29 Oct 2021

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: OF SHADOW AND SEA by Will Wight


Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!


Author: Will Wight
Series: The Elder Empire: Shadow #1
Source: Audio from Audible Plus
Publisher: Hidden Gnome Publishing
Publication Date: December 30, 2014

The Consultant's Guild has served the Aurelian Empire for over a thousand years, working in the darkness to hunt dissension and eliminate traitors.

Now the Emperor is dead.For Shera, an assassin in the employ of the Consultants, the Emperor's death is the beginning of a nightmare. Powerful forces hunt the Heart of Nakothi, a cursed artifact that can raise a second Emperor...and corrupt him in the process.

But some desire power at any cost.

The Guild of Navigators, an infamous collection of swindlers and pirates, has been paid a fortune to secure the Heart. Their only lord is greed, their only loyalty to gold, and they would sell the Empire's freedom for the promise of a quick coin.

In the shadows, a woman works to set the world free.

On the seas, a man seeks to raise a lunatic to lord over mankind.

Will you walk the shadows here with Shera? Or will you explore the seas with Calder, in the parallel novel "Of Sea and Shadow"?
I'll be honest, there is another "version" of this story - a companion novel called OF SEA AND SHADOW that tells the story of the first book through a different perspective. I'm still trying to figure out if I should read that one or just continue on with the story. But mainly I am left wondering if I should even continue at all.

Sure, I got these for free through my Audible account, but is it worth it? I almost DNFed a few times because I was straight up bored. After the death of the emperor the guilds of the empire spilt into two factions: those that want a new emperor and those that want the empire to crumble. This book focuses on the latter faction through the eyes of Shera, an assassin in the secretive Consultants guild.

In this book we get to know more about the emperor, which is quite interesting. Mostly we follow the detached life of Shera as she and Calder Martin fight for control of the eternal life giving Heart of Nakothi.

I liked Shera and thought the book was okay but I think I stuck around mostly because Emily Woo Zeller was the narrator. Which is honestly the reason I picked this up to begin with. I couldn't tell you much about the plot, the characters, or the way that I think this story will move forward because I zoned out a lot while listening to it.

The introduction was great because the setup for Shera was intriguing and caught my attention right from the get go. I liked learning about the way these factions worked together and against each other. Unfortunately, the story progression suffered from badly placed time jumps. The last half should have been more exciting than the intro but the jagged story progression killed the flow, and I stopped caring about what was happening.

I think I'll try the companion novel to this story and see if it is any better then go from there. But I'm not sure I can recommend this one!

Have you read this one? What was your favourite part?


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