Erik has killed men.
Death haunts his dreams.
Fate has chosen its path for Erik Eleodum...or has it? The pain of killing seems to overwhelm him as he grows more and more distant from his brother and cousin, turning into the very person he once loathed... a mercenary, a killer.
As Erik encounters dwarves, murderers, slavers, and the undead, his biggest challenge is to face his fears, the darkness that has been hidden deep inside of him. But it's on the rise.
This is a journey that will shatter worlds, stain hands with blood, test faith, question loyalties, make strong men weak and weak men brave.
The world is changing and a great evil is rising, all carried by dark winds...
I love book series, especially when I can read several in a similar time period. Having read Book One – Chance Beginning – last month, I snuck Book 2 into my reading schedule because when you work for yourself, you can do these things!
The book picks up almost immediately after where the author left us. However, there is a slight change in that the main character Erik, is maturing. He has now been on his own, with his brother and cousin for a while and is reaching that age where guy’s bodies start to mature. At the same time, his conscience is haunting him in the form of nightmares that interrupt any chance of peaceful sleep. The journey, quest, underground cities (OK I think I want one of those giant lizards!) great characters and even a treasure map are all there to engage the reader and keep the story moving along. I was constantly waiting for what was around the next corner or tunnel.
If you are looking for a fantasy world that you can relate to and immerse yourself in – this is it. The author is a high school teacher, coach and dad and I believe this special insight gives the reader a comprehensive view of Erik’s mind. Plus he hit his stride with this book. The first one was very good – this one is better!
As a side note, is it weird that I have a fictional crush on Turk, the dwarf?
In book two of the Shadow’s Fire Trilogy, we find the two brothers and cousin continuing their adventures, having left their family farms to find riches in the east. Just as the first in the series was a terrific read, so is this sequel. Patterson continues with his scary dark world of trolls, dwarves, magic, haunting sounds, with all of these elements contributing to the boys journey. In this story, the three are traveling with some Dwarves who are searching for a lost city. Danger confronts them on a daily basis, leaving Eric, the most sensitive of the three, struggling with their situation. Eric tries to make sense of the killing, the hatred of others and the manipulation of one species over another. In addition Eric is at odds with his family members and others he is traveling with. He tries to reconcile the manner in which he lives with his beliefs and comes up short.
One of the things I am amazed with in these stories is that diversity is dealt with in a serious way. The prejudices that appear between humans and Dwarfs or Trolls, between warriors and farmers, between Dwarfs and humans and on and on; somehow through it all Eric manages to see through the labels and judge the character inside. I find it fascinating to ponder; the struggle of whether or not a creature is worthy of life or death.
There are two stories here; the adventure of finding the lost city and Eric’s struggles. Eric was a simple man with simple dreams, marry and farm, but he got talked into a journey he never wanted, with a lifestyle he never dreamed of in his worst nightmares. He has killed and watched people kill; how can he reconcile this in his heart? This struggle takes the reader to a different level than most fantasy novels.
Patterson does a remarkable job!