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on 24 May 2017
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on 23 August 2015
Here we find the last instalment of Alexey Pehov's 'Chronicles of Siala'. And once again for me I believe he triumphed, it is a superb book full of wonderful passages.

The Dancer in the Shadows or Shadow Harold, bold sneak thief and saviour of Valiostr finally sets foot in the dreaded Hrad Spein after spending months on the move. The once large group now only numbers few with several beloved characters going the way of the Crayfish sleigh, they must travel through Orc infested forests of Zagraba to reach their final destination. This is where the company parts and Harold sets off on his own once again. The narration that our hero provides is perhaps some of the best imagery I have read in the entire series, the authors description of the Palace of Bones is beautiful. He creates a wonderful and exciting world beneath the ground: from the dull and lifeless human levels to the colourful and exquisitely dangerous Elfin levels further down. It is filled with excitement as Harold traverses dark halls filled with monsters and traps, even coming across the real firstborn (not creatures I'd like to meet in a dark alley). With a little bit of help from the unlikeliest of places Harold sets off on this almighty quest.

Undoubtedly Harold gets the Rainbow Horn and is able to reach the surface, however in his absence it seems that war has finally come to the kingdom and Harold must make his way back through the forest to return the horn before it is too late. Alas his plan is foiled by Orcs who capture him for their wicked games. Amongst them he meets an unlikely friend before getting back on track. Here the book splits from the normal routine describing parts of the war that Harold is not involved in. Allowing the reader to see the 'bigger picture' so to speak. Eventually Harold gets to Avendoom and here there is a dramatic plot twist that few saw coming and the identity one of the Master's men is revealed. Of course our heroes win but at a deadly cost with so few of the original group surviving leaving it a bitter-sweet ending. The second part of this book when Harold escapes the clutches of the forest is perhaps at a push a little rushed but then again that is pace that Alexey has set

It is a wonderful series that I read year after year, filled to the brim with adventures, plot twists and wonderful characters. However it is a bit confusing having two great enemies chasing Harold and the Horn down, as who is the greater enemy to our protagonist? All loose ends from the first two books are tided up neatly concluding this wonderful series. Alas there will not be a sequel as Shadow Harold rides off into the sunset although I do look forwards to his appearance in Alexey Pehov's new book Chasers of the Wind.

I implore you to give this series ago and get lost in the tale of Shadow Harold: thief and saviour of the world.
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I really got into this series and especially loved this book, I'm a very slow reader but i couldn't pull my self away from this book and finished this one in 3 days (normally takes me at least 2 weeks). It does seem to be a bit of a guys book but is set in an intricate, interesting and immersive world and a great finisher to a trilogy. I especially enjoy a story where the characters are not cut out good guys but have their own flaws and grey personalities and morality. The overall looming "bad guy" is a bit simple and his view or the experiences and views of the men of the crayfish dukedom "silly name i know" isn't explored i don't really care as the protagonist is narrating his view of events which is what makes the story.

A 10 out of 10 from me but keep in mind that it is not everyone's cup of tea.

I personally, cant wait for his next novel.

p.s. This is the first series written in english by the author so don't get anything else from him unless your sure its actually in english if you only speak english.
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To be honest this is a hard book to review as since I'm a huge fan of the fantasy genre I tend to remember what I've read previously. Whilst this is more a young adult series, for me I've noticed the obvious homage to Lord of the Rings alongside multiple other titles in the Forgotten Realm's series that have had a thief as a lead character with the book feeling more like a cross between a roleplay production.

Don't get me wrong it was fun and if read as light entertainment its OK, but if you want something new or innovative then sadly you're not going to find it here. All in the series was reasonable and will be one to give to young readers to generate a story for them to enjoy before they're ready for Tolkien.
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on 16 July 2012
So far iv'e read books one and two so looking forward to what Harold does next in this exciting Trilogy book three
very good read with lots of action graphic detailing of event's battles Kli Kli the Goblin one funny person with mischief for all Dwafes elves Orc's and much more amazing strange things in this great can't put down till you finish it series of books
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on 22 May 2012
Where to begin? The journey started in previous books has come to an end, well ok not really. It's just getting started if you think about it.

Harold (I do love thieves) and his gang are approaching Hrad Spein. Kli-Kli, it's always good with a comic relief, the dark elves, and human warriors are with him. And they have lost a lot of friends already. Pehov does have a way of killing off people. But then not all should make it, people must fall during the way cos it's a dangerous road so I liked that he is not afraid to do just that.

Much of the book takes places in the darkness that is Hrad Spein. Fights, horrors, revelations, all to save a kingdom and the world. So much more than others think are actually going on. The Dancers, the creators of world, the Houses, and the person that created Siala. Not to mention that Harold is supposed to be a dancer too, which means that he could create a world. He is such an unlikely hero and that makes him better.

The second part took place outside of Hrad. The quest is not yet done and more battles are to come. It's fighting and quest fantasy.

I did feel that there is so many more stories still to tell and I would like to stay in this world, but sadly this was the end of this trilogy. But Pehov has created a very interesting world, and a world I would he happy to visit again. And it feels like home too, it's a world I know, yet it's so very new.

Some of the fight scenes at the end did feel a bit jumpy, but eh, that's life and war. And something did happen that made me sad, but again that's life and sadness is needed in books too.

I do think there needs to be another Harold trilogy ;)
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on 29 April 2012
I've been waiting for this book to come out since I first read the first book of the trilogy Shadow Prowler and then last year read the second book. It's felt like a long wait as I loved the first two books. I read it all in a weekend as I didn't want to put the book down. I've been careful not to fall in love with the characters too much as the bodycount in these books has been quite high and the third book continues with that. I enjoyed the descriptions of the Forest and also loved the detail of Shadow Harold's journey through Hadr Spein with all the right ingredients for a thief to deal with such as traps and poisons. Will he retrieve the Rainbow Horn? What treachery will he have to deal with?

If you enjoy fantasy then this is the trilogy for you. There is something unusual about Pehov's writing, and not just because it has been translated. There is a quirkiness to his world and characters that I enjoyed, in particular Kli-Kli the goblin. Pehov is not Tolkien (who gets 5 stars) but I still have been able to read these books several times over and no doubt will read the trilogy all the way through again.
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on 25 January 2013
Loved Shadow Prowler but found Shadow Chaser a bit of a diversion from the main storyline. Shadow Blizzard is more of a return to form. However, the sections in Hrad Spein are a bit 'gamey'.
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on 3 February 2013
I have enjoyed this Trilogy right the way through. Reminds me of Slippery Jim Digris in the Stainless Steel Rat but a good book in its own right with a welcome touch of humour
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on 13 November 2015
Have read the other novels in the series and wanted the final one. Haven't read it yet so wil update review after reading. Got lots on the go at the moment.
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