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Customer Reviews for

The Conqueror's Shadow

Average Rating 4
( 32 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions

    It's easy to create a villain. It's easy to create a hero. Just give them a noble cause or selfish ambition...right?

    Not really.

    Corvis Rebaine was the Terror of the East. An unstoppable warlord in armor of black steel and polished bone, he wielded a demonic axe, was advised by a cannibalistic witch and gained power from an imprisoned demon fed on unsuspecting souls. He ground a nation under his heel with an army of abhuman creatures and amoral mercenaries. The greedy guilds and corrupt nobility could not stand against him.

    Then he quit.

    He quit being a warlord, left his army behind, and took up farming. He married a pretty girl he just happened to kidnap during his daring escape, had a couple of kids and went about the serious business of not conquering the world.

    Though the reader is given a small glimpse as to why Corvis had the sudden desire to change careers, the world he terrorized isn't. Seventeen years later, Corvis' legacy is felt as a new warlord uses Corvis' own lieutenants, weapons and strategies to follow in his footsteps. Unfortunately, Corvis' daughter is caught in the wake of this new Warlord's campaign.

    This was a mistake. To protect his family from Audriss, Corvis once again takes up the mantle and armor of the Terror of the East and goes on a quest to keep Audriss from doing what he tried to do.

    Ari Marmell takes the reader on a fast-paced and dynamic journey through Corvis' attempt to take over the world and his attempt to keep Audriss from doing the same. Skillfully alternating flashbacks with present-day story, Marmell weaves a compelling story about a complex cast of characters.

    Corvis Rebaine is a character who isn't good or evil - he's just a man. He has a powerful will, lots charisma and intelligence.

    Marmell uses a mix of epic storytelling and dry, sarcastic humor to build his characters; through his characters, he builds a world. Imphallion isn't that different from most fantasy worlds. The characters - and WHY they do what they do - set it apart.

    Corvis has to reconcile who he was with who he is and he comes face-to-face with the consequences of his actions while trying to protect the world he had (sort of) wanted to save from someone even worse than he had let himself become.

    This is an original take on the fantasy trope of a warrior forced to return to war after finding peace and is the kind of story that takes the dark themes of modern fantasy and combines it with the epic tone that made the fantasy genre what it is - and he does it without sacrificing good storytelling on the altar of doorstop tomes or series that never end.

    Corvis Rebaine is a hard character to like but is even harder to hate; he's very visceral and very real and can't be pigeonholed with an archetype or a label. He is a character who is truly unique - which is something that is hard to find after reading fantasy for two decades.

    But Marmell delivers something even more than that - he delivers a powerful ending. The to his story is very poignant, very powerful and very true to the characters and tale he created. While it definitely leaves you wanting more, it also drives home just who and what Corvis Rebaine is - no matter if he's conquering the world or farming potatoes.

    If you're new to fantasy, this book will spoil you. If you're a long-time fantasy reader, this book is one you shouldn't pass up.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 16, 2014

    This was a good book fantasy book. It moved a little slow at tim

    This was a good book fantasy book. It moved a little slow at times. When he did flashbacks it could be a little confusing, needed to make it more apparent that Corvis was going back in time. As you read the book you come to understand that he was a good man who did bad things for good reasons, this was really good & gives more depth than good vs evil. There was some humor at times & the endless legion was really cool. I liked it & look forward to other books by Mr. Marmell.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    amusing timely fantasy

    In Imphallion, Corvis Rebaine led an army that killed anyone in his path. He used his demon ax and Khandra the demon slave and allied with Davro the ogre and Seilloah the witch. They won victory after victory. However, on the verge of total conquest, the Terror of the East as he was called lost and vanished along with a noblewoman Tyannon.

    Years later, Audriss the warlord has deployed Corvis' plan for world domination through mass damnation. Corvis has heard of his replacement, but ignores the conquests as he and his wife Tyannon raise their two children Lilander and Mellorin in love and peace. That changes when Audriss' thugs abduct Mellorin, which angers Corviss into action starting with killing those who grabbed his daughter. He gathers his former allies to ironically save Imphallion from the latest warlord.

    This is an amusing timely fantasy in which an amoral (except with his family and buddies- demons don't count as pals) antihero and his even less ethical friends save the same realm they almost conquered seventeen years ago from the latest conqueror. The story line is fast-paced, action-packed and though jocular raises questions as to what are true values. Though how middle-aged Corvis retained his warrior skill that he uses immediately remains questionable, he and his partners make the tale as they are sly, slick and will do any stunt to achieve their objectives; his being to return to his family. Fans will appreciate the efforts of Corvis to complete the job and go home.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2013

    Loved it..

    Great book, the more i read the better it got and it was great to start..

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    Posted November 30, 2010

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    Posted December 4, 2011

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    Posted April 12, 2011

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    Posted April 9, 2014

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    Posted February 27, 2011

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    Posted May 11, 2011

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 33 Customer Reviews
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