Shadow Prowler is one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a while. It is written first-person, something that seems to be hard for some authors to pull off. However, I think Alexey Pehov did it very well. His main character, a thief named Shadow Harold, was delightfully sarcastic and witty, something that only we (the readers) get to see on occasion as Shadow Harold doesn’t always voice his thoughts or opinions. Between that and the non-stop action, I found this book a lot of fun and was sorry to have it end. I am very much looking forward to the second book in this series, Shadow Chaser, but it is not scheduled to be released (in English) until April 2011.
Shadow Prowler was first published in Russia in 2002 as Stealth in the Shadows. Apparently it was a huge hit in that country, with international book rights being subsequently snapped up by Tor Books for six figures (U.S. rights), Simon & Schuster (U.K. rights, pre-empting the trilogy with a six-figure deal), and Piper (Germany). Shadow Prowler is Book 1 in “The Chronicles of Siala” series. Here’s the official blurb:
After centuries of calm, the Nameless One is stirring.
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.
Shadow Prowler is the first in a trilogy that follows Shadow Harold 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).
Reminiscent of Moorcock’s Elric series, Shadow Prowler is the first work to be published in English by the bestselling Russian fantasy author Alexey Pehov. The book was translated by Andrew Bromfield, best known for his work on the highly successful Night Watch series.
Hardcover published in the U.S. by Tor Books
Release date: February 2010, 400 pages
Alexey Pehov’s website: http://www.alexeypehov.com
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