Book Review – Shadeward: Exoneration

In October 2016, I wrote a review of the first book in the Shadeward series called Shadeward: Emanation. I have now finished the second book and decided to review that as well.

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Exoneration is the second book in the four-part Shadeward Saga by Drew Wagar. It mainly follows three main characters – Meru, a Timekeeper from Amur; Kiri, an “only” – an orphan – girl from the slums now one of the Priestesses of Drayden and Zoella, a young girl orphaned and left and abused at a farm before running away and being saved by Prince Ioric.

At the end of the first book, Meru sets off in a flying metal machine to warn the people of Scallia about a catastrophe that is about to befall the planet. His friends, Mel and Coran take a floating metal machine that runs on ‘tricity to another area to warn people.

Of course, not everything goes the way it is supposed to, and a few more people are thrown into the mix for good or ill. Sometimes it is hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. It reminds me of a quote from a film – “I have seen good men do bad things, and I have seen bad men do good things”.

There is plenty of action and intrigue in the book with many twists. You find yourself hoping for some characters to survive only to start hoping they die later. And the other way round – you hope some people and then find yourself glad they didn’t. Wagar builds characters well and makes them believable with their views and scheming.

The creatures, measurements and times in the books are unique with no description needed as to what they mean, although there is a glossary in the back if you want confirmation. Creatures like flits, which, from the brief description, you know are butterfly-like creatures and marsips which in my eyes, are rabbits or something similar.

The only problem I have found with the book is the length of time I have to wait until book three comes out. At the moment, that is looking like 2018. So you have plenty of time to grab the first two books and read them.

Exoneration is a must for any library of fantasy lovers.

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Shadeward: Exoneration ………………… UK Paperback

Shadeward: Exoneration ………………… UK Kindle

Shadeward: Exoneration ………………… US Paperback

Shadeward: Exoneration ………………… US Kindle

Book Review – Shadeward: Emanation

I read – and reviewed – Elite: Reclamation recently by Drew Wagar. After reading that, I thought I would try another of his books. The one I picked up was the first in a quadrilogy, all with the prefix Shadeward. When I read the title, I read it was as ShadeWARD – as in the ward of a hospital. Reading it though, it is more of a directional word as in Eastward.

The book is set on a planet of endless day that is devoid of technology, and history is rumours. Calling creatures by other names, and just giving slight information on them so they are accepted as the norm and not out of place. With just a sentence or two, you can see what a flit is, you understand the carn and the herg. You can understand the time and measurement systems from the outset, and how they are implemented.

The book is set around three main characters, two females and a male. Kiri is an “only”, an orphan on the streets who has to fend for herself and looks after her friend Tia. They are treated like dirt by the nobility. Her life changes after an encounter with priestesses, and she realises there is something about her that makes her different. We watch as she grows from urchin into something more.

Meru is an apprentice timekeeper assigned to a fisher boat, but when a freak storm hits, he is the only survivor and is rescued by the crew of the Mobillis. A ship the likes of which he has never seen, with a crew on a journey of discovery. What he does discover, rocks his world to its foundations and everything he knows and accepts is no longer what he accepted or knew. I see some chemistry between him and another member of the crew.

Zoella is the youngest of the three protagonists and lives in a home where her “guardian” sent her to stay. She is mistreated by the other children and the overseer of the home. Like the other two, hr life is changed and she has to use everything she has learned to survive where it seems so many others want her dead for reasons she can’t comprehend.

The book slowly builds pace, with twists and turns that leave you breathless at times, and action scenes are well described. You can almost smell and see the backgrounds as they are explained, and all characters are believable, including the fleeting ones. Each of the main characters hold a secret, with a line here or there hinting at what it might be.

The book ends in a way to leave you wanting more, and I am so glad I have already brought the follow-up as it means I don’t have to wait long to carry on the story. If you have never read any of the books by Drew Wagar, this is as good a place as any to start. At times I am reminded of the Malazan books by Steven Erikson,

Meet Zoella, Kiri and Meru. Find out their secrets and read as they find things so unbelievable to them, that they question what they see at times.

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Shadeward: Emanation ……………….. Amazon UK

Shadeward: Emanation ……………….. Amazon US

First Chapter ~ First Paragraph (September 20th 2016)

I have just seen on Cleopatra Loves Books that she joins in to a weekly book information group. It is the First Chapter ~ First Paragraph of a book that you read or are reading.This is hosted by Bibliophile By The Sea

I decided to take a look at this book after reading another of the author’s books.

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Shadeward: Emanation by Drew Wagar

Prologue
Round 2287, Ninth Pass

          Rain cascaded in sheets, cold dark and heavy despite the eternal sun, whipped into a frenzy by a fierce and fickle wind. It blew one way and then another, battering the slate grey rocks that formed the steep flank of the mountain. Lightning flickered in the grey gloom, giving a brief view of stark and craggy outcrops and terrifying drops into shadowed chasms. Thunder rolled not far behind, hammering the rocks and echoing around the unseen valleys. Smaller debris was dislodged, tumbling down and scattering across a muddy and treacherous narrow track that cut through the landscape like a thin sinuous snake. On one side a steep rocky bluff, on the other a drop into the valley far below.
Toiling up this path at a charge were two heavy-set creatures steaming with exertion, yoked to a battered wooden carriage, illuminated by dimly flickering torches which guttered in the screaming wind. Two black feathered arrows were stuck in the wooden frame on the rear of the carriage, the wood splintered around them.

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I love this book. The descriptions of creatures as if they were the norm to us is well done. I’ve been reading this every chance I get and based on what I have read so far, I have brought the second in the series. It is well worth the read if you like Fantasy fiction. At times it reminds me of Steven Erikson’s Malazan books.