Customer Reviews for

The Shadow of the Lion (Heirs of Alexandria Series #1)

Average Rating 3.5
( 13 )
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  • Posted September 24, 2010

    A Lion Designed by Committee

    My father worked for the government. He would sometimes refer to a given project as a "camel." When I asked him what he meant, he explained, "A camel is a horse designed by a committee."

    The Shadow of the Lion is fun to read. The setting is unbeatable, and the alternative timeline is reasonably plausible as fantasy alternative timelines go. However, it feels uneven. I could feel three different minds pulling the style and characterizations in different directions, and I wanted it to read more seamlessly.

    One thing this book did for me as a writer was to make me determined NOT to fall back on the "alternative timeline" excuse for a lack of actual historical knowledge. I also wasn't wild about the direction in which they took the Lion as a character and icon, but that may be because I'm fond of the real St. Mark.

    All that being said, I'd be lying if I said I hadn't enjoyed reading it. As long as you're not expecting to learn much about the real Venice, it's a fun read.

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  • Posted September 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Good re-write of Merovingian Nights - but give CJ Cherryh some credit!

    I'm a big fan of both Mercedes Lackey and Eric Flit, but it really bothered me once I figured our why the plot seemed so familiar. Give how exactly a number of the characters match that earlier series, I'd have been more comfortable if there had a been a note or something referring back to it. However, I did think the writing was well done and it was certainly more detailed and the character motivations more plausible.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2006

    Holy Complicated

    I usually love Lackey's books but this one is not what you would expect, at all. It is hard to follow and full of politics. I was very, very disappointed in it. The only reason it got 2 stars istead of 1 is that the last 2 chapters actually picked up speed and made sense out of nonsense.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2005


    I, too, picked up this book on the strength of the authors and found that I had to get through about 2/3 of it to start feeling like I had some idea of what was going on! There should be a flow chart at the beginning and a map to help a reader determine where things are and what families and branches of knights are related! It read like there will be a sequel, and I hope the sequel will be written better - although now that I have an idea of the characters, maybe the next book will 'flow' better. At least I can say that it took more that a couple of days to read it, so it saved me some weight in my suitcase while I was on vacation - I didn't have to bring any other books!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2005

    Could be better

    As a fellow author I can tell how the intracate weavings of politics and religon could be confusing to write. However, the romance of the book left readers unfulfilled. If a second book were to be published, which I'm pretty sure will happen what with the way it was ended, I can see the book as a much betterone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2004

    C. J. Cherryh rip-off

    On the strength of the authors alone, I purchased this book. By the time I hit the second chapter I was scratching my head and wondering where I had read it before. Then it hit me. C. J. Cherryh's 'Merovingen Nights' published in the 1980s. I pulled out my copies and with very little effort located the portions written by Mercedes Lackey. All she did was change names. In most cases, she pulled her short stories directly out of the 'Nights' anthologies, changed the names and put them in 'Lion' without even bothering the change a single word. What a disappointment. I could predict exactly what was going to happen next. Oh, it takes place in Venice instead of an unknown planet, but it was identical in all respects to the books published 20 years ago. My respect for Lackey as a writer just took a serious nose dive.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 21, 2003

    not the best...

    I picked up this book on the strength of one of its authors, Mercedes Lackey. It was the most convoluted book I have ever read. I actually had to look to see if it was a sequel to another book because it just jumped into the story, adding character after character without giving you a clue how they all fit together. Characters, locations, plots...I eventually finished the book, just trying to find out how it all hung together, but all in all, I have to say it was disappointing. There were too many characters and none of them had the depth that I have come to expect from Mercedes Lackey. Perhaps too many people were collaborating on this one?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2003

    Average Lackey

    Mercedes Lackey is one of those rare writers who can make you care about her characters. Her earlier books were better in regards to this; I assume because of the pressure to write more books; I know I wouldn't mind a new book a month! This book is good. There are characters you care about, the only problem is finding them. There are a lot of characters in this book, some good, some bad and some just window took about 300 pages before I was comfortable defining who was who, and I still had to backflip to find a reference to this person or that one. It has a convoluted alternate history story base, which didn't effect me at all, since I don't know the real history. But there is a lot of information to process and a lot of characters to keep track of. I would buy the next book in the series, if this is a series, but it wouldn't be something I'd be obsessed about.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2003

    Truley Awesome

    I love all of Mercedes Lackey's work, but when I first bought this book it took me awhile to pick it up. It just looked so huge. I could kick myself for waiting so long. This book is truly awesome. From the start you are pulled into Marco, Benito, and Kat's world. There are twists and turns from the start and the ending is just great. [I just wish Maria would have had a happy ending.] I finished this book in 3 days. I just could not put it down. I lost alot of sleep with this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2002

    An Alternative Venice

    This was a GREAT read!! I'm somewhat new to Alternate History, but I've really enjoyed Mercedes Lackey's books, so I gave it a try. Don't let the 825pp indimidate you. You really get to know the characters, and the plot is as twisted as Venice Politics in the 16th century. The Shadow of the Lion is a wonderful experience for all your senses.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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