Sixteen years it has been since the dazzling Khatrimantine Empire fell to the vast hordes of the Mogaun. Sixteen years since the invaders' evil deity, the Lord of Twilight, was shattered into five hosts, five lost souls destined to become the Shadowkings. Sixteen long years since the forces of the Earthmother and the Fathertree were defeated, and the Rootpower magic itself was destroyed...
But for Suviel, one of the few surviving mages, it was not a final defeat. Nor was it so for Ikarno Mazaret, Lord Commander of the Knights of the Fathertree. They and their companions face a deadly struggle against terrifying odds in their fight for freedom. Byrnak, one of the many warlords who squabble amid the Empire's ruins, discovers that he is one of the five Shadowkings and thus compelled to bring the Lord of Twilight into fleshly being.
Across the battlefields and dreamscapes of the land, he is driven ever closer to this goal. Tauric is the lost heir to the Imperial throne. He must learn courage and the realities of command if he is to survive the battles that lie ahead. These lives and uncountable others will be changed forever when the Empire's last valiant defenders take arms against ancient sorceries and new terrors. Shadowkings introduces a world both dark and fascinating from a writer who is a major voice in the future of fantasy fiction.
©2001 Michael Cobley (P)2014 Audible Studios
"... impressively unpleasant first fantasy novel... If it were not for its unrelenting bleakness, Shadowkings would be a fairly standard story of apocalyptic evil and heroic good--Cobley has a sense, however, of how bad a battlefield or a ruined town smells, and his dark magic is appropriately sinister.' -- Roz Kaveney'... a pacey action and adventure story, packed with battles, rescues and political double-dealing... a refreshing and believable take on the Fight Against Insurmountable Evil Foes sub-genre, without dispensing with any of the familiar staples that make the genre what it is.' -- Infinity Plus'This is a dark tale, hope being in short supply for most of the book. But it introduces a very real world for Mr. Cobley to tell his story, and the events and characters feel a lot more realistic than I've read in many fantasy epics over the years... it's not going to be the book to read if you like your fantasy to be rolling green fields and everyone lives happily ever after... But, if you like the sound of a story based in a more unpleasant situation, where the struggle is somehow more believable then I can recommend this book to you.' -- Eternal Night"
...but badly let down by the second worst narration it has been my misfortune to hear. The worst was on a Libravox recording and you tend to get what you pay for.
Wooden sums it up.
The story itself is good, but I'll read it instead.
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