03 April, 2012

Review - Shadow's Master (Shadow Saga 3) by Jon Sprunk

In my first review for this series (Shadow's Son), I made a big deal about assassins. The main character is Caim, an assassin above and beyond the rest. He's not only able to use the shadows around him to his advantage, but he also has an invisible friend (I said invisible not imaginary), Kit, who helps him out and warns him of hidden dangers.

By book three, Shadow's Master [US] [UK] [Kindle], Caim and the story itself have evolved into much more than an "assassin" tale. Yes, his assassin skills continually come in handy and yes, this takes the action scenes to the next level of awesome, but Caim is a different man who's conflicted with more problems than finding his next target.

At this point in the tale, Caim is driven north by an unknown prompting, but the problem is, the north is filled with northmen. Unruly tribes battle each other for territory while all the while the shadow is slowly taking over - so much so that the sun can no longer be seen.

Caim also struggles as he loses more and more friends to his possibly meaningless quest north. Even Kit acts odd as she struggles with her love of Caim and impossible situation of being intangible. Sprunk even adds a catch-22 reminiscent of Lord of the Rings.

As Caim heads north, Josey, the empress of Nimea and mother of Caim's unborn child, decides to head north herself under the guise of ... well ... she just wants to find Caim okay. Is that so bad? As she tours the northern ends of her empire, she runs into troubles of her own with feuding nobles being the least of her problems.

Keeping up the same action-packed pace as the rest of the trilogy, Shadow's Master is an excellent conclusion to a great series. While things wrap up nicely (for the most part), it didn't feel like such a perfect wrap-up, more like a transition to the next stage and I really liked that.

The Shadow Saga is light on description and world-building, but heavy on characters and combat. No word is minced and everything moves to the action-packed climax. A series not to be missed.

4 out of 5 Stars (Loved it!)

Book 1, Shadow's Son
Book 2, Shadow's Lure

Note: I'm not done with Jon Sprunk just yet, I have an interview with the author coming up here in the next few days.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher


wheels209 said...

Thanks for the review of a new book and author to me. How would you compare this series to Brent Week's work??? I so want to start reading this series Now!!! Yes I do get a little worried about how much I enjoy assassin books but then it passes...LOL!!!

Take care,

Bryce L. said...

If you liked Weeks, I think you'll like this series as well. The Shadow Saga is a bit more focused on the characters than on the rest of the world like Night Angel, but it works really well and assassins are just cool. :D