The Conqueror's Shadow

The Conqueror's Shadow

Book - 2010
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With The Conqueror's Shadow , Ari Marmell brings a welcome seasoning of wit to the genre, proving that dark fantasy can address the enduring questions of good and evil and still retain a sense of humor. Playful yet intense, sharply sarcastic yet deeply sincere, The Conqueror's Shadow announces the appearance of a unique talent--and an antihero like no other.

They called him the Terror of the East. His past shrouded in mystery, his identity hidden beneath a suit of enchanted black armor and a skull-like helm, Corvis Rebaine carved a bloody path through Imphallion, aided by Davro, a savage ogre, and Seilloah, a witch with a taste for human flesh. No shield or weapon could stop his demon-forged axe. And no magic could match the spells of his demon slave, Khanda.

Yet just when ultimate victory was in his grasp, Rebaine faltered. His plans of conquest, born from a desire to see Imphallion governed with firmness and honesty, shattered. Amid the chaos of a collapsing army, Rebaine vanished, taking only a single hostage--the young noblewoman Tyannon--to guarantee his escape.

Seventeen years later, Rebaine and Tyannon are married, living in obscurity and raising their children, a daughter and a son. Rebaine has put his past behind him, given up his dreams of conquest. Not even news of Audriss--an upstart warlord following Rebaine's old path of conquest--can stir the retired warrior to action.
 
Until his daughter is assaulted by Audriss's goons.

Now, to rescue the country he once tried to conquer, Rebaine once more dons the armor of the Terror of the East and seeks out his former allies. But Davro has become a peaceful farmer. Seilloah has no wish to leave her haunted forest home. And Khanda . . . well, to describe his feelings for his former master as undying hatred would be an understatement.

But even if Rebaine can convince his onetime comrades to join him, he faces a greater challenge: Does he dare to reawaken the part of him that gloried in cruelty, blood, and destruction? With the safety of his family at stake, can he dare not to?
Publisher: New York : Spectra/Ballantine Books, c2010.
ISBN: 9780553807769
0553807765
Characteristics: 432 p. ;,25 cm.

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w
wth_this_sucks
Jul 31, 2019

This is book #1 of Corvis Rebaine.
Book #2 is The Warlord's Legacy.
I enjoyed the style of writing in Book #1.
Whilst not as in-depth as say Tolkien in world building and descriptions, or written in way to make you feel invested so invested in a character like say Robin Hobb.
The story is a nice change of pace. There's constant swearing or sex going on, which makes it a nice read with your children if they are mature minded and the violence described is of no dilemma.
The sarcasm and dark comedy is what helped me get past the first quarter, which was a little bit slow. I have read slower so no issue there. Especially, once it picked up.
This blog does a decent critic -
http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com/2010/02/conquerors-shadow-by-ari-marmell.html?m=1

h
heavenne
Apr 25, 2019

I haven’t read a good fantasy in such a long time! And this one was excellent! It’s fun to see a bunch of misfit anti heroes come together to try and save the world because not only did they leave on bad terms back then in the day, Corvis actually had the galls to come back to ask them for favors (we all had that one friend didn’t we?)

Each of the characters have their distinct quirk and personality. Also they’re not afraid to tell Corvis how it is (and he surprisingly takes it...which makes them a more fun bunch to read) I can’t really say I have a favorite although I admit I was disappointed in Khanda towards the last half of the book. He definitely had the best and more fun personality to read on but he just *had* to do it didn’t he? (you’ll see when you finish the book)

The plot had a steady pace and it was good. I was actually surprised as to who the Serpent really was as you’d think it was obvious. It was a good surprise and the action in the last third of the book was massive with lots of action. Although it gets pretty dark at times and Corvis isn’t a hero per se (more like a terrorizing horrible despot who decimates towns and villages to his liking) it has black comedy elements in it and overall because of this provides a ‘lightness’ to the story. It helps that the cast of characters have witty retorts and comebacks which also provides a few laughs here and there.

The world building and setting is pretty much your standard fantasy setting that is portrayed in most novels of the genre out there. Nevertheless it doesn’t take away from the novel and still provides a good foundation for it.

A plot rich with a variety of characters, good light banter, and some action is what makes up this book in a nutshell. I definitely recommend it as it was an enjoyable read.

t
tocch101
Aug 01, 2014

A good book to read, although it develops a little slowly. The characters have depth and the plot is thick. Very good overall.

c
ClaireStanhope
Sep 27, 2011

I quite liked it. There were times when I felt that the story was not very explained, but overall quite a good book.

l
Lanfear
Sep 13, 2010

Not hugely complex, but well written with a wit as dry as dust. Nice characters that aren't given short shrift by the brevity of the novel (if it is under 1000 pages, it is short for me). A good, fun read!

Quotes

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w
wth_this_sucks
Jul 31, 2019

- I suppose I better get it over with. What's his name?
¤ Rover.

w
wth_this_sucks
Jul 31, 2019

/You tell him, you raging font of fury, you!/
- “How many times do I have to order you to shut up, Khanda?”
/At least one more, obviously./

w
wth_this_sucks
Jul 31, 2019

~ Did he blackmail you, too?
- That's starting to get just a little old.
~ As are you.

Age Suitability

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w
wth_this_sucks
Jul 31, 2019

wth_this_sucks thinks this title is suitable for 8 years and over

c
ClaireStanhope
Sep 27, 2011

ClaireStanhope thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Summary

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w
wth_this_sucks
Jul 31, 2019

Book #1 Corvis Rebaine.
They called him the Terror of the East. His past shrouded in mystery, his identity hidden beneath a suit of black armor and a skull-like helm, Corvis Rebaine carved a bloody path through Imphallion, aided by Davro, a savage ogre, and Seilloah, a witch with a taste for human flesh. No shield or weapon could stop his demon-forged axe. And no magic could match the spells of his demon slave, Khanda.

Yet just when ultimate victory was in his grasp, Rebaine faltered. His plans of conquest, born from a desire to see Imphallion governed with firmness and honesty, shattered. Amid the chaos of a collapsing army, Rebaine vanished, taking only a single hostage—the young noblewoman Tyannon—to guarantee his escape.

Notices

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w
wth_this_sucks
Jul 31, 2019

Violence: Graphic violence described

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