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Shadow's End (Light & Shadow series Book 3) (English Edition) par [Katson, Moira]
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At last, Catwin and Miriel have chosen their own path, escaping the Court and its machinations, and fleeing to the Norstrung Provinces, to aid the rebellion. As they shed the masks and deceptions of their former life, however, both must face the fact that the same dark forces they fled are at work even in the furthest reaches of Heddred.

But it is not only avarice and hatred that endanger them—the prophecy made at Catwin’s birth is slowly but surely coming true, and betrayal has followed her in her escape from the court. As the shadows of war and rebellion mass, Catwin must face the fact that if she wishes to be true to herself and her alliance with Miriel, it may be she who bears the cost of saving her kingdom…

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) HASH(0x88ffe1e0) étoiles sur 5 88 commentaires
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x88fdaccc) étoiles sur 5 A Stellar Conclusion 13 juillet 2013
Par Andrea L. Anastos - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
This is the third book of an excellent first trilogy by a new writer in the Fantasy genre. Each book has built on the previous volume, taking both characters and plot to new levels of complexity and realism. Catwin and Miriel (who share the role of protagonists) develop authentically from insecure young teens to strong young women. The first two books Shadowborn (Light & Shadow) (Volume 1) and Shadowforged (Light & Shadow)(Volume 2) introduce them (and the reader) to the profoundly unsettling dangers of the court in which they move -- initially as pawns, then gradually with subversive agendas of their own. In this final book of the trilogy, Katson gathers the many threads of her story and weaves them into a psychologically and emotionally challenging conclusion that is satisfying without being simplistic or superficial.
Without unpacking the story in too much detail (or spoiling the two startling turns it takes), it is possible to say that every character becomes deeper and more interesting as the reader is introduced to a new backdrop for Miriel and Catwin. Their relationship to each other grows and changes as they move away from the court for a time. But the reader is also invited to participate in the intricate interweaving of the relationships between Miriel, Catwin, the Duke, Marie, Temar, Wilhelm and Roine with appreciation for the inner and outer forces that shape and drive each of them.
I am particularly impressed by the care this writer brings to developing even the most peripheral characters. There is no sense that a person exists only to provide some necessary twist in the plot. Rather, the plot unfolds as a direct result of this (large and diverse) group of people coming together in this particular way at this specific time in the history of this nation. There is no feeling that events are being manipulated by the writer. Katson clearly respects her readers as intelligent and thoughtful companions. She doesn't try to trick us nor does she disrespect our time.
I am looking forward to what comes next from her pen and fertile imagination.
This is an author to watch!
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x88fdf468) étoiles sur 5 Not for Stupid People; if you're not that bright, don't bother. 7 octobre 2014
Par Neutron Jack - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
If you're a moron, don't bother starting on a path to confusion, feelings of inadequacy, and migraines. Find a fast food restaurant and laboriously fill out an application.
This is a book for people who enjoy intimately knowing a character, sub-plots, and a large number of minor but important characters that you need to keep track of. I rarely write a review (mostly because I'm incredibly lazy and don't think anyone ever reads past the first six reviews...but they "really liked the cover art!"), but this is an excellent trilogy that deserves to be pointed out to others and compel them to read it, because my reviews are nothing if not compelling. The world-building and character development is noteworthy and spans years, not just a month or two. There's not much you need to "accept as true" in it; the story is really one of the few whole-life stories I've read. It reminds me a lot of the Soldier Son trilogy by Robin Hobb. The author is tells excellent "Extended Lies", which (unfortunately) not that many fiction writers seem to do. She tells the core story, but also includes all the background leading up to it, which makes a huge difference. To me, anyways...

Now, because I'm odd and like to annoy people: In exchange for writing the preceding incredibly insightful review (Damn I'm smooth!), here are my ramblings that have nothing to do with the book whatsoever...since I don't believe the review will ever be read anyway. The last time I did this, it was a drunken man-seeking-woman post on an AOL online dating site the night of a bad breakup in the early 90's (dial-up, no less..REAL dark ages stuff)....I'm pretty sure I'm still Persona non Grata with AOL over that one; hate mail kept arriving for weeks. I still laugh over that one....memories are priceless, JUST like me. Agree with me, it's easier.
The problem that I have with this story is the same one I always have with just about every fantasy genre novel (and, don't get me wrong, I really enjoy the genre); although everybody seems to eat on a pretty regular basis with a general lack of available refrigeration and personal hygiene amongst anyone but the nobility, nobody ever seems to have the need to answer an in-opportune call of nature at the worst possible time; such as while they're being pursued by angry mobs, trolls, wild beasts, dragons, a freaking ARMY, etc.. Also, after years of reading the genre, I still have no idea what everyone would be using for toilet paper if they DID actually need "TO GO RIGHT NOW". And nobody ever says, "My saddlebags are packed and ready for a month-long journey across the uncharted wilderness, glad there was room for a couple rolls of TP". There's always a cobbler, blacksmith, baker, etc, but there's never the "Ye Olde Toilet Paper Shop". And how the hell does everybody get their clothes clean and dry (assuming they own anything other than what they're wearing)? Does the castle have a bizarre number of clotheslines going out of windows, likes it's a giant high rise housing project? Is half the city naked in scheduled shifts at the river beating their clothes on rocks? If there is, why are the people downstream not going to war over the fouled drinking water? And if they're so many poor people living in rotting shacks in the shadow of the castle walls like trolls under bridges, where'd they get the clothes to start with? Is the presence of a Salvation Army thrift shop a given? Does the shirt and pants fairy swap them for the rotten teeth that fell out of their head that they left under the pillow they don't have? My kid thinks they should all move; starving in the forest is more enjoyable than starving in a slum where everyone seems to want to cut your throat for the 2 pennies you spent your entire meaningless life saving.

OK, now I'm done. Read the books; they were really well written, and the story was excellent. And nobody ever has the runs. Or dysentery. Or Imodium...but since there's no dysentery, I guess that's not really a problem. Dysentery must really suck without Imodium or Pepto. Who dreamt up the Pepto flavor, I wonder...and was it an accident, or actually on purpose? Nothing else in the world tastes like it, so how would they know when they got it right? Maybe they were just really tired of jerking around with the flavor recipe, and said "Yup, that's the flavor I was going for! Let the selling frenzy begin!". I also wonder if anybody ever actually reads these's not one of the first six, so I doubt it. So I ramble to amuse myself.
3 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x88fdf144) étoiles sur 5 Very catching 24 juillet 2013
Par Sharon Shanler - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I was interested in the first book, caught up in the story in the second book, and absolutely enthralled by the end. Great story. Characters that made you believe.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x88fda474) étoiles sur 5 Wonderful fantasy series 27 janvier 2014
Par Bookwormiest - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle
It's pretty unusual for me to finish one book and immediately buy the rest of the series. I have to be really impressed.

I have to confess to being a bit reluctant to pick up Shadowborn. It was probably the fourth book I started after trying three others that looked similar, only to put them down after twenty pages or so. There are so many fantasies out there, and frankly, most I see are pretty mediocre.

So I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the writing from the first sentence, the fascinating world and characters, and a story that sucked me right in.

The books are set in the fantastical European medieval kingdom of Heddred. At the age of 12, Catwin, a lowly servant in the Duke of Voltur's castle, is suddenly chosen to become the "shadow" of the Lady Miriel de Vere, his niece, also twelve.

As shadow, she is to be Miriel's bodyguard and when needed, spy and assassin. Though trained by the Duke's own shadow, Catwin is woefully unprepared when she and Miriel travel to the capital. Miriel is meant to entrance the sickly teenage King Garad, and Catwin must do everything in her power to help her. Failure means death. Success might also mean death.

The court is a scary place, full of intrigue and assassination attempts. It doesn't help that Catwin and Miriel hate each other. They are finally reluctantly forced to work together, even though they hesitate to trust anyone.

As Shadowforged begins, Catwin and Miriel have formed an uneasy and conflict-laden alliance. Miriel seems to be poised for success, but her position is beyond precarious.

While Miriel adeptly intrigues with King and courtiers, Catwin is faced with her feelings for Temar, the Duke's shadow. She loves him, but can't trust him. She also puzzles over a prophecy spoken by her birth mother, right before she handed Catwin over to the keeping of the Duke's healer, her real mother figure.

To further complicate matters, there is rebellion brewing in the south, with the young people of the court taking a strong interest. Miriel in particular is captivated by the idea of self-determination for the people, and rather riskily tries to influence the young king into a more enlightened mindset.

In the end, Miriel's obsession with the rebellion leads to the complete annihilation of all of her plans. She and Catwin are then packed off to the Duke's castle, where they can't cause any more trouble.

In Shadow's End, Catwin and Miriel are finally in complete accord, and succeed in freeing themselves from the Duke's authority. They manage to find the rebels, and Miriel quickly becomes a figurehead, albeit one with some real clout.

Catwin continues to fend off assassins, but unfortunately, they are both forced to return to court as war with a neighboring kingdom breaks out.

Things quickly come to a head, and the end is actually quite surprising, and satisfying as well.

Due to the age of the protagonist, this probably qualifies as young adult, but it's a pretty challenging read. Katson doesn't hesitate to throw us into the convoluted politics of Heddred. She's created a complex, interesting world, but it does take a bit of time to work out the roles of all of the key players.

The main characters are amazingly well-developed. I especially enjoyed getting to know Miriel, as Katson unpeeled the layers of her personality like an onion. We get to share Catwin's process of figuring out herself and Miriel at the same time.

Suspenseful, fascinating and intelligently done.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x88fda0b4) étoiles sur 5 Enjoyable young adult book 1 octobre 2013
Par J. Fleming - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
I downloaded the first part of this story for free and had very little expectations of it being much more than a quick fantasy read. I was pleasantly surprised at the complexity of this tale and how well the author engendered tension that pushed me to want to read/purchase the other two parts. I have yet to finish the third volume, but thought I'd read enough (volumes 1-2 and the beginning of 3) that I could write a little review.

What I like most about this story is that I haven't been able to figure out the plot twists until I'm sitting right on top of them. The author seems to push the reader along at the same pace as the character, hinting at things but not allowing there to be enough evidence in any one direction for the reader to figure out what may happen too much beforehand. I love that about this story. And another thing that speaks well for this author is that I don't often like fiction written in first person, but this story is a glowing example of how first person point of view can be done well. The sentence structure is varied enough that the POV isn't clunky or annoying.

I also liked how the intrigues of court life were made so clear by stressing the importance of family histories. It made the time period and the characters feel well rounded. I found myself wondering how much of what I was reading was inspired by actual European history. Those tidbits made the story feel real and grounded.

The characters are interesting and fit well within the context of the story. I love that each of the side characters feel like real people and that the characters at court have motives and personalities. The only thing that didn't quite seem to fit in relation to characters was that the story's point of view character, Catwin, is not entirely believable in spots; specifically her character isn't believable in how she is found to cry or be near vomiting so often. After two years of intensive training, having a background like she does and such (and having survived the assassination attempts in the way she had) it surprised me that she cried so often near the end of the second volume. I do like the contrast between the two girls personalities and how they deal with stress differently. When Muriel does cry it does strike me, but although I understand the strain that is often upon the POV character, I thought having Catwin wilt into tears as often as she did near the end of the second book was excessive and needless. Her tension is palpable without it. I understand the pressure of such long term fear, but believe the Catwin character would've been more believable without showing quite so many tears or by letting the reader know so often that she felt bile start to rise. (I'm not saying that I think these tearful scenes should be deleted, only that they seemed to border on making the character unbelievable and it was often enough that I noticed and wondered if a shadow would actually cry in front of the person they were supposed to be protecting, etc.)

The main constructive criticism I would like to offer was that in each of the volumes I noticed many careless grammatical errors. There were several in the first volume, but since it was free I didn't take much note of those, but when the same kinds of errors increased in the two remaining volumes I had purchased, I began to be disappointed and felt that the author didn't care enough to carefully comb through the manuscript to weed out those things for her readers. It seemed that a book that showed a great deal of complex thought deserved a good editing pass to remove duplicated words and half phrases before being released to the reading public. I have hopes that the author will provide revised copies to those of us who have purchased/enjoyed this book.

So, overall I have given this book a 4 star rating. That's 4.5 stars each for creativity, the sense of place, character development, plot development. I offer an average rating of 3 stars for the careless grammatical errors throughout since they kicked me out of the narrative. The frequency of grammatical errors kept me from rating this book higher as I would've liked. I really have enjoyed reading it.

Would I recommend this book? Probably - I've enjoyed reading it and can't wait to finish the last few chapters.
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