Tuesday, 1 May 2012
Shadowing: A Henchman's Tale (Moonblind Book 1) - Kat Zantow
Title: Shadowing: A Henchman's Tale (Moonblind Book 1)
Author: Kat Zantow
“Shadowing: A Henchman’s Tale” is an intriguing fantasy novel which included all the usual hallmarks of epic fantasy, elves, swords, shape shifters, despotic overlords, etc. However, instead of focusing on the heroes, it is centred on one of the overlord's henchmen. It was this element that really piqued my desire to read the book and I am glad I did as Kaz Zantow managed to combine this unique viewpoint with some great humour, adventure and action that had me entertained from start to finish.
As I have already mentioned, the story is focused around one of the overlord's henchmen, who like all great henchman doesn't actually have a name. Given the ability to shape shift he quite enjoys doing as he is commanded, be it razing a village or killing a group of elven bandits. However, things begin to go wrong for him when a group of heroes sneak across the border and manage to hack down all his comrades. Now this lone henchman is left following the heroes across the frozen wastelands trying to work out what he alone could do to stop them.
I really loved the viewpoint that the novel took and it really reminded me of a few video games I have played in the past such as Dungeon Keeper and Overlord where you take up the role of the bad guy in a fantasy world. As with those games, this novel was also full of comic lines as the henchman viewed some of the rather generic heroic actions most people would recognise from many other traditional fantasy novels.
One element of the novel which does let it down a little bit for me is its length. I found it to be very short which meant there was little time to fully describe and develop some aspects of the plot, world's history or the characters. The length did help really keep the tempo of the novel up and this did a great job in giving some of the action scenes a realistic feeling of chaos and mayhem. Overall however I would still have liked to have known a little bit more about the world and characters that I was following.
Overall, I found the novel to be an amusing, engaging and fun novel that kept me smiling throughout. Its short length does stunt some of the development but there are some good elements there which can hopefully be expanded upon in any sequel. I found this to be a minor issue though and would still recommend it to any fans of the light fantasy looking for a slightly different viewpoint.
Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (The Eclectic Bookshelf)
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)
Free Reads Challenge
Speculative Fiction Challenge