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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
61
4.8 out of 5 stars


on 9 October 2017
Great character prologue to the Book of Deacon series. Red Shadow (the character) is solely the reason I continued to read the series (the other characters weren't as defined or as gripping and wouldn't have continued reading if it weren't for him. Once the books ended I was very pleased to find this to elaborate on him and his life and it didn't disappoint.

5 stars
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on 6 April 2017
I love these books so much, please keep writing them if you can. The characters capture your heart and then steal your soul. The various setting are so well described that you almost feel you are there.
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on 24 November 2015
good book
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on 13 May 2017
Great view of Lain's start in life plus an idea of how hard his growing up was a definite must read
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on 25 September 2014
Absolutely fantastic prequel to 'The Book of Deacon' trilogy. Definitely read the trilogy first, as it makes reading the back story even more meaningful.
The Red Shadow has become one of my all time favourite characters, and this is a book that will stay with me forever!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 September 2013
'The Rise of the Red Shadow' is an excellent prequel to 'The Book of Deacon' trilogy (The Book of Deacon being the first installment thereoff), focusing on the back story of Lain. While some elements are typical of fantasy novels (the apprentice assassin, hard trials and tribulations leading him to become the expert...) the book is still fresh enough in my opinion to warrant a read and to generate enjoyment even in hardened fantasy readers.

Lain - the malthrope (a creature with fox- and manlike features / elements) - is captured as a kit and through life on a slave farm & subsequent adventures slowly rises to become the 'Red Shadow'. There are many 'coming of age' elements in the book, together with praised virtues of relentless work and purpose, mixed with increasingly frequent action sequences in the second half.

The book perhaps takes some time to really get into and is not a frantic page turner from the start but it still works at many levels in my opinion and at least presents a protagonist who is torn and insecure just like most growing adolescents are likely to be. What you will not get much of is world building - the focus seems to lay so strongly on the character development that this aspect gets somewhat neglected. You do glance that the author has a medieval level society in mind, with elves, dwarves and some other creatures (with some magic thrown in) in mind but will probably have to wait for later books to learn more on this.

Having read the book before starting on the main 'Book of Deacon' trilogy I cannot yet comment on how it connects to the latter or whether there is a natural reading sequence one should follow but the book is certainly written in a way to make it a solid and reasonably self contained read independently of the others.

So if you are looking for either an insecure but evolving and multifaceted protagonist, and a potential taste of what is to come in the main trilogy, or simply for additional background information (if you are through the trilogy already), the book works quite well in my opinion.
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on 14 April 2015
What a story. I read this after the first three and it all clicked into place why Lain was as he was. The absolute racism and hatred that he suffered from all but one person until he went to Entwell left a bitter scar. Even when he was treated significantly better he found it hard to accept. I am so pleased he found a mate and like to think that his little family ate living somewhere safe on the Northern Crescent.
It is hard to equate this intelligent being with the description of 'creature', which is used from time to time through the book. I felt that maybe this was a bit harsh.
I would highly recommended this book.
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on 19 September 2013
A must read ! just wish i`d read this one first, now i want to read the others again !!!!!!!
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on 19 March 2015
I loved the book of deacon series,so when i came across this book,i was a bit sceptical.you know how most writers try to squeeze a new book out from an existing story?well that's not the case folks!true, it is the story of Lain from the series,but at the same time it's so much more!!! It can be read autonomously.it has so much information and action and..heartbreak . honestly if you dont cry while reading it,you have no heart!Thank u Joseph for another brilliant book!!i am waiting for one on Trigorah;there is so much I want to know!!!
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on 21 December 2013
Great to get an understanding behind the character really enjoyed reading this book as I did the others, but I have read them all too quickly.
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