The Crowded Shadows, Paperback
2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Wynter Moorehawke has fled the dangers of court for bandit-infested forests, seeking exiled prince Alberon.

But more than just thieves lurk in these shadows. Every tyrant and zealot who has ever threatened the kingdom is sending emissaries to meet Alberon, whose motivations seem unclear. Razi and Christopher had also set out to track Alberon, and find Wynter as enemies close in.

With a savage wolf clan on their heels, they must seek sanctuary with the nomadic Merron.

But this leaves them enmeshed in a net of sinister black magics and forbidden ritual.

Their safety and the kingdom's future will depend on a web of alliances and hostilities. And Alberon and his war machine sit at its heart.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9781841498225



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This book was much better than I was expecting. In some ways. In other ways, I felt let down. In general, everything about it was unexpected.Starting with some of the good things, after the first hundred or so pages, I couldn't put the book down. The action of following the wolves, followed by the fascinating cultures and rituals of the Merron people were just two of the areas where Kiernan excelled in her storytelling. The depth of it was so real, that I have to wonder if they are based off a real people, although in some ways I hope not.There are some less good points however; If you've read my review of "The Poison Throne", you'll have seen that one of the problems I had with the previous book was that it all happened in the same place. There was rarely any change in scenery. And it's similar here. It all takes place within a forest. Presumambly it's big, because there are several large camps which don't seem to see each other, but it's still the same forest. The lack of change gives the story a slower pace, and It FELT like the novel must have taken place over the course of a year (Although guessing from the speed of healing injuries and suchlike, I would guess it was actually far less than that).A couple of minor things were that Wynter met up with Chistopher and Razi very quickly, despite leaving a while behind them. The Merron kept speaking their own language, and a lot of the time it went untranslated. There was a list of translations at the back, but it's labelled Glossary, which meant I didn't know about it (assuming it was explaining single word meanings rather than translating whole sentences).Throughout the whole of the first two books we get drawn into the conspiracy of Razi's brother. The first one makes us wonder where he is, and why he left, but this second book makes us question what he's doing, and it's a question I look very much forward to seeing answered.I enjoyed this book more than the first one, and while not a lot actually happened in it, I enjoyed the scenes with the Merron. There are a few things that could be improved on, but Kiernan writes her people well, from major characters to minority groups. I look forwards to seeing what happens in the third and final book.

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