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Kindle Edition Digital Ebook Purchas Details
  • 10/2022
  • 9781955997027 B0B9Y3YJLW
  • 493 pages
  • $6.99
Paperback Details
  • 10/2022
  • 9781955997034 1955997039
  • 481 pages
  • $19.99
Hardcover Details
  • 10/2022
  • 9781955997041 1955997047
  • 481 pages
  • $34.99
Wayne Kramer
Author
Heroes of Time Legends: Murdoch's Shadow
Following their quest for the mythical Grimstone, Zale, his daughter Starlina, and the entire crew find their home town of Warvonia in a dire state. Once a major sea hub, the harbor is in ruin, covered in life-threatening darkfrost. High Count Vidimir Tefu, Zale's former client, will stop at nothing to restore the full might of Void, what he views as the kingdom's salvation. Ancient forces and sorcery from the Shadow Age itself are rallied against Zale, his crew, and his home. Meanwhile, as Starlina Murdoch witnesses both her father and her fiance, Jensen fall to the Shadow's devices, she must find strength within herself she never knew existed to take up her father's quest for the Eye of Shi'kha, all the while wondering if she will ever see Jensen or her father again.
Reviews
With full-bellied sail, Kramer’s second book about Captain Zale “the Gale” Murdoch and the crew of the good ship Queenie charts its course for first-rate epic fantasy adventure. The emphasis this time is on the epic, as this sequel—the second in a series—offers more, more, more, doubling the original’s length and bursting with quests, escapes, ancient cities, cock-eyed crew banter, and era-crossing surprises, all without diminishing the original’s breezy charm. The action picks up right where Murdoch’s Choice ended, with Zale having chosen his own unexpected course when faced with an evergreen dilemma for fantasy heroes: what to do with the impossibly powerful artifact many interested parties would kill for? His choice—chuck it into the sea—leads to devastating fallout, as a mysterious “darkfrost” now corrupts Warvonia and its harbor, with many blaming Zale, including much of his own crew.

You don’t have to be a diehard fantasy hound to guess at the solutions to Zale’s troubles: a quest, of course—partially to undo his own act. Again setting Kramer’s appealing series apart is an infectious love of genre expectations and the skill with which he dances around them, at times gently tweaking them. “One does not simply dispose of the Grimstone,” a character says, of the MacGuffin. But Kramer’s spirited sense of fun never undercuts the stakes or the characters, as Zale’s story is always earnest and exciting, even the familiar elements, like the villains’ zeal to bring back an age of shadow.

Kramer imbues that shadow’s rise with evocative, even sumptuous detail, mining fresh possibility from light versus darkness. Zale and his crew—including strong new additions, like the grimkin warrior Enshuzu—again carry the story with buoyant spirit, the occasional chanty, and a welcome vibe of regular folks just doing what needs done, even as elements of destiny and lineages become increasingly prominent. Zale’s daughter Starlina displays exciting new growth, and the monsters, villains, and weird magic thrill.

Takeaway: Buoyant epic fantasy that enlivens the familiar and dares to surprise.

Comparable Titles: Michael J. Sullivan, Sam Sykes.

Production grades
Cover: A
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A

Formats
Kindle Edition Digital Ebook Purchas Details
  • 10/2022
  • 9781955997027 B0B9Y3YJLW
  • 493 pages
  • $6.99
Paperback Details
  • 10/2022
  • 9781955997034 1955997039
  • 481 pages
  • $19.99
Hardcover Details
  • 10/2022
  • 9781955997041 1955997047
  • 481 pages
  • $34.99
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