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Shadow Prowler (Chronicles of Siala, Book 1)…
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Shadow Prowler (Chronicles of Siala, Book 1) (original 2002; edition 2011)

by Alexey Pehov

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2711560,257 (3.91)12
Member:Schedim
Title:Shadow Prowler (Chronicles of Siala, Book 1)
Authors:Alexey Pehov
Info:Tor Fantasy (2011), Edition: Reprint, Mass Market Paperback, 412 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Fantasy

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Shadow Prowler by Alexey Pehov (2002)

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Shadow Prowler
The Chronicles of Siala, book 1

Genre: Fantasy
Published: UK April 2010 Simon &Schuster
Pages: 400

After centuries of calm, the Nameless One is stirring.

An army is gathering; thousands of giants, ogres, and other creatures are joining forces from all across the Desolate Lands, united, for the first time in history, under one black banner. By the spring, or perhaps sooner, the Nameless One and his forces will be at the walls of the great city of Avendoom.

Unless Shadow Harold, master thief, can find some way to stop them.

Epic fantasy at its best, Shadow Prowler is the first in a trilogy that follows Shadow Harold on his quest for a magic Horn that will restore peace to the Kingdom of Siala. Harold will be accompanied on his quest by an Elfin princess, Miralissa, her elfin escort, and ten Wild Hearts, the most experienced and dangerous fighters in their world…and by the king’s court jester (who may be more than he seems…or less).


I love fantasy, I have said it before and I will say it again. it is my true love. So when I read on twitter about Simon and Schuster looking for reviewers for this book I jumped at the chance. And I was not disappointed.

This book and series is very popular in Russia and has now been translated into English. For that I am grateful. This is great epic fantasy and just what I like to read.

It is the story about Shadow Harold, a thief in Avedoom, the capital of a Northern kingdom. He lives his lief like he always have when things suddenly change. he has two choices, get the horn or rut in jail. The choice is not as easy as it seems. The horn is hidden far away in caves filled with dangers and magics from different races that have buried their dead there. With him he has an elite band of warriors, a Princess, and a jester.

This world has all sorts of races, the elves (dark and light) who are not as fair looking as you would imagine. Orcs that wants the world for their own as they are the first race of Siala. Ogres, gnomes, goblins, dwarves and of course men. In the far north there is the danger of the Nameless one, but there are more dangers than just him stirring. This world is heading for a war, and this time the orcs might just win.

I liked Harold, but then I do have a soft spot for thieves and assassins. He is an unwilling hero, and they are the best. But my fav is by far the jester Kli-Kli, a goblin who is more than he seems. And I can't wit to see what he really is about, until then I will laugh in amusement. Miralissa, the princess most be some sort of love interest, cos Harold is interested, fangs and all. But I just haev to wait and see. The wild hearts are a great bunch too, the constant bickering between the dwarf and the gnome being what i enjoy the most.

Negative part, I love maps, and there was no map. I like to see where everything is located, and where they are going. It gives me a sense of direction that is useful in fantasy. But I am well aware that many forget about those maps.

This had everything I need, a quest, danger of war, and war that is surely coming, a bunch of characters that are both amusing and likable. There was danger, there was darkness, and there was history. Which I of course always want.

Now, oh sighs, why didn't I take that course in Russian in high school instead of German. If I would have I could have read the next book in Russian. Now I just have to wait to get hold of book 2 whenever that one comes out. Because this was a good start to a fantasy trilogy, and it made me want more.


Blodeuedd's cover corner: What can I say, it looks like fantasy so I like it
Reason for Reading: Review copy from the publisher
Final thoughts: I do want to read more Pehov, and especially the next book in the series.

( )
  blodeuedd | Mar 2, 2016 |
Shadow Prowler has been in my to-read list for quite some time. I was hesitant to read it because I knew it was translated from Russian. I also didn’t know what a Russian fantasy novel would be like. I finally decided to read it, and I can say that I am glad I did. Though it’s not as good as some other books I have read, it is still a great and enjoyable read.

The main story is about Shadow Harold, a master thief, who must retrieve what is called the Rainbow Horn in order to save his land from the evil one known as the Nameless One. The book moves along at a great pace, didn’t seem to be too predictable, and was rather funny. I was impressed by the author’s world building, as well as the descriptions of the different races and their origins. I also loved hearing about the history of the land. There is just enough detail throughout the story to picture where you are, but not so much that it becomes overwhelming. I also appreciated that the book wasn’t too violent, which can be pretty typical for adult fantasy novels.

I am loving the characters in this series! Harold is the main character of the story. He is confident and witty, is good at stealing, and avoids direct contact by sneaking around and hiding in the shadows. There is also Kli Kli who is a very memorable character. He is the kings court jester, who is rather annoying at first, but you will come to love him later on. He is definitely more than what he seems.

There are the usual fantasy characters within this story including elves, dwarves, gnomes, orcs, ogres, goblins, and humans. What I really liked is that they seem to be a little different than what you would expect. For example, dwarves would never have beards and gnomes wouldn’t be seen without one. I really enjoyed the alteration of the elves as well. They are related to the orcs, have fangs, and there are both dark and light elves.

Another element of many fantasy novels is magic. In this series magic is a bit different than you would expect. There is shamanic magic which is slow and ritualistic, and there is mage magic which is faster, but more inaccurate. They both have their advantages and disadvantages and are rather complicated. I have to say that I am fond of this different take on magic and can’t wait to learn more about it.

The translation wan’t horrible, but I am sure it would flow better in Russian. There are tons of tense switches mainly in the first half of the book and some character names are a little confusing when reading. One person’s name is For, which I was always confusing with the word “for”. The only other thing about the writing that bothered me was that important historical events that had their own chapter were written in italics. Reading entire chapters in italics is not that enjoyable. However, I did like that these events were separated from the main story to make it less confusing with the past and present time jumps.

What you should know is that this book pretty much sets the stage for the entire series. We are introduced to the plot, characters, and history of the land. Just after the main quest began the book ended, so you will have to read the next one if you want to continue the story.

Even though this book is marketed as an adult book, I would recommend it to young adults as well. It is by no means the first fantasy book a young adult should read, but anyone who loves fantasy and has read a few others would enjoy this book.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book (though it’s not as good as the Black Company), and can’t wait to read the next one. I have to find out more about my favorite character (Kli Kli) and the fate of Harold! I just wish there was a map of the land, so I could follow the characters on their journey and better understand the lay of the land.

( )
  AshleyMiller | Sep 10, 2014 |
This one took me a long time to get into. In fact up to about 80 pages before the end I wasn't really planning to read the sequel, but somehow it crept up on me and I'm curious about Harold and what his future will be. It sounds like there's more to him than just thief and so curious about what's going to happen to him. Several of the other characters I'm not as invested in but now I have a fondness for him.

A lot of this book is dedicated to setting up the world and the people in it and why the quest is so important, and there are also some moments of Harold being thrown into visions of the past which are also there to set up ambiance and do some worldbuilding. I felt that it is possibly a style from Russia but it's not my favourite style of fantasy story. Interesting and I'm reserving full judgement until I finish the next book. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Apr 27, 2013 |
This is the first book in a popular Russian fantasy serie. There were times that I regretted that I haven’t read Russian so I could have read the original edition. It started little slow but got better towards the end. Mainly because it took far too long to Harold to actually leave to the quest, but after he does things started rolling smoothly.

A thief called Harold is framed into stealing an object before being recruited by the king to the most dangerous burglary in his life. He has to steal a Horn from Hrad Spein. He gets help from people from different races; dwarf, gnome, goblin, elves and human warrior group called The Wild Hearts. The elves are no Tolkien-elves but are nearly as ugly as orcs with fangs.

I liked the snarky, quirky Harold. The story is told from his point of view in first person so we get good look what goes on in his head. It reminded me of David Edding’s Belgarion-serie.

All in all, I found the book good and I’ll definitely read the next one! ( )
  Elysianfield | Mar 30, 2013 |
A debut novel from a (talented) Russian author, Pehov demonstrates enough in this first book to ensure he is one to keep an eye out for and enough to get excited about for the follow up books in the trilogy.

Initially, the book appears to be a classic, cliche filled fantasy epic trilogy that has all the conventions of usual fantasy series. The quest for an object that could save the world, an age old prophecy that appears related to the main character and the quest, the involvment of Elves, Orcs, Dwarves, Ogres, Goblins and other such beings, however, do not underestimate and let this put you off.

The style is brilliant, the main character Harold, a master thief (always a favourite occupation of mine) is well written and thought out. The book is told in first person narrative through the eyes of Harold, who often refers to himself in the 3rd person during his exploits. He provides a witty & humourous account, filled with subtlety and you can't fail to like the anti-hero and his talents. It did make me think of the Lies of Locke Lamora (a favourite book of mine) in terms of the master thief but Pehov although ticks a lot of cliche fanatasy boxes he delivers them in a unqiue and creative way.

I'd highly recommend the Shadow Prowler, not just for the book itself, but also for the potential for the series that Pehov is delivering. For a debut novel I thoroughly enjoyed it, and there is still plenty of time for Pehov to surprise and provide an exciting trilogy that could rate very very highly. ( )
  JR.Raluces | Aug 3, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alexey Pehovprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bromfield, AndrewTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pöhlmann, ChristianeÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Geen flauw idee. Iets van de schrijver zelf in het Russisch.
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Night is the best time for my kind.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765324032, Hardcover)

After centuries of calm, the Nameless One is stirring.

An army is gathering; thousands of giants, ogres, and other creatures are joining forces from all across the Desolate Lands, united, for the first time in history, under one, black banner. By the spring, or perhaps sooner, the Nameless One and his forces will be at the walls of the great city of Avendoom. 

Unless Shadow Harold, master thief, can find some way to stop them.

Epic fantasy at its best, Shadow Prowler is the first in a trilogy that follows Shadow Harold on his quest for a magic Horn that will restore peace to the Kingdom of Siala.  Harold will be accompanied on his quest by an Elfin princess, Miralissa, her elfin escort, and ten Wild Hearts, the most experienced and dangerous fighters in their world…and by the king’s court jester (who may be more than he seems…or less).

Reminiscent of Moorcock's Elric series, Shadow Prowler is the first work to be published in English by the bestselling Russian fantasy author Alexey Pehov.  The book was translated by Andrew Bromfield, best known for his work on the highly successful Night Watch series.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:22:53 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

After centuries of calm, the Nameless One is stirring. An army is gathering: giants, ogres and other creatures joining forces from across the Desolate Lands, united for the first time in history under one black banner. By the spring, or perhaps sooner, the Nameless One and his forces will be at the walls of the great city of Avendoom. Unless Shadow Harold, master thief, can find some way to stop them.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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