An army is gathering; thousands of giants, ogres, and other creatures are joining forces from all across the Desolate Lands, united, for the first time in history, under one, black banner. By the spring, or perhaps sooner, the Nameless One and his forces will be at the walls of the great city of Avendoom.
Unless Shadow Harold, master thief, can find some way to stop them.
Epic fantasy at its best, Shadow Prowler is the first in a trilogy that follows Shadow Harold, the legendary thief of Siala, on his quest for a magic Horn that will restore peace to the Kingdom of Siala. Harold will be accompanied on his quest by an elfin princess, Miralissa, her elfin escort and ten Wild Hearts, the most experienced and dangerous fighters in their world...and by the king's court jester (who may be more than he seems...or less).
©2010 Alexey Pehov (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Where to begin? First let me say that I was skeptical when I began this series. I have not been a huge fan of fantasy until lately when I began to like the “gritty” fantasy (Abercrombie or GRR Martin types of genre). I was not quite sure how I would like this series, but it has been amazing. Another concern I have had is that having seen and read Russian literature and performing arts before, I do not know what to expect from this novel. Anyone who has ever seen more than one Russian film may understand what I'm talking about. The storytelling in such films and books at times can be patchy, unclear, unorganized, and have weak conclusions. However this book did not have any traits and was executed flawlessly. Like other reviewers, this was an impulse buy, and I did get lucky. The past few books I have tried to listen to have been getting good reviews, but I just cannot get into them. This one however was well worth the risk and I would recommend it to anyone who needs to fill in some time while they wait for the next GRR Martin or Abercrombie book. Is this book as vast and gritty as those? Not really, but it is still entertaining and really isn’t that what it’s all about?
riveting spellbinding splendid
Shadow Harold's meeting with the king
His excellent (and consistent) voices for the characters, whether a human, gnome, elf or dwarf. His reading really brought the story to life and greatly added to my imagination of the characters.
Yes, this was one of those stories that you just cannot seem to walk away
from... very enjoyable as was the narrator.
I would have to say that Harold by far.
No, but he did a great job and I would take a long look at a story that he narrates.
J.R. Tolkien would have loved this book.
If you enjoy a great story thats easy to follow then this is for you
I saw this book at a book store and kinda glanced over it. Then when browsing on here i saw it again and after reading another customers review i decided to give it a shot. It honestly had me hooked after the first 5 minutes. A great buy for anyone looking for a good epic fantasy novel.
Sure you've read fantasy thief stories and quests before, but this time the tale's told with Shadow Harold's sour wit, Pehov's Russian love of poetic description, and MacLeod Andrews' outstanding narration. There's plenty of action, fun characters, funny moments, and clever surprises. But there's also some darned original high fantasy, with amazing moments of wonder and terror. Just when you think you know where the plot's going, you'll find you're wrong.
So give this book a chance to win you over. Russian writing styles may not be what you're used to, but Andrews does a great job making it seem like perfectly normal speech. I really liked what he did with the various characters, too.
This novel doesn't end on a cliffhanger, but on a good temporary stopping point in the quest, with progress made. I was eager to find out what happens next in Book 2.
You never know exactly what is going to happen. Lot's of surprises. The characters are really engrossing. Not so much the developement of Haralds character but his interaction with the other charactersThere is a certain sarcasm and humor about how Harald sees the world. The book is kind of gritty, Harald is out for Harald and not to save the world and that's one of the facets of the book that I like.
I really got a kick out of the Kings Jester.
While I'm not into British Accents, his accent was not so extreme that it was hard to understand. He really acted out the parts well and his voices were very good.I would suggest that you listen to an Excerpt if you are adverse to UK English.
I was really entertained. I couldn't wait to pick it back up again after dropping it. And certain parts were so amusing that I reversed and played them again.
While I never heard of this Author, and you probably haven't either, don't let that dissuade you from buying this book. It ranks among the best fantasy books I've read.. So If you are into stereotypical idealistic hero type, save the world, save the maiden, smite evil, novel stay away. Harald is a rogue trying to survive and get rich. In that order.
This was a book I grabbed on a whim and I'm sure glad I did. If you read the summary, you'll notice this book is written by a Russian author and this is actually a translation. Don't let that pit you off. The Authors Russian background actually makes things refreshingly new in such a crowded gengre. The story follows a thief named "Shadow Harold" and the adventures he endures while being forced/tricked to help the kingdom. The setting is dark in more ways than one but the descriptive enviroment comes to life. The Authors description of many things but especially his description of non human races remind me of reading the Slavic fairy tales of elves and trolls. I think this sets the book apart from regular fantasy and makes it altogether refreshing. One example is instead of the graceful etherial elves we so often read about, the ones in here are more like the descriptions we normaly here in reference to trolls. As regards Narration, superb reading and voice acting. It's hard to believe one reader can do so many voices. If you are looking for a different and dare I say refreshingly so, type of fantasy. I highly recommend this book.
I really enjoyed both the story and the narration of this book but, as my title suggestions, there is something lost in the translation. Some of the metaphors and dialogue come off a little rough sounding. Not rough as in tough but rough as in unpolished..
However, I do plan on finishing the series, so I guess it can't be that bad.
not as family friendly and clever as the belgariad but not as dark and bleak as game of thrones, this novel started off predictable and strictly adhering to the high fantasy formula. the later books have a bit more inventiveness to them and the goblin was awesome but this first one was very easy to predict and was somewhat boring. still, it was interesting enough that i went ahead with the rest of the series despite my misgivings.
the series is a mostly enjoyable way to waste some time.
sadly, i never developed any deep attachments to any of the characters, including Herold, so i was never able to really immerse myself in the story.
the narrator got off to a rough start but he was great overall.
The fictional world created by Alexey Pehov is full of standard fantasy fare including elves, gnomes, dwarves, goblins, orcs, demons, shamans, and magicians. It also has some interesting quirks mixed in along the way that give it great potential; however, the overall story struggles to pick up momentum.
It all starts with the King making Shadow Harold (a thief) an offer he can't refuse - either Harold goes into an ancient tomb and retrieves a powerful artifact needed to save the kingdom or he gets thrown in prison for the rest of his life. Harold, being the practical sort, agrees to go on the quest because then he at least has a small chance of surviving. He reluctantly accepts the King's commission, which will make him a rich man if he actually succeeds, and begins to prepare for his task. Unfortunately, the tale then gets mired down in so many side stories and flashbacks that by the end of the book Harold and his party of adventurers hasn't even reached the first city along their route to the catacombs of Hrad Spein. It really feels like a partial and incomplete story.
There are some interesting concepts and historical flashbacks that keep things entertaining at times but overall the story feels disjointed and just a little bit off. It is likely a side effect of the translation from Russian to English and it kept me from becoming invested heavily in the story and the characters. I didn't give up on it but I did have to re-listen to certain sections because the lack of engagement allowed my mind to wander and think about other things.
MacLeod Andrews does a good job with the narration but he isn't enough to carry the day here. This book is a solid 2.5 star effort that gets rounded up to 3 only because of Macleod's performance. However, there was enough to like here for me to continue with the series and hope for more of a payoff in book 2.
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