Shadow over Kiriath

by Karen Hancock

reviewed by David Reagan

May 29, 2007

It took me quite a while to actually read this book. Mainly because I first started to read it right after I had just reread the first two of the series. The reason for that reluctance was the common theme that pervades all of this series. That of fighting against our fleshly nature and surrendering to God. After the first two books, the main character Abramm, seems to finally get the point. But then this book starts off with him having to relearn his lesson. Which I found to be annoying. Whether that would happen if I read the first two book before this one again, I don't know.

Two other things I did not like was the way she had some sensual stuff between a man and his wife. While there is nothing wrong with stuff like that happening between a man and wife, I don't need to be reading it. That might be a little prudish, but oh well. The second thing was just a matter of writing style. There is a place where she jumps forward in time by several years. It just didn't flow well, seemed more that a good place to start a new book. I don't know exactly how she could have improved it, but it bothered me. Just my opinion, which isn't a very important one since I am not a very accomplished writer.

That said, this is one of the best fantasy novels out there. Karen Hancock does an awesome job of writing a engrossing and entertaining story while also preaching a message that everyone needs to hear. It has action, romance, drama, all the good story parts.

I suppose I should summarize the story for those of you who are interested. Basically Abramm is finally being crowned king several months after his fight with the Morwhol in book two. The story goes on to tell about his struggles to prepare Kiriath for the coming war with the South. Preparations include a marriage with a neighboring kingdom and lighting the Guardstar at Greykeep. Not to mention all the intrigue from the Matians who really don't like Abramm.