The Twilight War: Book 1 – Shadowbred

In this interesting tale of swords and sorcery, Paul S. Kemp delivers another dose of Erevis Cale that’s just as riveting and exciting as the previous novels. Erevis has already undergone his transformation into a shade, and now he must discover a new life for himself. Yet there is always some villain afoot that draws Cale back into the scheme of things.

When we last saw Cale, he was battling a wizard of immense power with an insane plot to black out the sun. This time around, things haven’t changed too much. Except there’s now a group of powerful wizards and priests…and they’re all shades, like him. Rivalen is the high priest of Shar for the Shadovar. Like the Sojourner, he’s very old and powerful. Yet Rivalen is different in personality, and Kemp gave him a few personality quirks that really adds a unique flavor to his character. Furthermore the Shadovar tie into the events of the previous trilogy. They live on the last surviving floating city of the Neverese and they plan on fixing the others, including the sunken city of Sakkors. Even the Kraken comes back into play, along with the Source.

Aside from these magical villains, the rest of Sembia is rolling into political chaos. Rivalen and Cale both play a part in this mess. The way the the parties interact and entwine with the plots creates a very fun story that keeps getting better and better. By the end, Riven comes into play and the First and Second of Mask plunge into some serious action. And lets not forget Mags.

There are a couple things worth pointing out that added some variety to the story. First off was the way the book started. Everything begins from the viewpoint of a halfling child spending some time with his mom before his birthday. A very pleasant scene that easily tricks the reader into forgetting what they are reading. Oh, this is a happy book! Wrong. Insert some monsters and cue Cale in full on shade killer mode. It was a great way to introduce Cale and to show what he’s been doing in his free time.

The other thing was Magadon’s first person subplot. Through the story, Mags has his own little adventure which leads him into dangerous territory. An event happens which drives him into his own subconscious. In order to tell that story, Kemp uses a first person perspective from Mags viewpoint. Not only does it change things up, but it also allows for some unique characterizations of the human psyche.

The ending of Shadowbred left me with the feeling that I’d just got to the end of a thrilling roller coaster ride. It was a riveting ending to a fun ride. Best yet, the journey continues in Shadowstorm and I can’t wait to see what Kemp has in store for the First and Second of Mask.

Definitely a five out of five metal bikinis.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

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