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The Hollow March (The Haunted Shadows Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Chris Galford , Nathan Hartley , Matthew Watts

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Book Description

It is a time of upheaval in the Idasian Empire. As religious fervor stirs dissent among the people, and the winter winds loom, thousands gather behind their aging emperor on a march to war.

In the midst of this, young Rurik Matair blunders home with childish notions of revenge, and an unlikely band of sellswords at his back. The third son of a backwater nobleman, Rurik was destined for a life in service to the crown. But when he reached beyond his station, he was banished from his father’s house with nothing to his name. Tired and hunted, he returns after two years abroad.

Yet all is not as it appears. As Idasia’s brutal war threatens to stagnate, old rivalries rekindle. Other players shift through dark games behind the scenes, and old magicks rise against a tottering throne, stirred on by a woman with nothing left…


Product Description

About the Author

Chris Galford spends his days as a freelance journalist and editor. Writing, in all its forms, has been his passion from a young age, but fantasy and science fiction are the sparks that give his nights purpose. A native of Michigan, in his spare time he can usually be found wandering the lake shore with a camera in one hand and a pen in the other. "The Hollow March," the predecessor to "At Faith’s End," was his first major work, based on a series of short stories he wrote in the summer of 2008, titled "The Company of the Eagles." Another short story set in the same world, “The Child's Cry,” was published in the Twelfth issue of "Mystic Signals" magazine.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1076 KB
  • Print Length: 457 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006HXLRCY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #801,110 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Chris Galford spends his days as a freelance journalist and editor. Writing, in all its forms, has been his passion from a young age, but fantasy and science fiction are the sparks that give his nights purpose. A native of Michigan, in his spare time he can usually be found wandering the lake shore with a camera in one hand and a pen in the other.

"The Hollow March" is his first major work, based on a series of short stories he wrote in the summer of 2008, titled "The Company of the Eagles." A sequel--"At Faith's End"--is scheduled for release in October 2013. Another short story set in the same world, "The Child's Cry," has been published in the Oct.-Dec. 2011 edition of Lorelei Signal magazine.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.1 out of 5 stars  7 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book but felt left hanging 7 Mar. 2012
By pamela chismar - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
The hollow March is a novel relating the story of a young man, Rurik, who was exiled for a crime. He met with some friends, decides to come back home for revenge, and finds an adventure and gains acceptance. There are a few disappointing deaths.
The story starts out a bit slow and repetative. Once Rurik and his Company of the Flying Eagles reaches his hometown, things get going.
I enjoyed this book. I was kept interested and waiting with bated breath at times. I only wish to know what happens with the rest of Rurik's family, Charlotte and Usuri. I felt that part of the story was left hanging.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A richly detailed world and epically dramatic plot 26 April 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
If you're a fan of George R.R. Martin - definitely, DEFINITELY pick this book up and read it. It's a richly detailed epic prelude to war, which is a topic I haven't run across much in high fantasy. Wars, yes, and the aftermath I've read quite a bit on, but not much on the months and events before the bloodshed. Set in a Renaissance European world like much of high fantasy, with knights and Emperors, but with one key difference - guns. Still pre-Industrial Revolution, mind, but guns are present and used (always second to a sword or an axe, so many times you forget they're there). The plot itself focuses around three main areas of interest - Rurick, the disgraced son of Matair house, and his Company of Eagles; The aging Emperor's House and it's internal struggles, and the Cullick Family, determined to bring it all down.

I very much enjoyed reading this book, and the last 150 pages were so gripping I was desperate have book two in hand so I could continue reading. The story builds slowly, as I believe high fantasy should, because world-building is the bedrock of a good story. There's a languid sensuality about the beginning of the book, not in literal terms, but with the style of writing and the pace of the story telling. Galford takes his time setting the stage, and that's wonderful. Like G.R.R.M., Galford jumps from character POV to POV, and Galford's grasp of personal voice in this is exceptional. His writing style adapts to the way his characters think, organically. This can make jumping between POV's a little confusing, but once you're used to the character's voices, it adds a depth to the book that I really enjoyed. The slow start didn't both me, but it did take a bit for me to wrap my head around "where I was" in the story; that is, the world, the people, the geography, economics, religion and politics - I'm a reader deeply invested in the world an author creates, so I couldn't get enough of the details - to me, plot is always second to a richly dressed and painted world.

I'll be honest, the middle of the book, where one of the sons and heir to the Empire was introduced - I lost interest, for the sole reason that I didn't have the heart to learn a new character! But I pushed through my laziness, and was rewarded with some of the best political intrigue I've ever had the pleasure of reading. Every reader has their favorite and least favorite characters, and I deeply enjoyed reading Essa's perspective, I think because I identified with her in a way, and wish I could have more details on Chigenda and Alviss' stories and perspectives. I find them both the be fascinating enigmas - but that's the anthropologist in me! Charlotte, on the other hand, drove me up a wall. She's Cersei Lannister, without the badassery and more frippery. And Usuri... everyone loves a good witch character, especially when she's coming unhinged - but her magic works in a very unique way. The domesticated griffons make me sad, like deeply, deeply sad. There were a few small twists that made me gasp, and I won't ruin them for you - but you definitely need to pay attention to what you're reading, because Galford drops details and foreshadows so deviously that if you aren't vigilant, you'll miss them.

Now - why four instead of five stars? I reserve my five-star ratings for books that grab me heart and mind only about 5% of the books I read grip my imagination - this book is gorgeous, but not one of that five percent. I do still highly recommend it, though!

I also didn't realize there was a map until I finished the book. So of course I felt like an idiot, because that would have helped my scattery mind understand where people were. But this book has a life of its own - a world of its own - and it breathes life. I missed details on my first read, and I can't wait to go back and read it again.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The hollow march 29 Dec. 2013
By allan l jones - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
A saga of the futility of war.
The scheming of small men both rich and poor and the carnage they create.
But the book leaves you wondering what happens next ?
How will it all be made right
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read! 11 Jun. 2012
By Tara Fox Hall - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I reviewed the Hollow March for fantasybookreview.co.uk. Here is an excerpt from that review.

"Man tames not vengeance; vengeance breaks the man." - Idasian Proverb
The book started with this proverb, which made me immediately like it. It was all I could do to meet my own deadlines, because every time I went in to read a few pages of this work, I wanted to read more.
This is a well-written book, with the added boon of very few typos. The author's style was perfect in description, in that I could see in my mind this world he had created instantly, with detail enough to make it real. Here is a passage to illustrate this:

Most of the Empire was not like the Ulneberg. To the north, warhorses streamed across well-laid and well-travelled paths, and wealthy caravans roamed from city to city, seeking to purvey the guilds' trades. Farms littered a stripped and open countryside, as flat as a Karnush woman's chest. However, this land suffered from a curious benefit: War. As the Empire pressed its manifest borders to north and south and west, the continual prospect of war had left this section of the Ulneberg largely untouched. The problem was the Kingdom of Surin to the east, a nation once lofty, now reduced to poverty and ruin.

I do caution that it takes a while for this book to get going, after the initial thrill of the prologue. It wasn't until page 80, when one of the characters is brought in for questioning, that the book ramped back up to that level. Most of this first section is background on the main characters and information on their relationships to one another. There are also long lapses in the action of the book where flashbacks tell more background, and past events. These passages do make the book lag between character's dialogue, so when one character is responding to a question on the previous page asked by another character, the reader may need to go back to the last dialogue to find out just what was asked.

I liked Essa and Voren. Rurik was something of a typical medieval "jock" and I didn't like him as much, especially with his childish actions. If my father wanted me dead, I'd take a lot more care about my actions and not be getting drunk so often, or acting flippant with my guardian's commands. The scene of Ros and Fallit was particularly moving

At 460 pages, this book is long. I think there are several passages that could have been cut from it or shortened, to make the action flow a little more smoothly and be more understandable. But compared with other fantasy books, this is in keeping with the genre. And I can't fault the writing style, which I loved.
The book leaves off with many threads left hanging, making me think there may be a sequel.
Overall opinion: Good read!
4.0 out of 5 stars Bro, There's A Map 19 Mar. 2014
By Kevin Anthony - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I’ll be honest; this book was a challenge for me. I’ve never completed an epic fantasy book in my life time. I’ve began many of them, but mid-way through would tap-out. This book is beautifully packaged, from the cover to the formatting. The writing is great, but in the end it’s all about the plot.

As some other reviewers pointed out, it starts slow, but honestly to me I enjoyed that. It gave me a chance to get familiar with the characters and verbally struggle to pronounce their names in my head. I love that there was a map provided, it made it easier to keep track of where they were and the terrain of the settings.

I did find myself skipping chapters, mainly searching for battle scenes which were handled very well. I think the only issue with this book was its size. I once read in the Fantasy genre, it’s better to start a series with a shorter piece that would convince new readers to commit to the bigger books that will follow it. It was a lot for me to handle, but I cannot deny it was well written and packaged. Hands down one of the most beautiful indie book covers out there.
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