The Rating System:
1 – There are better ways to spend your time. Examples: Damphir
2 – Ho hum novels, typical of its genre. Examples: most Dragonlance and Forgotten Realms novels.
3 – A cut above the rest, these are usually standard fare stories with either an interesting twist, gorgeous visualizations, or simply make a very interesting read. Examples: Anita Blake series, Dragonlance Chronicles.
4 – Highly recommended books! An interesting read, and pioneers the genre it’s in. Examples: Kushiel’s Dart, Perdido Street Station, Good Omens.
5 – A classic. Must get at all cost. Examples: A Game of Thrones, The Fantasy Writer’s Assistant, Dune.
The Shadow Road by Sean Russell
Concluding Russell’s Swan’s War trilogy, The Shadow Road leaves little room for exposition and delves into the action. Which is just as well, considering the previous two books were increasing the stakes, especially the revelation of another enemy at the end of the second novel. Whereas Russell utilized flowery words and apt metaphors in the previous books to describe certain scenes, that’s not evident here, probably due to the fact that the characters have no time to admire the scenery as they are wrapped in conflict. This is a can’t put down book for those who’ve followed the books, and is full of excitement. The ending is also noteworthy, as Russell shies away from the happily-ever-after syndrome, but leaving readers content, and room for further exploration.