The River of Shadows
Book III of The Chathrand Voyage Quartet
In the gripping sequel to Robert V. S. Redick’s acclaimed epic fantasy novels The Red Wolf Conspiracy and The Ruling Sea, the crew of the vast, ancient ship Chathrand have reached the shores of the legendary southern empire of Bali Adro. Many have died in the crossing, and the alliance of rebels, led by the tarboy Pazel Pathkendle and the warrior Thasha Isiq, has faced death, betrayal, and darkest magic. But nothing has prepared them for the radically altered face of humanity in the South.
They have little time to recover from the shock, however. For with landfall, the battle between the rebels and centuries-old sorcerer Arunis enters its final phase. At stake is control of the Nilstone, a cursed relic that promises unlimited power to whoever unlocks the secrets of its use—but death to those who fail. And no one is closer to mastering the Stone than Arunis.
Desperate to stop him, Pazel and Thasha must join forces with their enemies, including the depraved Captain Rose and the imperial assassin Sandor Ott. But when a suspicious young crewmember turns his attentions to Thasha, it is the young lovers themselves who are divided—most conveniently for Arunis. As the mage’s triumph draws near, the allies face a terrible choice: to break their oaths and run for safety, or to hunt the world’s most dangerous sorcerer through the strange and deadly dream kingdom known as the River of Shadows, and to face him a last time among the traps and horrors of his lair.
Brimming with high adventure, dark enchantment, and unforgettable characters, The River of Shadows deftly secures Redick’s place in the ranks of epic fantasy’s most original and enthralling storytellers.
“A massively entertaining roller coaster ride that culminates with a final epic confrontation... In an extremely strong fantasy year so far, and with several upcoming major releases, I still give it reasonable odds to remain my top fantasy of the year since despite being only book three out of a tetralogy, it both explains most of the outstanding mysteries of the series and it completes brilliantly its major thread so far.... Overall The River of Shadows (A++) is crazily inventive with great characters that you cannot help but root for, superb action, moments of pure joy but also of heartbreak and darkness... Fantasy at its best and the reason I read and greatly enjoy it..." Robert Thompson and Liviu Suciu, Fantasy Book Critic
"Redick has succeeded in creating a Kidnapped or Treasure Island for contemporary times, which reads at once like some timeless fable and also like a knowing postmodern artifact. This work manages to be both sophisticated and naïve, direct and cunning, heartfelt and cerebral. The adventure is nonstop, the characters powerfully endearing, and the world-building meticulous... Redick exhibits such a winning sensitivity toward and engagement with life's many common vicissitudes, its sweetness and gall, that the fantastical elements seem at times secondary to the very human losses and triumphs he so ably crafts for our enjoyment." Hugo & World Fantasy Award Nominee Paul di Filippo, The Barnes & Noble Review
"Characterisation is a strong point, with Felthrup, the sentient rat, being a particular high point, not to mention the deranged captain of the Chathrand, Nilus Rose, haunted by ghosts only he can see... Redick writes well too, and the storyline flows seamlessly on from the previous volumes. The River of Shadows is involved and complex, yes, but a very rewarding and enjoyable tale, well told." Simon Appleby, Bookgeeks
"Some books you simply read and absorb. Others take you on a journey, and leave you never quite the same. There are a few books that have given me that experience: The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman, The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. I am proud to give The River of Shadows by Robert V.S. Redick a place on that particular shelf." The Insatiable Critic
"Like its predecessors [The River of Shadows} does not allow readers a respite as the action keeps on coming... Fans will relish the third voyage of the Chathrand. Alternative Worlds