Legends of the Dragonrealm: Shade by Richard A Knaak
The 8th in the Dragonrealm series, Shade is an entertaining but thin entry to the genre, the first full length print novel for the series in over a decade.
Plenty of concessions are made for readers new to the series and you get a good sense of the series history. Admittedly, I began to feel like I was being given too much. Characters know "secret this and secret that..." which never quite comes into play in this story. The plot is often convoluted (though not necessarily complicated), and it can be difficult to keep track of various party’s goals and motivations and to tell different voices apart from one another.
I have one quite petty complaint and that is this; I love a good fantasy world map, they give a sense of the scale of the land and should be beautifully crafted hand drawn objects. They should not be done with computers and feature tacky wordart images.
The scale of that world is reduced by characters ability to jump from one location to another, and this reduces the reader's feeling that a journey has taken place (both physical and emotional). Sense of how much time the story takes up is unclear as well.
Dialogue is sometimes perfunctory and exposition heavy, though there are more interesting exchanges as the novel goes on - the two dwarves Edrin and Magron being stand outs. This may be because their characters have more engaging personalities. No one character is quite as interesting as they should be. They're either enigmas or archetypes, their motivations too indistinct or too clear cut.
Shade himself spends a good chunk of the novel stumbling from one location to the other, and despite various characters claims to the contrary, events feel like they happen more by accident than design. And again, the truth is, Shade is not as interesting a character as I thought he would be.
Ultimately, nothing much seems to have changed by the end of the novel. There is little sense of personal development in many of the characters. I know narrative theory teaches us that the restoration of equilibrium is the aim of a story, but in a novel in which change is your primary theme very little seems to be achieved. Thematically maybe that is Knaak's point but emotionally it's quite disappointing.
All this seems negative but the novel can be an entertaining read. Action unfolds on an immense scale (there is a lot of action), the dialogue when it shines shines brightly, there are some chilling and wonderful ideas and images and I'm sure there is much more to enjoy for regular readers of Knaak's novels or the Dragonrealm series.
This Legends of the Dragonrealm: Shade book review was written by Sean Mason
Have you read Legends of the Dragonrealm: Shade?
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.
Legends of the Dragonrealm: Shade reader reviews
6.7/10 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 Liveship Traders
Wizardwood, a sentient wood. The most precious commodity in the world. Like many other legendary wares, it comes only from the Rain River Wilds. But how can one trade with ...
The Tawny Man
Fifteen years have passed since the end of the Red Ship War with the terrifying Outislanders. Since then, Fitz has wandered the world accompanied only by his wolf and Wit-p...
Age of Misrule
The details that Mark Chadbourn puts into the Celtic mythology are fantastic. I’ve never really been that keen on Celtic mythology in books in the past, this is the f...
Harrowing the Dragon
Spanning a quarter of a century, an anthology of previously uncollected short fiction by the World Fantasy Award-winning author explores a world of magic in such works as &...
The Dragon's Tooth
For two years, Cyrus and Antigone Smith have run a sagging roadside motel with their older brother, Daniel. Nothing ever seems to happen. Then a strange old man with bone t...
The Rage of Dragons
Game of Thrones meets Gladiator in this debut epic fantasy about a world caught in an eternal war, and the young man who will become his people's...
Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell
Young pioneer, Micah, enters Wrymeweald full of hope to return home having made his fortune. But this is a land where wyrmes, fabulous dragon-like beasts, roam wild and rei...
Tales from the Perilous Realm
Enchanted by a sand-sorcerer, the toy dog Roverandom explores a world filled with strange and fabulous creatures; the fat and unheroic Farmer Giles of Ham is called upon to...
Kallon Redheart lives with his back turned on his fellow dragons, on humans, and on everything he once understood. Riza Diantus is a young woman with dreams too wide to fit...
Looking for more suggestions? Try these pages: