Shadow of the Exile by Mitchell Hogan
I received a bound proof manuscript copy of Shadow of the Exile in exchange for an honest review. I would like to thank Mitchell Hogan and 47North for the opportunity.
Tarrik Nal-Valim is a demon of the 37th order. Extremely powerful and currently resides in Shimrax where demons of unsavoury character, criminals and exiles live. Tarrik is one of the later. He was extradited by the demon lords for marrying a human. We start the narrative when the veil between worlds is ripped about and hooks carry Tarrik through to the human world. He is being summoned by a very powerful sorcerer where he is bound to do her bidding. Her motives and desires are mysterious however she is being sought after by some influential and high ranking individuals and other demons too. So begins our tale following a very unlikely duo.
This is the first of Hogan's works that have only followed one point of view perspective so it was exciting to see how it read and to see how it compares to his previous works. Tarrick and the sorcerer Serenity (Ren) are the two main characters. Tarrick is a breath of fresh air. I love books from the view of a demon or a troll or an orc - the characters that are normally billed as villains and having empathy and sharing their emotions in a human manner was great. A recent tale that did this well was Jonathan French's The Grey Bastards. Tarrick's character also has aspects I've seen recently in LitRPG books such as having a secret and incredibly powerful sword, having special moves like 'shadow-stepping' which is straight out of a Dishonoured game and demons such as him can level up if they kill a higher level demon. Ren is a very powerful sorceress who is part of an elite of nine who are trying to bring a (slightly cliche) dark lord Samal Rak-Shazza to the human world to reign endless chaos and destruction. Rumour has it that the 9 shaman's that he controls have all gone mad due to his influence and messages to them during the hours of sleep. And yes, Ren is one of them.
By far the best part of this book is the two characters interactions. We only hear the demon's thoughts so Ren remains a mystery throughout a lot of the story. His internal monologues of how he will kill her as soon as she missteps and loosens his binds but also that he has to abide her every whim. It creates an ultimately impressive drama. Will they end up liking each other? Is her cause a worthy one? Will it even benefit Tarrick to help her of his own accord as opposed to seeing her as an enemy puppet master?
There are a lot of amazing action sequences and showdowns of an epic proportion. One that stood out to me was when our demon hero had a dual against one of the empire's greatest swordsmen but there are many excellent moments peppered throughout. Tarrick is in disguise so nobody sees him as a demon, they just believe he is a dark-skinned banished warrior from the ways far to the south. After the beginning, the story is generally split into about 4 or 5 parts. Simply, go to this town, complete an objective, get on a magic flying platform and go to the next town and repeat. This didn't bother me as what happened in each city they went to was exciting and interesting enough to warrant the almost cheating method of transport but, at the same time it cuts out the boring unnecessary travel conversations that fill up many similar books. Hogan has streamlined this to approximately 450 pages and I raced through it because there was no stuttering, slumbering middle sections. That isn't to say that the history and backstories are not deep because they are. As a demon, Tarrick has lived a long time so we find out about his past with the demon's, where he is on the hierarchy, his knowledge of the truly dangerous demons, his past relationships with humans whether his previous sorcerer or once lover. Due to Tarrick's age, he is very wise and his analysis of body language, humans, and demons give readers an excellent picture of the created world and it all seems very intuitive but also fluid, like it is his second nature.
This is the 1st book in a trilogy entitled The Infernal Guardian but whether it will be Ren he is guarding next book I can't say and I wouldn't want to spoil what is an excellent finale. Hogan has been a favourite of my blogging friend Petros at Booknest for years so I'd like to thank him for introducing me to Mitchell and to say that I can understand why he is such a big fan!
A stunning, thought-provoking new fantasy series following a likeable demon, a mysterious sorceress which is full of impressive intricate details, complex motives, unique and brilliant set pieces, a nice RPG inspired magic scheme and many many more qualities you'll have to discover for yourselves. Recommend!
This Shadow of the Exile book review was written by James Tivendale
All reviews for: The Infernal Guardian
Shadow of the Exile
The Infernal Guardian #1
Outcast and exiled, the demon Tarrik Nal-Valim has long been forgotten by the world of humans. At least, so he thinks.But when he is summoned as a last resort b...
Dawn of the Exile
The Infernal Guardian #2
For the damned, redemption may be just a mad dream…Years have passed since the demon Tarrik and his master, the sorcerer Ren, destroyed the servants of S...
Have you read Shadow of the Exile?
We've found that while readers like to know what we think of a book they find additional reader reviews a massive help in deciding if it is the right book for them. So if you have a spare moment, please tell us your thoughts by writing a reader's review. Thank you.
Shadow of the Exile reader reviews
8.5/10 from 1 reviews
There are currently no reader reviews for this book. Why not be the first?
Write a reader review
Thank you for taking the time to write a review on this book, it really makes a difference and helps readers to find their perfect book.
More recommended reading in this genre
The Kingkiller Chronicle
"I have stolen princesses back from sleeping barrow kings. I burned down the town of Trebon. I have spent the night with Felurian and left with both my sanity and my l...
The Powder Mage Trilogy
The alchemy of gunpowder fused with the magic of sorcery. In a time of upheaval, resurgence and corrupted Royalty Privileged, one-man’s love for his lost wife and his...
Seven Blades in Black
Among humans, none have power like mages. And among mages, none have will like Sal the Cacophony. Once revered, now vagrant, she walks a wasteland scarred by generations of...
The Limits of Enchantment
England, 1966: Everything Fern Cullen knows she's learned from Mammy - and none of it's conventional. Taught midwifery at an early age, Fern becomes Mammy's tru...
The Magicians series
In a secret world of forbidden knowledge, power comes at a terrible price... Quentin Coldwater's life is changed forever by an apparently chance encounter: when he turn...
In the first age of Andeira, men and dragons brought together the two halves of the elemental magic of the world to create a union through which their magic, and the world,...
The House of Shattered Wings
Aliette de Bodard
Paris in the aftermath of the Great Magicians War. Its streets are lined with haunted ruins, Notre-Dame is a burnt-out shell, and the Seine runs black, thick with ashes and...
Smoke and Stone
Michael R Fletcher
After a cataclysmic war of the gods, the last of humanity huddles in Bastion, a colossal ringed city. Beyond the outermost wall lies endless desert haunted by the souls of ...
Steel Crow Saga
A soldier with a curseTala lost her family to the empress's army and has spent her life avenging them in battle. But the empress's crimes don't haunt her ...
Great fantasy books published in 2018
"A bold and subversive retelling of the goddess's story," this #1 New York Times bestseller is "both epic and intimate in its scop...
Age of War
Michael J Sullivan
The alliance of humans and renegade Fhrey is fragile - and about to be tested as never before. Persephone keeps the human clans from turning on one another through her iron...
Legion: Lies of the Beholder
Stephen Leeds, also known as 'Legion', has a unique mental condition. He can become an expert on any subject in hours... and with every new area of expertise a new ...
A Veil of Spears
The Night of Endless Swords nearly saw the destruction of Sharakhai, and since then the Kings have come down hard on the rebelloious Moonless Host. Hundreds have been murde...
The Ember Blade
A land under occupation. A legendary sword. A young man’s journey to find his destiny.Aren has lived by the rules all his life. He’s never questione...
Fire and Blood
George RR Martin
From the masterly imagination behind A Game of Thrones - one of the greatest fantasy epics of all time and an unmissable HBO hit series - comes a definitive history of West...
In Mystic Class Nona Grey begins to learn the secrets of the universe. But so often even the deepest truths just make our choices harder. Before she leaves the Convent of S...
Iron and Magic
Hugh d’Ambray, Preceptor of the Iron Dogs, Warlord of the Builder of Towers, served only one man. Now his immortal, nearly omnipotent master has cast him aside. Hugh ...
The Fall of Gondolin
In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world. There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast militar...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: