Journey of Shadows – The Palâdnith Chronicles #1- Sam J. Charlton
Have you ever dreamed of a different life – one of adventure, excitement and purpose?
Seth, Eni and Val have. Yet, dreaming is all they have done. Until, the day fate intervenes.
Three brothers. One legacy that binds them.
Their mother was a witch who disappeared when they were boys. The only reason they’re still alive is because of the protection charms they wear about their necks. Charms she gave them. Thirty years on they are no longer protected.
Seth finds himself on the run – from a caped attacker who will never stop hunting him.
Eni witnesses a stabbing and ends up accused of murder – a crime he will hang for.
Val’s master sends him on a perilous quest across the mountains – one he’s not supposed to return from.
The brothers embark on three separate journeys; ones that will tear away their old identities and force them to face the truth of who they really are. Journey of Shadows (Book One of the Palâdnith Chronicles) is a tale of epic adventure, discovery, fear and courage. It’s the story of three men, and the destiny that awaits them.
‘Journey of Shadows’ kicks off with a powerful beginning, setting the tone for the rest of the book and giving the read the first bits of background to understand the world Charlton created. Set in the past we follow an important event that will define the lives of our main characters and that of the whole world throughout the book.
Charlton succeeded in pulling me in from the very first paragraph. ‘Journey of Shadows’ is a classic epic, nothing extremely new or innovative, but it’s a solid story and the writing is clean and sharp, a joy to read. That’s why I read through the whole book quite easily and quick, while I usually need a little more time. When I finish a book quickly it’s normally because of one of these two reasons: the writing is so good I just kept reading without noticing the time passing or the story is too easy for me (which I get a lot with YA novels). Here it was definitely the first reason.
We follow three brothers, leading very different lives, who haven’t seen each other in years. I had the impression they had an OK childhood together, but ever since their mother disappeared their father didn’t really ‘care’ all the anymore. It’s mentioned a few times that they just wanted to get out. I think the author did a great job incorporating this into the story. Seth is a hired guard working for an arrogant Marshal at the edge of bankruptcy. He isn’t satisfied with the life, it shows in every move he makes, every thought he has. Eni is a weaponsmith, living for his job. He even chose his work over love. Val is the bookish one of the three. He works as a librarian and is happy to hide among his book, secluded and without many friends (if any at all). All three of their lives change suddenly and all by different reasons. Seth is the first one that encounters the evil that will be changing them ‘till the end of the book. He’s lucky enough to escape but now knows that he will have to keep running to stay alive. He also has the good sense to warn his brothers. Eni is falsely accused for murder and betrayed by the woman he once loved. Val is sent on a mission that pulls him right out of his comfort zone. He has to go on the road with people that don’t appreciate him and would rather be doing this without him. All three of the brothers will soon learn though that there is more to their story than they thought at first.
I loved the characterization in this book. Val, Seth and Eni are three very different people and I know creating three characters that are linked but totally different in multiple POV’s can be quite difficult. Charlton does a wonderful job giving each of the brothers their own personality and making them easy to recognize by the reader. Each time a new POV chapter started I was immediately immersed in the story of that particular brother, no confusion at all.
The three brothers also seem to live in very different parts of Charlton’s world when the story begins so we get to experience it through three pairs of eyes, all seeing different scenery. It was pretty great to get to know this new world in this particular way. It gave a lot of different dimensions to it.
The only minor remark I could make is that the book should have been longer in my opinion. The three main characters start a journey and go through lots of stuff on the way, but I would have liked to see them reaching their destination at the end of the book. Now they’re only halfway. I don’t really think I can call this a ‘negative’ remark, wanting the book to be longer! Luckily I’ve recently received the second book from the author for review (Yay! Thanks!) so I can now see how the rest of their journey will go and what will happen when they all reach their destination.
‘Journey of Shadows’ is a good book. Like I said in the beginning of this review: it’s classic Epic, nothing all that new, but an entertaining book that will certainly keep Epic fans satisfied. It’s a self-published book but don’t be put off by that. This is one of those really good once, that deserve a place in the spotlight.