Tuesday 11 January 2011

Review: The Conqueror's Shadow - Ari Marmell

Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 480
Published: December 2010 Gollancz

They called him the Terror of the East. Hidden beneath a suit of enchanted black armor and wielding a demon-forged axe, Corvis Rebaine carved a bloody path through Imphallion, compelled by a desire to see the land governed with some degree of honesty. Yet just when victory was in his grasp, Rebaine faltered, then vanished, taking a single hostage, a young noblewoman named Tyannon, to guarantee his escape.

Seventeen years later, Rebaine and Tyannon are married and raising their children. Rebaine has given up his dreams of conquest. Not even news of the upstart warlord Audriss can stir the retired warrior to action, until his daughter is assaulted by Audriss's goons.

Now, to rescue the country he once tried to conquer, Rebaine once more dons the armor of the Terror of the East and seeks out his former allies. But Davro has become a peaceful farmer. Seilloah has no wish to leave her haunted forest home. And Khanda . . . well, to describe his feelings for his former master as undying hatred would be an understatement.

But even if Rebaine can convince his onetime comrades to join him, he faces a greater challenge: Does he dare to reawaken the part of him that gloried in cruelty, blood, and destruction? With the safety of his family at stake, can he dare not to?

It says what it should say

My thoughts:
I liked it, a lot. There was something light over the whole book, even in the darkness. Corvis is not someone you should like, but how could I not like him. At the beginning of the book he does his name credit, he is not a nice person, quite the opposite. The he disappears and marries, haves children, only to see the world break again. And again he shows that he truly is The Terror of The East. But sometimes you just have to love the evil guy, because at least this time he wants to protect his wife and children. Marmell sure does a great job creating this character you just fall for.

There is humour and a streak of light through out the book. Much comes from Khanda, his "pet" demon. That demon has a tongue on him and says what he wants. To my horror I like him too, even when he is feasting on souls. There is also his once trusted friends, great sidekicks there.

The book does what fantasy should do. It sweeps you into a new world and make you feel right at home there. A kingdom that can not stand together, the guilds wants one thing, the nobles another thing, and a new enemy that wants to have it all. There are battles, death, destruction, and one good plot that had me guessing.

But the thing I did like the best was how much I liked these characters, and how I wanted to read more about them. The book ends where it ends. A nice conclusion and that is it. But it leaves an opening and there will be another book, and I want that book.

Recommendation and final thoughts:
Of course I am recommending this book, I could not put it down, and I did not want to put it down either. It was fun, it was light, it was dark, it was a great ride. I have to give it a 4 and I hope he keeps up the good work.

So go read it, and I promise you will like Corvis too.

Reason for reading:
I love fantasy

Not what I like, but it does say fantasy


  1. Sweeps me to a new world? *sigh* That is probably my favorite thing about reading :D

  2. I love that even with a dark plot like that, there's humour! Great review of this! :)

  3. I don't really fancy the cover the story sounds great. Thanks for the review!

  4. It sounded very dark from the synopsis, so I'm glad that you talked about it being light too and having some humor. Sounds like an enjoyable story, but I don't particularly care for the cover either.

  5. Loving the cover. You amaze me by the books that you find. I have never heard of this one. I really need to start shopping in the fantasy aisles of Waterstones.

  6. Oh you are bad for my wallet :D This sounds great and I love the sound of dark :)

  7. "It ends where it ends." Love that line. :)

    Sounds like a good fantasy. Exactly what you want when you want one. I'm not lovin' the cover. Does the axe really bend like that?

  8. Seems a very nice fantasy book - definitely I will put it on my TBR list (which should be called "never ending story...) A mouthy demon hating our protagonist? Great!

  9. Juju
    I how cliché I went there, well it was the truth :)

    I never expected it! I thought there would be blood and guts or something, and then there was humour too

    The cover is sure very very male...

  10. Carol
    I thought it would be, you should have seen my surprise, and it was a lovely surprise. Nothing wrong with darkness, but this was just perfect.

    It's kind of new ;) And yes you should go straight to the fantasy aisle. My fantasy aisle have like 1 book, shameful really

    I promise you will like Corvis, he was just so so :D

  11. Melissa
    The axe is this magic weapon that changes depending on who touches it, and I guess Corvis has a curvy dark soul, lol

    Haha, oh yes you should have heard Khanda, bad mouthing poor Corvis every chance he gets. Loved it

  12. That's exactly what I love about fantasy too sweeping me into a new world :) Sound like I need to add this one to my reading list.

  13. I don't like myself when I find that I actually like the bad guy LOL Anyway this sounds like a great fantasy and I'm adding it to my wishlist.

  14. This sounds like a great book to get lost in!

  15. Jenny
    New worlds are the best, I never get sick of those :D And this book had such a great cast

    I was surprised by myself, but he does have a heart underneath, or at least I think so, lol. And he was very protective of his kids, he just could not let go of that thought of power

    It sure was :)

  16. Ooh, I've not heard of this one or the author! Sounds like a good epic fantasy to sink the teeth into. Is it part of a series or a standalone?

  17. I'm glad to see that you always enjoyed this book. I also really enjoyed the humor, which kept the book from being dark. I love the moment when Corvis goes to get out his "frightening" disguise and realizes how ridiculous he must have looked. I'm looking forward to the sequel.

  18. That's definitely an axe on the cover.

  19. Sounds like a lovely story B! Glad you enjoyed it so much. Obviously you didn't get it for the cover. ;)


  20. Love your line, paraphrasing here -- it ends where it ends and there will be another and I want that book! Mo higher recommendation than wanting more from an author can be given!

  21. Aarti
    He has written them so they can stand alone. Book 1 has a good ending, but it leaves room for more. That is where book 2 comes in, so a series yes in a way

    Lol, I liked that too, he must have looked like such a jack-ass. Awww good times ;)

  22. Chris
    A man needs his axe :)

    Lol, nope, sure did not, so very very male oriented

    I said that, oh, I had forgotten already, it ends where it ends, lol, but well it did :D

  23. I don't think is just says Fantasy it screams!

  24. Inked,
    Lol, I can't argue with that :)

  25. Just had to stop by and say Hi! I know we talked about this book but still wanted to stop by and say it's on the list now. :) Thank you!

  26. Melissa
    Lol, that was fun :) I do like recommending to people who love fantasy

  27. Never heard of this one before and I haven't really gotten my feet wet in the fantasy genre...yet. I would definitely like to try this one =) A most excellent review!

  28. Thanks Mishel
    I do love fantasy, you really should try it more ;)



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