Shadow

by K.J. Parker

 

Reviewed by Ruby


A man wakes up in a field littered with bodies and can’t remember how he got there, which side he was on, or who he even is. Oddly enough, he doesn’t panic, he only starts walking and meets with a woman on a cart named Copis. She recruits him into a con she’s pulling and calls him Poldarn, the god of fire and destruction that is only really worshiped in the rural areas.

As they travel Poldarn gets strange dreams; in each one he is a different person at a different point in history and oddly enough they all turn out to have actually happened.

Unfortunately, although the concept of the book is quite interesting, it didn’t hold up as I read it. I found the book was very repetitive as Poldarn’s dreams are told again by other people so there are entire pages recounting events a second time.

There are large sections in the book that are almost throw-away chapters as Poldarn wanders around taking different jobs. None of them really amount to anything and nothing actually happens that progresses the plot. I’m still unsure if there was even an actual plot. I read it and I know something actually happened but as I sat and thought about it to write the summary I found myself thinking ’what did happen?’.

All I know is that when I finished the book I was very disappointed with it. I was also frustrated that every time we think we might know who Poldarn really is, that character then pops out of nowhere and we’re left in the dark once again. And even though Poldarn finds people who know who his is, and they actually tell him there are still large parts (the important parts -I might add) missing.

 

Grade: D