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The Undead Hordes of Kangul (Shadow Warrior) Paperback – 10 Sep 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (10 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451639163
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451639162
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,071,872 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John F. Merz grew up a reader and explorer in Boston, Massachusetts. After college and stint in the Air Force, Merz worked in private security, handling a wide array of assignments including executive protection and corporate investigations. In 1998, he left the corporate world behind and became a full-time writer. His works include the Jake Thunder and Lawson Vampire series.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By S. King on 10 Sep 2013
Format: Paperback
I think it took me three pages before this book had me well and truly hooked.
I started reading it late one night and before I knew it the sun was coming up the next day.
Yes folks it's that engrossing.
I've read a lot of Jon F Merz's other books and even though this is the start of a new series
he once again gives us characters that you instantly like.
Even the villains make you want to learn more about who they are and why they are so evil.
If you like action, adventure, ninja, the undead, sorcerers, sea monsters and a few other things that I'm not going to mention
then this is the book for you.
Can't wait for the second one to come out.
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Format: Kindle Edition
My only beef with this story was that there wasn't more!!! I wanted to keep reading... I will have to wait for the next part of the adventure.

I have been a fan of Jon F. Merz for many years. Once again he proves why I love his work so much! This book is a thrilling joyride and was hard to put down. Loved the characters and the plot is intriguing.

I was happy to see that the publisher put the short story (prequel to this) on their website for all to enjoy free of charge.

I really enjoyed the cover art as well!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Wandering Warrior 3 Sep 2013
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on
Format: Paperback
The Undead Hordes of Kan-Gul (2013) is the first Fantasy novel in The Shadow Warrior series. It is set in an Asiatic world with primitive technology, but powerful magic. High in the mountains of Gakur, the Nine Daggers clan trains Shinobujin, the shadow warriors.

In this novel, Ran is a Shinobujin of the Nine Daggers Clan. He is on shugyo -- wandering quest -- after his graduation to learn about the outside world.

Vargul is a northern trader. He is shipping goods on the Aqaria across the Dark Sea.

Malkyr is the captain of the Aqaria, a merchant ship. It is crossing the Dark Sea.

Kancho is pretending to be a drunkard. Yet he really is a Murai warrior.

Neviah is a protector. She is guarding a young lady on her way to a temple for training.

Jysal is the lady being protected by Neviah. She knows little about the outside world.

In this story, Ran is looking for a way across the Dark Sea. He is drinking is a dockside bar and trying to stay inconspicuous. He notices a northerner come into the bar and pull out a heavy purse full of gold coins.

The man sitting next to the northerner puts a knife to his throat and tells him to hand over his purse. Ran jars the cutthroat and Vargul gets free. Then Ran says that he is looking for passage, but doesn't have any money. Vargul pays for his berth on the Aqaria.

A storm gathers even as the Aqaria leaves the harbor. Malkyr says that storms are common on this ocean. The passengers are mostly seasick, but Malkyr and his crew are unaffected by wild motions of the ship.

Ran soon realizes that Kancho is a Murai. The way he keeps his sword nearby is suggestive. He also has a trace of an upper class accent.

Neviah tells them that she is a bodyguard for Jysal. The young lady is very beautiful and polite, but seems a bit shy. Ran likes both women.

The storm worsens and drives them south. They cannot reach Chulai, so Malkyr decides to try for Narran. When they pass out of the storm, the ship is off the Cliffs of Doom.

This tale drives the Aqaria onto the reefs. Only the five passengers and Malkyr get to the small beach. Malkyr is bit by a shark and Neviah bandages his wound. Then they set a watch schedule and get some sleep.

The next morning, Vulgar has disappeared. Ran and Kancho follow his trail, but it ends in the middle of a meadow. The next morning, only Ran and Jysal awake on the beach.

The shadow warriors in this story are a combination of the ronin and ninjas. They wield swords -- and many other weapons -- while striking out of the darkness. While the Murai fight in teams, the Shinobujin mostly work alone.

Malkyr warns the passengers of Kan-Gun and his undead. The next installment in this sequence -- Slavers of the Silk Road -- has not yet been announced on Amazon.

Highly recommended for Merz fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of shadow warriors, magical spells, and lots of combat. Read and enjoy!

-Arthur W. Jordin
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Shadow Warrior who is Knight Errant? 6 Dec 2013
By P. Gibbs - Published on
Format: Paperback
The hero, Ran, is a Shadow Warrior - a member of the Nine Daggers Clan – assassins trained at a school in the hidden mountains of Gakur on the island of Nehon. Upon graduating from the clan’s training, Ran is sent on a quest to test his skills as a warrior and a spy. That is his official mission. His personal mission is to find the princess he rescued in an adventure that took place before the events of this novel.

Ran’s journey puts him on a ship sailing for the mainland and the other passengers include the sorceress in training, Jysal. Before long he finds himself duty bound to protect Jysal, who is (at first) the defenseless female – archetypical in western romance novels. It makes for an interesting cultural premise in a fantasy novel. This is a fictional universe that evokes medieval Japan and its samurai culture. There is even a Ronin-type samurai, Kancho, with his own quest, except he is called a “Murai.”

Without any of the religious and moral foundations that we can trace back to the tales of chivalry in the Arthurian romance of 12th century Britain, what is the basis for Ran’s noblesse oblige to defend Jysal? He is not from a noble class himself. His back story is that his family was wiped out by bandits and the Nine Daggers Clan adopted him. The clan takes assassination jobs for practically anyone in the region. So it’s not as if he is a member of an oriental Order of the Round Table.

It may be that the author is just taking advantage of some archetypes in the popular culture epitomized by the lone hero in old Westerns who rides into town, rescues the innocent from a powerful villain and then rides off into the sunset. After all, the Clint Eastwood character in all those Spaghetti Westerns.

My best guess at this point in the series is that a warrior hero is most appealing in fiction if he fights so as to preserve order in the universe with good triumphing over evil. Our western culture has had such an ideal in its art and ethics for almost 2,500 years. The strong defend the weak because, to quote from a John Wayne western, “A man’s got to do, what a man’s got to do.”
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Must Read... 11 Oct 2013
By RAVEN - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Action packed throughout. Gives great detail of the lead character's life lessons, training, and how he comes to important decisions in his many situations he finds himself and fellow travelers in. Mr. Merz will keep and hold your interest with the lead character... Guaranteed!!!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
great read 30 Sep 2013
By Sues - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I truly enjoyed reading this story,it gave you a background while keeping the story moving,yes I would recommend to others to read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Get it now...don't read any further. 19 Sep 2013
By mrd357 - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are like me, you read alot...a-lot. Every since I read the first Lawson novel, I, like many others, are now die-hard Merz fans. Was excited to see another series to read in the interim between the Lawson novels, and was not disappointed. Great read, excellent story, good characters, and left me waiting for the next one. Can't ask for more than that. Definitely a part of my collection.
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