Top positive review
A Fantasy Novella Anyone Can Enjoy
Reviewed in the United States on June 11, 2021
I usually do not like fantasy books. For example, I love Game of Thrones, but (don’t hate me) I could only get through two and a half of the books. New central characters entering every other page just overwhelms me. I’d have to go back and re-read previous chapters just to try to remember which character said what.
That being said, In Solitude’s Shadow doesn't have that problem. It doesn’t lack for characters, but you aren’t thrown so many that you need to keep a journal just to read the book. The map in the front of the book is beautifully done, and not so extensive that you get lost. And I do quite like the names of the various cities.
I’ll try not to give any spoilers. The novella’s prologue lays the groundwork for the wars of Haltveldt, showcasing the racism against the Elves and the First People, who will soon be known as The Banished, by the Sparkers and humans.
It’s truly amazing how one short book can cover so many pertinent themes. In Solitude’s Shadow touches on drug addiction, racism, the importance of family (whether blood or built), and my favorite…how there’s always another way [other than pure violence].
Mr. Green’s scenes flow seamlessly, with the character development and relationships being built without the reader even really recognizing it at the time. There’s Calene, who’s headstrong, brave, and powerful. She travels with her friend and mentor, Vettigan. She’s estranged from her mother, Zanna, because of an event that happened ten years prior. She sees it as a black and white scenario, can she ever overcome that and see things from Zanna’s perspective?
And Zanna, who David has said was his hardest character to write, is probably my absolute favorite. I love Calene, and Tilo (you’ll have to read for him), but being a mother, I fully empathize with Zanna. She did what she thought was the best thing to protect her daughter, going full mama bear, and I can completely understand her. And her relationship with her apprentice, Arlo, just endears her even more.
The one thing I would love to see more of, and am hopeful we will in the next book of the series, is more of a story with Nexes—the Master of War—and The Cradle. If I had one complaint about the novella, it would be that. I want more of The Cradle. But, as I said, I’m hopeful that will come into play further along in the series.
Overall, it’s an incredibly written novella that can be enjoyed by anyone (probably 14+ due to violence).