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The Dragon Never Sleeps
Glen Cook
Progress: 26 %
The Locked-room Mysteries
Otto Penzler
Progress: 23 %
A Night in the Lonesome October
Gahan Wilson, James Warhola, Roger Zelazny
Progress: 28 %

Shadows of the Realm

Shadows of the Realm - Dionne Lister/Eloise March Bronwyn and Blayke are two realmist (local mages) apprentices of their distant relatives. A great threat is coming to the land of Talia which forces their masters to go on a long and perilous journey. Is sounds cliché, but I cannot say anything more without giving away some spoilers, but I will say that the plot is not what I made it sound like.

This is the author's first major work and as such it has some rough edges, but nothing too serious. On the positive side, the magic system is very interesting and original. It takes a while for the plot to get moving, but once it does it gets very interesting; I was not able to put it down to go to sleep until I finished it. I also like some of the details that get overlooked in a lot of books, like the fact that when somebody is forced to kill a human being in self-defense it really leaves a long-lasting impression.

The characters range from excellent leaving breathing 3-dimensional almost real people to somewhat less developed ones. The two teens I mentioned in the beginning seem moody at times, but considering their age this is realistic and justifiable.

I already mentioned some rough edges. As an example the scene of a dragon sitting on a bench somehow does not compute for me. I also noticed some minor formatting problems in my ebook.

All in all, a very solid effort which made me want to read the second book and which deserves 4-star rating.