini in such a big world there are many interactions occurring throughout the story. However unlike Paolini, he was able to wrap up the book nicely, addressing questions left unanswered, and not in way that the listener would feel cheated.
One thing I did find somewhat lacking at times, was a real sense of danger for the main character. For whatever reason, I knew nothing too bad would happen to him. Perhaps this is due to the story being told in the first person, but even then I wasn’t worried for the Thief. But that is not to say there was no emotion, instead of fear I felt curiosity to see what would happen and how it would all end. The latter of course being true for most well told stories, but it takes a special talent to also include many other emotions, both happy and sad. For that this book does not receive full stars on the story itself, but still it is better than most of the stories I have heard lately. This book was well worth the wait, and I would recommend this series to anyone who like me is waiting for the next GRR Martin or Joe Abercrombie novel to come out.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
After having been pleasantly surprised by the second book in this series, I found this last installment to be thin and uninspired. I always respect a fantasy writer for having the audacity to eliminate characters we care about, thereby preventing us from becoming complacent about the survival of the rest. Unfortunately, after starting out with an impressively diverse and entertaining party, Pehov killed off enough of my favorites to cause me to start distancing myself from those who were left. In the end the party was too thin to sustain any cohesion, and I just did not care much anymore.
In addition, a major part of Shadow Blizzard is a dungeon crawl involving only the thief. As much as I liked Shadow Harold, the narrative suffered a lot when he did not have his companions to play off since the dynamics of the group, and especially the interplay between Harold and Klee Klee (spelling?) the goblin, were a major reason for the success of Shadow Chaser. Even the revelation which Pehov sets up and triggers halfway through the book was not enough to re-energize it sufficiently to satisfy.
Pehov handles action sequences extremely well, and he delivers some delightful character interplay. MacLeod Andrews makes the most of this with a fine reading, and I was not sorry to have ordered this one. In the end, however, it was disappointing, especially since I found the conclusion somewhat confusing and unsatisfying.
The story never stalled.
The story was such that you always were pulling for the team.
Excellent narrartor would enjoy hearing more of his work,
Cover to Cover
This is an excellent story and one that I will listen to over and over.
No - the story itself grew weak at the end.
I listened to the first 2 books of this trilogy. They were good and the build up to the 3rd book was strong. This book dropped more of the main characters and left the stroy line feeling lonely. It was less dynamic and really left me saying - what a waste!
It was very easy to visualize what he was saying - his caracters were distinct and I could tell who was speaking by the consistency of the voice he gave to each character.
I wish he would rewrite the ending to leave hope. The magical build up with the dancer in the shadows fell flat - I wish he had expanded and created another world.
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