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Paperback Book Details
  • 05/2014
  • 9781495473838 149547383X
  • 336 pages
  • $$13.95 - Paperback/$2.99 - Kindle
A Chance Beginning (Shadow's Fire )
Three young men, two brothers and a cousin, all want to leave their lives as farmers for various reasons, whether it is to get rich, see adventure, or ultimately save their family's farm. Erik and Befel - brothers - and Bryon - their cousin - leave their families thinking that the world outside their daily farm lives is going to be much easier, only to be disappointed. They end up working in pigsties, lumber yards, and sleeping in alleys before they wind up as porters for a group of mercenaries who are working for a ruler of a country called Golgolithul, a man commonly referred to as The Lord of the East. It is then they learn really how hard life outside their agrarian background is as they literally must fight for their lives and ally themselves with men whose motives and moralities are questionable at best.
Reviews - Ashley Ludwig

Fantasy lovers, enter the world of A Chance Beginning.... Shadow's Fire deftly weaves a universe worth the price of admission. A true hero's journey, this tale of friendship, faith, and trials will leave you waiting for the sequel.
If you loved LORD OF THE RINGS, this book sparks a similar flavor. Read it and see for yourself. - Midnight Fox

A very well-written story, with richly detailed characters. In large part because of the depth that is developed with both main and secondary characters, it is not a fast-paced book. In this case I ultimately found that to be a good thing. It made it a little bit hard to stay with the book at the very beginning, but as I became more familiar with the setting and the characters I found myself becoming immersed in the story to the point where I couldn't put the book down. I also appreciated how believable the characters were in how they acted, and how the fantasy elements did not overpower the plot. I look forward to the next installment in the trilogy. - Ray Nicholson

"Shadow's Fire: A Chance Beginning" is the first book in the 'Shadow's Fire Trilogy' by author Christopher Patterson. This Kindle e-book was approximately 340 printed pages and sold for $2.99 at time of writing this review.

Please Note: I was provided with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

General Theme (minor spoilers)

Three young men, two brothers (Erik and Befel) and a cousin (Byron), are tired of the dull, repetitive and hard existence associated with work on their father's farm. Being young and naive they decide to sneak away to try their luck at one of the far away, larger towns/cities. But life in the city is no better than the farm, as far as making their fame and fortune, so they sign on a gypsy caravan to take them to a different locale... thus begins their strange tale, detailing some of the people and events that will change their lives forever.

some thoughts on "Shadow's Fire"...

The Pros:
1.) well written and edited. The prose was a pleasure to read and comprehend and I don't think I found any spelling or grammatical errors.

2.) characters... the author spent a lot of time and energy in developing our three heroes. All have different personalities and traits with whom the reader can either empathize with or, on occasion, find to be extremely frustrating.

3.) maps... several very basic maps found at the beginning of the book... spread out in a fashion so that where one map ends, the next begins.
A great addition to this tale due to the extensive travel, helping the reader with distance, direction and topography.

4.) encounters and battles... several, all of which were intense and graphically described. I thought these areas featured some of the best descriptive passages in the book.

5.) a satisfactory ending that left a few loose ends that will make for interesting developments in the second book.

6.) although the story features three young protagonist, I'd classify this book in the Adult fantasy genre.

The Cons:
1.a) a somewhat slow and dragged-out beginning (imho). If it wasn't for the exceptional quality of the writing I may have given up on this book early on. (glad I didn't as this turned out to be a fascinating tale).
1.b) while I realize this plot was character driven, I still found there were several areas in the book that seemed overly drawn out. e.g. the drinking scene with Erik and Rory, where the main idea was for Erik to discover some info about 'the messenger'.
A personal, subjective opinion on my part... others will likely disagree.

An outstanding book that's separated from most other books in its genre by Patterson's skill in story-telling and the quality of his prose.
My only minor complaint, as mentioned above, was the few slow and maybe dragged out areas.

As it is... 5 Stars.

Ray Nicholson
@ralannicholson - Tom Patterson

I was surprised how quickly I got into the characters. You care about the characters because they are so richly described. There is plenty of action, mystery to keep you guessing, and characters you can't wait to follow into Book 2. This is a well written book you will enjoy, I certainly did. - Vanessa Lindskog

I really enjoyed the Character driven aspects of this story. The various characters that are encountered felt like real human beings with various pasts and motives and beliefs. I also liked the lack of nudity and sex. I gave this 5 stars because the majority of Fantasy gets a bad rap for poor characters and cheesy plot lines. This story felt real, and had various intersecting characters and their motivations for doing what they were doing. I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Fantasy or enjoys Character driven books.

Paperback Book Details
  • 05/2014
  • 9781495473838 149547383X
  • 336 pages
  • $$13.95 - Paperback/$2.99 - Kindle