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Book Review

Book Cover

Shadow Blizzard


Author: Alexey Pehov
Simon & Schuster
RRP: £14.99
ISBN: 978 1 84737 565 0
Available 12 April 2012

Having survived the greater part of his journey to steal the Rainbow Horn, master thief Shadow Harold and his party are on the last leg of their quest. However, dangers still exist and not all of his companions will see the end of the road...

Shadow Blizzard is the third book in the Chronicles of Siala by Russian young adult author Alexey Pehov. Russia has a strong storytelling tradition, especially in folk tales and fantasy, so it is little wonder that this book would be created to appeal to a younger audience.

I run into a difficulty when discussing the type of language used in the book, after all, as a non-Russian speaker, I have no idea how this book read in the original. I have no idea who translated the book, the only reference appears to be Pehov’s copyright.

Regardless who did the job, the book is written in a juvenile way. I don’t mean that it is badly written; rather the language choices are more likely to appeal to a younger audience. This seems a reasonable stylistic choice as the book is narrated, in the first person, by the young Martin, so the language is more rightly the way he would speak.

It is very difficult to do much in this genre which feels completely novel, especially if you’re going to liberally borrow from Tolkien and other genre luminaries, there are many instances where you recognise where characters and concepts are taken from. That said, Pehov is not above mixing the genre borrowings, including both Orcs and Vampires, now there’s a combination you don’t often see.

He throws into the mix his own concepts and writing ability to create a fantasy trilogy which is ideal for a younger audience, for whom reading The Lord of the Rings may seem like a daunting task.


Charles Packer

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