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14 December, 2006

Book Review: The Tower of SHadows by Drew Bowling

Read and reviewed for armchair interviews

The Land of Ellenrie is under the threat of a great evil.

Roughly fifteen years before, the wizard Dale stopped the culmination of an evil sacrifice that would have opened a door between Ellenrie and the demon world. His flight through the nearby town brings him close to being attacked by the not quite human followers of the watchers, (the shadowy half summoned demons who can’t quite materialize in this world) who have been empowered by the completed portion of the sacrificial ceremony. His flight is joined by a former mercenary named Wren, Wren’s wife and a baby boy that she has saved from death at the hands of the attackers who killed his parents.

Currently, rumors of strange happenings have been circulating through Ellenrie. When Wren’s daughter Kayla witnesses the murder of the guardians of an ancient artifact, their life is changed forever. They are forced to flee Nautalia, the capitol, chased by a pair of cunning assassins. Finally they arrive at Dale’s lonely cottage, they find that he has disappeared. Eventually they join Dale’s former apprentice Adriel (now a full fledged wizard with little control of the magic he carries) who is in search of the boy Colin.

For the threat of evil to become reality, Colin’s life needs to be sacrificed by a mysterious mage living in a tower of shadows. Can the group find and keep Colin safe in time, or will a shadowy doom fall on Ellenrie?

Fantasy is a hard genre to break into. Especially the epic fantasy style of the genre. It is easy for new authors to fall back on the writing styles that have influenced them, resulting in stories that while good can be easily picked apart. However, the Tower of Shadows does not do this. Drew Bowling brings us a glimpse of a world with little magic left in it(and few people who can control it), that is being threatened by a very magical source. Also, I loved that everything strange seeming that showed up (people who are no longer quite human, foreign plant growth) are all shown to have a solid reason for happening. This epic tale is an extremely strong first novel, and I look forward to reading future works by the author.

ISBN: 0345486706
ISBN-13: 9780345486707
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication Date: December 12, 2006
Binding: Hardcover

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