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Shadowstorm by Paul S. Kemp

Posted by travizzt on October 30, 2009

Civil war breaks out in the country of Sembia, while Erevis Cale deals with an arch-devil for the soul of a friend.


Shadowstorm by Paul S. Kemp- The second book in The Twilight War trilogy. This part picks up after the events in the first book, Shadowbred, and what happens to Erevis Cale, Drasek Riven, and Magadon. The last book in the trilogy is Shadowrealm.

As I mentioned before, Shadowstorm picks things up directly after what happened in Shadowbred. Cale, Riven, and Magadon face an archdevil, a shadow dragon, a god, and personal demons. While the trio goes about their business, a civil war breaks out in Sembia. From this civil war, shadows snuff out the light.

Negatives:
1) The slew of names. The first book had this, but I just didn’t find it that annoying. Kemp gives names to at least a hundred people, all the while focusing on maybe twenty of them. The other eighty are really only named once or twice and forgotten, and in some cases reappear in later chapters, which left me scratching my head. It doesn’t help either that some of the names are so similar to one another that you forget who is who. Maybe it’s just me who felt that way, but I just didn’t see the point of naming someone like a standard-bearer who dies right after he’s named.
2) Tamlin’s inconsistency. I did have a small problem with him in Shadowbred, but it seemed to be okay before, with a year and all passing. But in Shadowstorm, this portrayal of Tamlin is just not consistent with Lord of Stormweather, the last book in Sembia: Gateway to the Realms series. In that book, Tamlin basically changes into a deeper, braver, and just totally changed. In Shadowstorm, Tamlin is weak-willed and just a whiner. Honestly, I was really disappointed in how Tamlin’s change in Lord of Stormweather was so overlooked.
3) The pacing. I know that some people liked the flow and how everything moved, but there were some scenes in which I could barely get through. It’s still a fast paced, action packed story line, but there were times in which somethings felt forced.

Positives:
1) The dark tone. This story really had some dark scenes in it in which I was either; a) grossed out, or b) had to take a “double-take.” It worked well, because this is the kind of story that needed to be dark and violent. There are a few things I’ll mention here that show this, and I won’t give up any big details. First is Magadon and his father’s claws. It was just chilling and gruesome. The second is “Bowny,” which just tore my heart out and made me LOATHE a certain character. These scenes were just disturbing, yet oh so good. It’s definitely more of an R-rating.
2) The main characters. I would say that Cale, Riven, Magadon, Rivalen, and Abelar are some of the best done characters in the Forgotten Realms for a while. You see Cale and Riven become more dimensional. You see Magadon’s inner horrors and demons and how his friends try to help him cope. Rivalen becomes more complex and interesting. Then you have Abelar’s journey from the light into the darkest of revenge. All these characters really became more complex and had different dimensions added to them.
3) The last two chapters. I can’t and will not give anything away from these chapters. However, I can just say that I’m happy two people got what was coming to them and the turn of a certain character was just done wonderfully. I can just see these happening in a movie, and before anyone says something, it’s just one of those cinematic moments that you wish you could see.

Overall: 4.75/5
*With the problems I’d had with some things in the book, I was going to give it a solid 4, that is up until the last two chapters, which were just beautiful.*

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