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Book Review

Book Cover

Lady of Shadows


Author: Breanna Teintze
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
322 pages
RRP: £16.99
ISBN: 978 1 78747 646 2
Publication Date: 16 April 2020

Some time ago, I remember reading and reviewing Breanna Teintze’s first novel Lord of Secrets which I thought was ok, but nothing special. It seems to have sold well enough for Teintze to continue to a second volume.

Second volumes can be problematic. Often the author has poured years of thinking and all their best ideas into the first book, only to have to come up with something interesting again.

Lady of Shadows (322 pages) continues the adventures of the outlaw wizard, Corcoran Gray and his love Brix.

To begin with, I think that this novel is far superior to her first. The basic outline of the plot is that Gray and Brix are finally captured by the guild who think that he is responsible for the murders in the first story. Gray expects to be up on trial and killed, until Examiner Dace offers him a different option. There is a plague spreading throughout the land, one which infects and kills magic users. Gray, who would normally refuse to help has a change of heart when Brix gets infected.

The infection seems to stem from amulets worn by the dead, the same type of amulet which Gray wears. But whist his is ancient and well-crafted these new ones are made of baser materials, their workmanship less elegant. It isn’t long before Gray determines that they seem to emanate from the city of Genereth. So, the trio travel up river to danger and the uncovering of buried secrets.

The story has many elements. Of course, there is the overall fantasy, but contained within is also a very touching love story and an intriguing detective story, all perfectly entwined. There is also a shed load of action.

The love between Bix and Gray is palpable. He is a tortured soul, trapped in the skin of the necromancer he helped stop, she, the slave girl he help free. Teintze captures perfectly the symbiotic relationship which holds them together, which allows them to act as one, always covering each other’s back, even when things are at there darkest.

Dace is also an interesting character, who does not always act in the way a Guild Examiner should. There is a reason for this as all three characters are holding secrets, which are important, not only to the plot, but also to the basis of their ever closer relationships.

Did I care that the big bad was a bit of a rerun of the first book? No, and the reason for this is that the heart of the book is really about the growing relationship between the three main characters. I thought that the characterisations and character progress was handled very well and grew organically out of the story. The style is fast paced and it’s the kind of book that you just want to keep reading, just turning another page and then another.

Overall, a massive improvement on the first novel, I’ll even ignore the fact that the world building is still a little lacking.


Charles Packer

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