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Review of Shadow’s Master by Jon Sprunk

Review of Shadow’s Master by Jon SprunkShadow's Master by Jon Sprunk
Series: Shadow Saga #3
on 2012
Genres: Epic, Fantasy
Pages: 313


A land of death and shadow where only the strongest survive. Yet that is where Caim must go to follow the mystery at the heart of his life. Armed only with his knives and his companions, he plunges into a world of eternal night where the sun is never seen and every hand is turned against him. Caim has buried his father’s sword and found some measure of peace, but deep in the north an unfathomable power lies waiting. To succeed on this mission, Caim will have to do more than just survive. He must face the Shadow’s Master. With this novel, Jon Sprunk brings his action-packed trilogy to an epic conclusion.

So this was a nice conclusion to the series. It moved along rather quickly when we were with Caim, and as expected, rather slowly when we were with Josey.

Honestly, after reading the first book, I think I set in my mind that this was a story about Caim. By no fault of the author, it put me off from Josey’s story. It never felt really connected. Sure the characters had their past and some tiny things that meshed up along the way, but it never felt like they were entwined with each other. That said, I wish I would have gone into this thinking it was the story of Caim and Josey; not just Caim, not just Josey. I kept waiting for that big connect, some reveal that I had set up in my own mind. If you do pick up this series, go into thinking you’ll be hearing two different stories about two different characters.

I admit, my love for this series dwindled with each book. I still liked it, don’t get me wrong. I think it’s a great series for any lover of fantasy and I’m not the least bit upset that I picked it up. I think, for me personally, the magic was so fun to learn about in the first book and Caim was a nicely delivered mystery. But by the second book, you pretty much knew where the entire story was headed. There was no surprise for me at all in the last two books. So for those of you who love to unravel complicated plots, this might not be the best choice.

Gosh, I sound so negative. All in all, this has nicely developed characters, a thought out world, some fun magic, and some great fights. Admittedly, I had a lot going on personally that I have no doubts impacted my level of involvement and concentration while reading. I say this because, looking back, I really can’t say for sure why my interest trailed off toward the end. This book checks off quite a few boxes on my like list, so I can honestly say to the book: it’s me, not you.

Overall, if you love fantasy I’d recommend this series.

About Jon Sprunk

I grew up in central Pennsylvania. The eldest of four children, I attended Lock Haven University and graduated with a B.A. in English in 1992. Athough I had always been an avid reader of speculative fiction, it was during my college years that I developed a broader passion for literature and began my first awkward forays into fiction writing. Encouraged by my professors and peers, I set out after graduation to become a “Serious Writer.” Unfortunately, I had failed to notice the specter of Reality stalking at my back. When my disastrous first fantasy novel failed to find a publisher, I bent my knee to the Real World and sought gainful employment. Crushed, I thought my dreams were over.

Over the next decade I married (twice), changed jobs (numerous times), and after much soul-searching, returned to writing. Like most writers, I suspect, I tried to go it alone, seeking to pound my head through the glass ceiling of my innate talent through sheer willpower and effort. Finally, after many more rejections, I joined Pennwriters and attended their annual conference in 2004. I am both proud and ashamed to admit that I learned more in those two days about the business of writing than I had in the previous ten years. I was also getting the first inklings of why my fiction had not yet made me a household name. Up till then, I hadn’t known how to fashion a true story.

So, I did what any Serious Writer would do. I joined a writers’ group (Pennwriters, to be exact). And I read about the art of writing, a lot. I started to admit to myself that perhaps I could use a little help, that the next Great American Novel wasn’t going to spring from my head, full-grown and ready for world acclaim like some literary Athena.

Since then I have seen some success. I’ve had several short stories published and in June 2009 I signed a multi-book contract with Pyr Books. Best of all, I have the love and support of my wife, and that makes all the difference in the world.

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