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Shadow (The Scavenger Trilogy Book 1)

Shadow (The Scavenger Trilogy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

K J. Parker
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Utterly compelling (THE ALIEN ONLINE on Shadow )

This is exactly what the fantasy genre needs. Mature, confident prose from a talented writer...compelling, assured, intelligent - five stars (SFX )

Book Description

* A brilliant new fantasy series from the acclaimed author of The Fencer Trilogy. * The first book in a series that takes fantasy fiction into remarkable new territory.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 736 KB
  • Print Length: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (5 Nov 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1841491055
  • ISBN-13: 978-1841491059
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,450 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dangermash approves 12 Nov 2003
Outstanding stuff.
I'm getting towards the end of Book 2 (Pattern) at the moment and thought now was a good time to give my thoughts on Shadow.
It's impossible to quantify the scope of the plot in Shadow simply because I still don't know what the plot is. OK I've followed the adventures of Poldarn for a while now but there's something else going on that I'm not yet sure of, although I'm starting to get some ideas.
It's a bit like Agatha Christie in some respects. A mystery, littered with clues and red herrings. During the first book I was wishing I was a single man again, able to sit in the back garden on a Sunday and read through the whole book in one sitting (OK maybe two for one this thick). Because there's so much information thrown at you in such a confused manner that it's hard to take it all in. Mind you, you do end up in the same situation as Poldarn does, having lots of "I'm sure I'm supposed to already know something about this" sort of way.
For anybody enjoying the first book but feeling buried under information, I can tell you that the second is more relaxing. We are told at the end of the first book who Poldarn is (although I'm still suspicious) so the second is more about character development, and about filling in some of the memory lapses. And the feeling of deja vu still keeps coming back.
It's just such a nice change to have a fantasy book with some real mystery to it.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What the fantasy genre should be 2 Jun 2002
Billed by SFX as "exactly what the fantasy genre needs", this book is a truly excellent example of how a basic fantasy novel concept can be turned into a masterpiece of believable and entertaining fiction. The plot begins with the main character, Poldarn, waking up in a puddle of mud surrounded by corpses, not knowing who he is, where he is, or anything of his past (let alone who the corpses beside him are). An almost cliched beginning these days, but instead of sending Poldarn off on some irrelevantly random quest, and discovering by the end of the book he's actually the heir to the throne of the kingdom currently held under the tyranny of an evil warlord, Parker sends Poldarn bumbling his way through the world in which he finds himself, and having to deal with the problems this presents.

This is done in a completely creditable manner, and although there is indeed a deeper plot afoot in the background, Poldarn only brushes past it from time to time, whilst in other chapters the reader is privy to what dangers could face him in the future (and looking for any subtle clues as to the character's identity). But perhaps the most memorable (and brilliant) aspect of this book is the way in which it has been written. Parker does not go in at all for describing the glorious countryside, or the long back-histories of irrelevant forests and towns, he tells it "like it is", with a nicely cynical narrative which effectively grounds the story into something resembling a true reality you can actually believe exists, rather than having to make an effort to suspend your disbelief.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remoulded the Genre 13 May 2007
Grand claims are often made by a publisher about how original and exciting their new book is. This was justified in the case of Shadow. The book isn't dark or erie. The book is quite simple really, about a man who has amnesia and you piece his former life together.

Theres no magic or elves it's more like an alternate past. The raiders are similiar to the vikings in some ways. The book builds well enough for part 2 of the triology. But after that it's all downhill. Book two is slow and adds little to the plot, except for a few pages really. Book three jams the rest of the plot in the last few pages. This was really annoying and disapointing.

This book deserves four stars anyways I did enjoy it, it was a change from the usual fantasy fare. It did remould the genre but it threw the mould and the cast away. Had I realised the other books were not worth reading I would have given it a miss.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 16 July 2001
By A Customer
Although I was dazzled by the virtuosity of Parker's 'Fencer' trilogy, I have to say that 'Shadow' marks a step forward. In the 'Fencer' books, Parker displayed a breathtaking talent for description, making you feel that the world being described is as real as our own, and a brilliant style ranging from dry wit to pure poetry. These elements are present in 'Shadow', but allied to a basic concept that's guaranteed to take your breath away. This is an amazing book; it draws you in from the very first page and never lets you go. I can't wait for the sequel!
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4.0 out of 5 stars the man without a memory 23 Nov 2009
Turned onto KJ Parkers work by the engineer trilogy of novels I thus went to seek out more work by the same writer. And started their earlier scavenger trilogy as a result.

This gets off to a gripping start by introducing you to a man with no memory. After he wakes up near lots of dead bodies. Dreams and flashbacks give him tantalising bits of information. The world in which he lives is slightly atypical fantasy territory because whilst theres an empire and soldiers with swords and a secret order there's no magic. But there's a little bit of engineering on display.

Taking the name Poldarn the main character falls in with a confidence trickster lady and from there on his exploits begin as he tries to survive and find out who he is. and why so many people seem to recognise him and want him dead.

A harsh and brutal world with uncompromising fights and a couple of bits of strong language this is well written stuff. But this is very much the first volume of a trilogy so after the compelling opening it does seem to meander a bit in the middle. with lots of dream sequences and flashbacks you will need to keep your wits about you whilst reading.

Some good surprises are to be had though as things progress, and some answers as well. Possibly. whilst this reaches a conclusion of sorts by the end of the book there's more than enough loose ends to keep things going.

Not quite as compelling as the engineer trilogy so far but an interesting enough start.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars ... Parkers books for a while now but was very disappointed. Felt it...
Wanted to try one of Mr Parkers books for a while now but was very disappointed. Felt it was too long winded. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Big Six
5.0 out of 5 stars Follow the crows
I bought this first book on a whim, giving it a try and - if I liked it - planning to buy the following two. Read more
Published 23 months ago by R. Safari
4.0 out of 5 stars Down-to-earth fantasy
Yet another fantasy? Yes, but this is one of the more intelligent and amusing ones. The central character is another cliché in that he starts out being amnesic but this is... Read more
Published on 4 Oct 2011 by Suzy P
5.0 out of 5 stars Finaly - a new take on fantasy!
K.J. Parker does a new take on fantasy! There's no Hobbits, no Orcs and - just maybe - the central caracter is 'a bad buy'. Read more
Published on 26 Nov 2010 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly cynical dark fantasy
An enjoyable and refreshing non-magical dark fantasy novel that uses a dispassionate narrator to temper the author's highly satirical take on religious fanaticism and mockery of... Read more
Published on 26 Aug 2009 by Phanatique
2.0 out of 5 stars implausible, inconsistent and sluggish.
What is the fuss over this at best mediocre book?
First we have a God ina cart (yes, a GOD, in a CART) then we have a monastery of invincible fighting monks who run a "James... Read more
Published on 8 Nov 2002
4.0 out of 5 stars Thank god for Poldarn
Can I just say thank you to KJ Parker for writing this absolutely stunning book. It is one of the most imaginative, colourful books I've read. Read more
Published on 5 Mar 2002 by
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Absorbing, you won't get away from it
At first glance this book looks good, then you read the blurb on the back and suddenly you want to sit down in the book store and start reading it(ok i didn't do that i just bought... Read more
Published on 29 Jan 2002 by Anonymous
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