This is Jon Sprunk’s debut novel, and it’s a dark read. This book may look small, but once you begin, it is apparent that this is an intelligent read. I should note right away that if you aren’t a blood-splatter and guts type of person, you might want either to brace yourself or skip it. Sprunk truly does give a blow-by-blow, or should I say a blade-by-blade, account. There are a few twists in this story I wasn’t expecting, but I got caught up in this assassin’s tale.
I’ll admit it now: I love a good action sequence. Sprunk delivers that in spades throughout this tale. What makes this an intelligent read is the action is not only there because Caim, our unsung-not-by-choice hero, is an assassin by trade and it is expected, but also because it propels the story; it serves as a complement, not a hindrance. There is a seamless transition between the action scenes and the story, and the level of detail puts any diehard action lover in the middle of the fight sequences. You’ll flinch and hold your breath wanting Caim to survive. They say detail is everything, and Sprunk delivers just that; although action is often difficult to translate to paper, Sprunk’s action scenes are alive.
Caim has two women and yes, they are a handful. Kit: loyal, beautiful, and insightful… and a guardian spirit. Yes, a spirit. She is the comic relief and the practical character of this dynamic duo. She’s an intriguing character you’ll come to appreciate, and you’ll want to know more about her, as well. Kit is as loyal to Caim as need be, but when she is annoyed, she will disappear until she has calmed down enough to return. This is both a blessing and curse in Caim’s mind.
Josephine: this is no wallflower high brow lady, she’s tough. You’ll love how she is portrayed in this story. You get to see how her mind works as you follow her on a treacherous journey with Caim. While that is happening, you become invested in her story line, and with her, the stakes become very high. You’ll love the relationship that develops between her and her would-be hero.
Symbolism and Meaning
As the title implies, shadows are a part of this story, and there is a lot of meaning in them. What is beyond the shadow? Is there anything beyond the darkness? This and other questions are raised. It isn’t forced upon you, but Sprunk inspires you to think about the underbelly of things in this world where politics and religion collide. There is more to what you see with the naked eye. Caim is your guide into this world and he is the light, but you’ll have to read the book to discover what he sees within the shadows.
This is a good book, and if you read it you’ll not be disappointed. However, even though the chapters are short, it takes a while to get to the meat of the story. The intricate weaving of the tale of how Caim and Josephine were brought together and put on their path makes getting to the heart of the story difficult. I say it’s worth the wait because once you get there, you are there with Caim, Kit, and Josephine to the end.
Why should you read this book?
As a debut novel, it’s really good. Caim and his partners, Kit and Josephine, are the best. It’s a dark fantasy with a great story, and it’s full of action. The twists and the action will keep you glued to the story, and you will become invested with this rich group of characters. And like most good dark stories, the villain isn’t always whom you expect… or maybe it is?
|Rhesa is a sci-fi and fantasy junkie with a passion for collecting. She’s a die-hard movie buff. Rhesa has a degree in English Language and a certificate in Publishing. She’s also an aspiring speculative fiction writer, hoping to add her contribution to the genre community.|
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