Saddened because they have left one of their number in a grave in the wilderness, Harold and his band of outcasts continue their journey toward the dreaded underground palace of Hrad Spein. But before they can reach their goal, they must overcome all manner of obstacles, fight many battles...and evade the frightful enemies on their trail.Once they have breached Hrad Spein, a task entire armies of warriors and wizards have failed to achieve, Harold must venture, alone, into the secret heart of the most dangerous place in his world. There he will fight legions of untold mysterious powers before he can complete the quest for the magic horn that will save his beloved land from The Nameless One.
First published in Russia, Alexey Pehov’s Chronicles of Siala has rapidly become an international phenomenon. Shadow Prowler, the first book in the series, became one of Russia’s biggest, most successful debuts and has won a number of international awards. Today, The Chronicles of Siala are the most popular fantasy books in Russia.
Gripping and haunting, fascinating and imaginative, Shadow Chaser is a novel of intricate plots, surprising twists, and finely drawn characters that will not leave you when the book is put down.
©2011 Alexey Pehov (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving or riding my bike.
An entirely derivative fantasy world in which the only surprising feature is that orcs and elves have a great deal in common. A sad dearth of literary sparkle and a plodding vocabulary which operates at about an eighth grade level (though that may be the fault of the translation). A plot which never enthralls or shocks except with its readiness to sacrifice characters we have come to know and perhaps care about.
So why did I enjoy this book so much and why am I going to use another credit immediately for the final book in the series? I feel a little like Sancho Panza opining about La Mancha, "Though I can't tell you why,... I like him." But that is not very helpful, is it.
Well, I suspect a major reason I so enjoyed Shadow Chaser IS that I like him--the Shadow Chaser himself, that is. He is somewhat bumbling and often confused and I can relate to that. Thieves like Locke Lamora who are usually a step or two ahead of the reader and the opposition can be tremendous fun, but every once in a while it is nice to come across a hero who shares our common cluelessness much of the time.
But the real magic in this book resides in an unlikely member of the questing party--a little green goblin who, brilliantly voiced by MacLeod Andrews, is by turns comic and sweet and masterful and mysterious. And all while avoiding "cute." I think I have never had more plain fun listening to a character in a fantasy novel.
I also liked the straight ahead nature of the narrative. There is not a lot of tortured introspection here. Instead, character rises clearly and engagingly from the action, and it was nice to read a story which did not digress into an anguished interior monologue.
So I strongly recommend this book with the caveats stated above. If nothing else, you need to meet the goblin. And sometimes it's nice to go back to plain old gnomes, dwarves, orcs and goblins, right? Right.
This book, as well as the first book in the series, "Shadow Prowler" are absolutely awesome. The only reason not to buy them right now is having to wait for Book 3 to be released. I don't know if the printed version of the final book is available but I will have to find it if audible doesn't publish the audio version soon. This book will not disappoint. Just be sure to listen to book 1 first.
I have recommended this audiobook to friends because it is really enjoyable and the main character is not some pompous jerk he has flaws and the author brings them out and puts them on display. Not your average bad guy to hero story.
I really liked the comic relief in the story and also how the charcter isn't the end all when it comes to solving problems. He just seems to be the quickest witted.
Without giving away too much, the scene where he realizes that a promise he was given wasn't carried out and his reaction even though it saves his life.
I liked this book and the first book in the series even though I usually don't like first person accounts. It is really a lot of fun.
I was thrilled when I saw that book 2 of the Chronicles of Siala was out, having thoroughly enjoyed the first book, and particularly the outstanding narrator. I'd have to give this one a rating of around 3.7-3.8, so I rounded it to a 4 out of 5. I didn't find the story as engaging as the first, and found the pace unusual at times. Sometimes there would be great and lengthy detail about the smallest of matters that really weren't central to the story, then in other parts more important events worthy of more epic treatment seemed to be rushed. It was good to learn more about the wider range of characters, but possibly at the cost of becoming more engrossed in and attached to the main characters. The one shining star, as in the first audiobook, was narrator MacLeod Andrews. I've stopped listening to some audiobooks I was very interested in after coming across annoying or sub-par narrators. This is the opposite. Andrews is so engaging and excellent with a broad range of voices and dialects that I'm now seeking out other books he's narrated. His goblin jester voice is undoubtedly among my all-time favorites. Now it's time to wait for the next book in the series, with high hopes that Andrews is already booked (pun intended) for it!
This is an awesome series. The narration is perfect for the story.
The characters were exceptional.
The gnome was excellent!!
Mesmerizing, fantastic, spellbinding
The last battle
The voices he uses for the different characters. They are consistent and added greatly to my listening experience.
Book 3 won't be out until April 2012! I'll be on tenterhooks until then to find out how the story ends.
Shadow Chaser is an appropriate follow up to Shadow Prowler as both have the same strengths and unfortunately, the same weaknesses. The strength of this series lies in the fantasy world that Pehov has created. Despite being filled with mostly standard fantasy races and monsters, the world has depth to it and there is a lot of history and background that gets explored. The overall story arc does the heavy lifting because the character dialogue is a real weakness, especially the exchanges between Shadow Harold and the jester Kli-Kli. If you find those exchanges interesting then you are in luck with this book but for me they fall flat and leave me hoping for another flashback.
At the start of book one Shadow Harold was conscripted to go to the catacombs of Hrad Spein and retrieve an item for the King and here we are at the end of book 2 and the party of adventures has still not arrived there. I now have 2 books of tangents, flashbacks, and distractions under my belt and at times it seems like the main quest is nothing but an after thought. I must admit that I have grown to like the flashbacks more than the main story line and they have the added bonus of no Kli-Kli dialogue.
Again this is a 2.5 star effort that I round up to 3 simply because MacLeod Andrews does a good job with the narration. I will likely finish the series someday but I don't feel inclined to do so quickly. If you liked book one then jump right in but if you were like me and were hoping for a bit of refinement and focus in book 2 you won't find it.
This is a familiar story of a group of heroes that go on a quest to acquire an artifact that the King needs to save their society. It takes place in a world teeming with all types of fantasy wonders and horrors. The group is opposed by the forces of nature and it's creatures, the Orcs, known as the first born, who dislike all other races in this world, and the forces of the "nameless one", whom the artifact will be used against. The action and adventure in this book is constant and the heroes move from one dangerous situations to another.
Note that this tale has been broken into three separate novels, my comments apply to all three of them as one.
The main character, Harold, is my favorite.
There are so many terrific scenes in this tale that it is hard to choose one. Perhaps the scene where Harold manages to convince a Demon (who might not kill him if he provides a certain artifact), the Goat men (who have been trying to kill him because they think he has this artifact), members of the thieves guild (who actually have the artifact, but are framing Harold), and the guild of Wizards together to meet in a tavern. He manipulates each group using their specific weaknesses with tales that they cannot pass up. The upshot of this meeting is that many of the issues chasing Harold all are resolved.
This book is full of excellent scenes that are sometimes funny, or exciting, and even some that are heart breaking. The author a masterful, creates rich believable characters that one grows to love and admire.
I have read and listened to a lot of Fantasy and SF novels in my years. Many have been very good some outstanding, but very few do I consider great works of fantasy. I consider the Chronicles of Siala novel three of the best I have every enjoyed. This will go on my top list and I will defiantly listen to or read it once again.
Masters in Fiction from Johns Hopkins, aspiring science fiction/humor writer. Give me the unexpected with a bit of grit and humor, please.
Leave something to the imagination. Everything is explained, then really explained, then revisited with an explanation. We got it. Move on.
Bickering. The characters get into squabbles, where one character is just the straight-man, saying things like, "what do you mean?" when one knows perfectly well what the character meant, just as a set-up for the next (too long) line of dialogue.
No one speaks without the reader being told how he said it. IE: morosely, hurtfully, with a nod, arrogantly, discontentedly, etc etc etc
Arguments among the characters happen despite whatever else might be going on, as if the author enjoys the banter more than the plot. It wouldn't be so bad if it was entertaining. It's not.
Too much sarcasm without art. For example, a spell that is fired at the heroes and blows up a tree is explained (to the reader) as "something unpleasant." Groan.
Sometimes, it's like he's a 14-year-old girl reading with as much venom as he can, and it's very overdone. The man has a talent for voices, but not inflection.
I remember enjoying the first book, but I seriously remember it as spooky and exciting. This was a bunch of guys bickering like 9th graders in homeroom punctuated by action scenes that had no emotional investment. There is a really great scene where the hero sneaks through a prison, which had much of the flavor of the first book, then we're back to the fake-sounding dialogue.
Pehov does a great job of walking the reader through a solo adventure, but the adding of the other characters just makes the book boring, wordy, and slow. Every moment is stretched and everything is debated. I've only made it through the first half, and the last hour was spent on 2X speed to get through it. This is the first time I've ever done that. I dread getting through the second half, and I really hope it's more of what Pehov does well rather than the dialogue he does very, very poorly.
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