Top positive review
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Action packed fantasy fiction
on 31 July 2003
I've been a fan of Barclay's Raven ever since the first novel Dawnthief and have followed with keen interest the development of the characters as well as Barclay's writing style (improved significantly with each book).
This is his finest book yet, but new readers be warned - don't start here, this is not a novel you will enjoy as much without reading it's predecessors. For the full effect start at the beginning with Dawnthief, Noonshade and Nightchild, but if that is too much definitely read the 1st book in this series Elfsorrow.
Shadowheart picks up straight after Elfsorrow and the plot is relatively simple: The Dark College of Magic, Xetesk wants to do X (I will not spoil it for you), the Raven and the other colleges disagree, the Wesmen have their own ideas, add in a dying Dragon, Elves with a big score to settle, a Raven mage struggling to control the One Magic and the result is non-stop, page-turning action from start to finish which made me wonder which he would run out of first - Elves, Mages or the Raven themselves.
The characters are intense and believable, fighting against the odds for what they believe is right, whilst mourning a great loss. The writing is superb making it easy to visualise the action, hear the sounds of a frantic siege and smell the stench of magically burnt flesh (of which there is rather a lot). Coupled with emotional scenes when the Raven is stretched almost to breaking point, make this book a classic of fantasy fiction. I can't wait for the final installment in this trilogy