Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review of Shadow's Lure by Jon Sprunk

The unforgiving Northlands . . .

In Othir, he was at the top of the food chain—an assassin beyond compare, a dark shadow in the night. But Caim left that life behind when he helped an empress claim her throne. And now his past has come calling again.
Searching for the truth behind the murder and disappearance of his parents, Caim discovers a land in thrall to the Shadow. Haunted by temptations from the Other Side, he becomes mired in a war he does not want to fight.
But there are some things a son of the Shadow cannot ignore, and some fights from which he can't run. In this battle, all of Caim's strength and skill won't be enough.

For none can resist the Shadow's Lure.
*** WARNING ***
This review contains spoilers for book 1 Shadow's Son.

Man! Was I glad to have this sequel in hand when I finished book one. In Shadow's Lure we start things off directly after the events in Shadow's Son so, if you have not read that one get on it straight away! Jon Sprunk brings his merry (and not so merry {Sybelle, this means you}) band of characters in for another round of chewing bubblegum and kicking ass.... And I don't think any of these characters ever heard of bubblegum.

The flow or pace of this series just keeps intensifying as we branch out into multiple plots. I was a little concerned about this at the end of book one as I knew that Caim was not sticking around in Othir and Josey was not going with him to the north. This all was a pretty smart move as it added a depth to Josey's character that I don't think we would have seen otherwise. Her plotline in my opinion was just as good as Caim's in this release. She really starts coming into her own as the new Empress and I was thoroughly impressed with her determination and strong sense of honor and duty despite feeling that she did not grow up with those things as primary concerns. In her new role it was like you got the whole political intrigue deal but it wasn't over the top and boring with a whole bunch of courtly duties and riff-raff. I honestly did not expect to see much action out of her character but, like I said I was genuinely surprised because Josey kicks royal butt! The thing I am really liking about this series is that I just want to keep reading it. There is still a LOT that can happen with Josey's plot line. The outlook for order in the cities still doesn't look good but I am hopeful that Josey is on the right track to making things work.

Now I would like to turn my attentions to the man of the hour, Mucho A'ssassino NO. freakin' 1.
Caim. Yeah, he da man, man! No seriously, I could have got away with calling his character in book one, ahhhh... Meh. But after the events of book two I have mad respect. I still think him and I are not connecting on a huge level but he is growing on me. By this I mean that If I were pretty much killing people for money from the time I was a pup, then why in the world would you not jump all over learning these shadow weapons. Well, it's not like he has had mad time in the woods to contemplate the mysteries of the universe for years, so I guess this is the way it is. I also get the feeling that he is somehow sensing that he will lose himself if he totally submits to the power of the shadows but, that could have just been that dark sword or something. I guess were just going to have to wait till book three to see what happens. Caim also comes across some pretty cool folks on his trek up north. People like Hagan that actually know who he is and can tell him a smidgen of who he is and what his father was like. Here again, this whole time sprunk is feeding us scraps of information but who cares when there is some really cool and gruesome bloodshed! This is where the writing really takes off for me. With Caim leading the action scenes in this one, these are some of the best battle sequences I have read in a long time. Sprunk also provides some pretty vivid imagery with his writing that I would like to tip my hat to. The scene where Liana and Caim are alone after their little snow-in and they stumble upon a recently attacked village that Liana recognizes and Caim walks on into some grotesque savagery. I think I went back and read that scene like three times.

This brings me to that little nasty named Sybelle. I might say that reading her scenes was kind of TORTUROUS, hehehehe. This chick has definitely got some Daddy issues. Her character POV's were just as good as any of the others and I was actually excited when they would pop-up to see how she was scheming. Like I tried to describe above with Caim I may better explain here with the simple illustration that I got all the badassery from Sybelle but kept hoping Caim starts doing some of the same stuff. Here again, this does not take away from the novel at all.

Trust me when I say that my review skimps on A LOT on some great highlights and more that I did not even mention i.e. more Kit (awesome fill-in backgroundie info), Keegan POV's and Sybelle's love child!! Let's just say the apple didn't even fall from the tree, it just rotted.

So, in conclusion, here I sit, tapping my fingers on my keys.... waiting. Well, such is the life of a fantasy series reader. Take your time Jon, but just so you know this fan can't wait for Book three!


Tribute video for the amount of bloodshed in this novel...


  1. Yes! Well put. Loved this one and I'm dying for the next.

  2. Yep. You touched on some huge points and even with Kit and the ones you just gave a hint of. Great review. I did love this one as well. And waiting as patiently as I can for the third book to come out. :)

    I have to say I really liked the take on Sybelle as well. And to see Josey grow. That was nice. I was afraid for Josey as a character but Jon handled her rather well and made her stronger.

  3. Thanks Melissa! I am really liking this series and I cannot wait for it's conclusion. Although, I am giving the leaning tower a run for it's money with my TBR pile. Thanks also for the follow. I picked up Demon Squad 1 Armageddon Bound recently and I see your currently reading it. Looking forward to your review!

  4. lol. I hear ya on the leaning tower and TBR pile. ha ha. Yes. I'm hoping to get a good chunk of Demon Squad 1 Armageddon Bound done this weekend. This week has turned into a book reading time muncher. Not much time to read this week. I hate when that happens.