Friday, 11 March 2011

TEEN: The Conqueror's Shadow - Ari Marmell

Release Date: 09/12/10


They called him the Terror of the East. His past shrouded in mystery, his identity hidden behind a suit of enchanted black armour and a skull-like helm, Corvis Rebaine carved a bloody path through Imphallion, aided by Davro, a savage ogre, and Seilloah, a witch with a taste for human flesh. No shield or weapon could stop his demon-forged axe. And no magic could match the spells of his demon slave, Khanda. Yet just when ultimate victory was in his grasp, Rebaine faltered. His plans of conquest, born from a desire to see Imphallion governed with firmness and honesty, shattered. Amid the chaos of a collapsing army, Rebaine vanished, taking only a single hostage - the young noblewoman Tyannon - to guarantee his escape. Seventeen years later, Rebaine and Tyannon are married, living in obscurity and raising their children, a daughter and a son. Rebaine has put his past behind him, given up his dreams of conquest. Not even news of Audriss - an upstart warlord following Rebaine's old path of conquest - can stir the retired warrior to action. Until his daughter is assaulted by Audriss' goons. Now, to rescue the country he once tried to conquer, Rebain once more dons the armour of the Terror of the East and seeks out his former allies. But Davro has become a peaceful farmer. Seilloah has no wish to leave her haunted forest home. And Khanda ...well, to describe his feelings for his former master as undying hatred would be an understatement. But even if Rebaine can convince his onetime comrades to join him, he faces a greater challenge: does he dare to reawaken the part of him that glories in cruelty, blood and destruction? With the safety of his family at stake, can he dare not to?


I missed this title on its original publication so when I finally found the time I decided to invest the time and the finances intot his title. What unfurls within is a young adult fantasy book that can easily bridge the gap between the Young Adult and the Adult titles on the shelves. Add to this an intriguing sense of humour, some great themes as well as characters that will more than pique the readers interest and it’s a title that is a great start to a brand new series. Whilst I’ve heard good things about the author from friends on the other side of the pond, I really wasn’t sure if it was going to be the type of title for me. Luckily I was surprised at just how enjoyable it was alongside a decent pace, some great action sequences and it’s a title that will more than fulfil the reader’s wants. Great stuff.

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