The Shadow & Night is a futuristic space-world fantasy which begins in the year 13851—an era resembling a sort of peace reign when sin is curiously almost non-existent. That is, until something evil yet nebulous, creeps in and puts the dampers on the whole planet (or Made World) called Farholme.
Farholme is home to Merral, our key character who finds himself caught up in a great drama—trying to discover what this evil presence is that causes people to do such terrible things such as lying. (As I mentioned before, we find ourselves in an almost sinless world where Christ’s Spirit rules and people willingly yield to Him in worshipful surrender.)
The book projects us into the future with a curious perfume of the past—of old noble times when friendship courting replaced dating. For example, courting takes place in a controlled framework. Merral is “courting” Isabel, but needs his parents’ permission to commit to her. Meanwhile, their relationship is more like a close brother and sister (something which I personally advocate in preference to today’s relationship madness, but that’s another story). I’m tempted to divulge what happens with this pair, and where it leads but I don’t want to spoil your fun. Suffice it to say that the romantic element is pleasantly suspenseful.
The characters are colorfully portrayed, although their minimal struggle with sin renders them a tad bland at times. Still we recognize stereotype penchants which bring the personalities alive. Anya, for example, bubbles with life, wit and intelligence. Vero—whose name I find curious since Vero means “truth” in Italian—is a sentinel from Old Earth and seems to reflect that genteel, noble-type of temperament, which is not what I’d expect for someone whose job a sort of spy to find out what’s going wrong on Farholme.
The backdrop for the story is a universe of many Made Worlds formed by seeding ships and terraforming with Space Gates separating them from other planets, and all connected by the Assembly of Worlds, an organization which has ruled the galaxy in perfect peace since the early 22nd Century.
This book is the first in the trilogy The Lamb Among The Stars series. (Curiously this first book of some 600 pages is actually two books combined. Still there are two more volumes that follow this.)
Get your copy of The Shadow and Night here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1414313276 .
Or, check out the author’s site here: http://www.chriswalley.net/
Check out some of my fellow bloggers to read their review of this book:
Carol Bruce Collett
CSFF Blog Tour
D. G. D. Davidson
Heather R. Hunt
Rebecca LuElla Miller
Mirtika or Mir's Here
John W. Otte
Would I recommend The Shadow & Night? Certainly, to all who enjoy fantasy and space worlds with defined characters. Criticism? Well, although I’m not a plot-oriented reader and enjoy description, I found the overall momentum of the book a little slow. But perhaps you won’t. Other than that, I had a grammatical peeve. I kept coming across the word “round” in places where I think it should be “around”. But again, perhaps that’s me, the Brit in me!
Janey L. DeMeo M.A.