Series or Stand Alone: The White Shadow Saga, book two
Publisher: Fanda Books
Author Site: http://www.apstephens.com/
My Rating: 4.5/5
Source: Received for review from author
SHAMELESS WONDERS continues the quest of Randor Miithra, wizard and servant to the elf-gods, as he leads his followers in search of the missing moon, Beldas. Across the troubled lands of Londor, the shadows of a relentless darkness have reached the broken borders of many kingdoms. Evil forces seek to manipulate and enslave the land and its people, with enemies both new and old vowing to yield to no one until victory is had.
As Randor and his company hasten into the south toward the dark realm of Valadure, the origin of the world’s downfall, they experience firsthand the treacheries of evil. Yet in their search to restore balance to the world of Londor, they must overcome more than the banners of darkness that stand before them. As internal discord and tragedy drive the company members apart, it seems they are farther than ever from returning Londor to the peace and prosperity it once knew. Prophesies are realized, deceit is revealed, and dreams are cast asunder. Not all is what it seems to be.
With the greatest of evil in their midst, can Randor Miithra and his companions overcome the power of the one who holds the key to healing Londor? One night can change the fortunes of all.
Shameless Wonders is the second book in The White Shadow Saga that continues the epic search and recovery of the stolen moon of Londor. Randor Miithra, a wizard servant to the elf-gods, and his companions continue their journey that becomes more dangerous as each day passes. The troupe are on their way to Valadure, headig South, where they are stopped to help a town plagued by two uknown evils. One is a key to the missing moon Beldas, while the other seems to be an unstoppable force. To make matters worse their seems to be dissention within the ranks and the internal struggles the team have may end up being their very dowmfall.
I was pleasantly surprised at how the characters and their development were treated this time around. I had a tough time warming up to some of the characters in the first book and I felt there were just some things that were lacking in the story. But of course, with every first book in a series or trilogy, the author is faced with the task of building a world and set of characters that is unknown to the reader. In Shameless Wonders however, the author was able to concentrate and dedicate more time to each character. And I’m happy to report that it paid off!
I noticed that each character’s personalities came out so easily through the pages. One can easily feel the exhaustion and frustration of the characters as they are tested numerous times throughout the book. The battles are long, difficult, and relentless in their occurrences. It was so easy to become battle weary right along with the characters. The precious few moments of rest and peace that they do get however are welcoming.
I’m sure you’ve noticed by now that I haven’t named any characters or gone into detail about them individually. There are a couple of reasons for that: (1) There’s a pretty big number of main characters in the story, (2) The author does some unexpected things with their storylines in Shameless Wonders, and (3) the review would be way too long if I gave each character their respective air time. Plus I feel it would totally spoil the fun of discovering who these people are! The missing moon is so important to the well being of Londor and its inhabitants and these characters are risking their lives for the people of Londor.
Shameless Wonders really surprised me. I was sucked into the story and I pouted when I came to the end. Why the pouty face? Well, of course I wanted the next book already! But the author also ends the book in a cliffhanger of sorts. Not as bad as it could have been but it definitely had me gritting my teeth in frustration and thinking “Damn you, Stephens!” Cliffhangers are both fun and entirely evil and I’m sure those tricky, tricky authors (and editors) know it.
Anywho, I think Fall 2011 is entirely too far away and I’m seriously contemplating bothering the author with “hurry up and finish” emails every now and then. But alas, I don’t want to annoy the poor guy =) Shameless Wonders is a really great addition to The White Shadow Saga. Its action-packed, emotional, engaging, and I promise you’ll want to continue on with the conclusive third book.