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Shadowbred by Paul S. Kemp

Posted by travizzt on October 30, 2009

Erevis Cale receives a dream from his friend, begging him to help. Cale, heeding the dream, sets off to find his friend.

Shadowbred by Paul S. Kemp- The first book of The Twilight War trilogy. This follows Erevis Cale, Drasek Riven, and Magadon a year after the events of The Erevis Cale trilogy. Book two is Shadowstorm and the last book is Shadowrealm.

Sembia is in turmoil and on the brink of a civil war. The whims of a dark goddess sets the stage and her followers stage murder and a cry for war. All because of the people of the Shade Enclave wants a place to call “home.” Only the Chosen of Mask can try stop a war and save an old friend.

1) The beginning. I just felt that it started really slow. When we were first introduced to Rivalen, things seemed to drag on for me. Then you have the parts were the focus is on Elyril, which I didn’t care for at all.
2) The first person scenes. The only thing that bothered me is that they were just confusing. I did like the idea, but I wasn’t sure who or what was the thing talking and I just think it could have been better executed. It just seemed that they happened randomly and things weren’t as well ‘explained’ as I thought they could have.

Question: Tamlin Uskevren stopped drinking at the end of Lord of Stormweather, not a big spoiler so don’t worry, then why is he drinking now? Granted, a year passed, but I swore that Tamlin was going to quit “the sauce.” So I’d have to say there is a small consistency problem, but nothing big.

Negative/ Positive:
There is something that I loathed but I realize that I’m meant to loath it, so hence this heading…

Elyril. I could not STAND this character. She was just, for lack of a better term, coke head. Yeah, you read that right. She and her actions just screamed, “Look at me! I’m a façade! But everyone is too stupid to see it! Snort, Snort!” Then all the things she sees are obviously derived from the drug use. She was just begging to be a negative of the story. But then again, I think that was the point. The way she acts makes her hated. I do hate her. So because it meant to be that way, I have to give it a positive, but at the same time, I loathed the character so much that it cancels out.

1) The first chapter. I liked the beginning a lot, it sets up Erevis Cale perfectly.
2) Plot. Everything that happened it the story was not typical for a Forgotten Realms story, and it worked beautifully. The political intrigue, which is pretty rare in a series like this, was wonderfully done. I don’t have any problems with what was going on and how it happened, it just seemed to all fit and fit well.
3) Characters. The main characters are wonderful. Erevis Cale is always a joy to read about, and he grows a lot from when we last saw him. Riven, too, has changed, but it seems for the better. They are still some of my favorite Forgotten Realms’ characters. Magadon expanded role was wonderfully done I thought. You get to see into what really scares Mags and what troubles he is having. Rivalen is an interesting character. At first he came off as all-knowing and just plain annoying, but his actions continually changed my perspective on him.

Overall: 4.5/5
*Start of a great story, the only problem is with the slow beginning and having the first person parts lacking something.*

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