The River of Shadows (Chathrand Voyage Series #3)

( 30 )

Overview

After a harrowing escape from their first landfall in the southern lands and worse disasters in the city where they seek refuge, the crew of the Chathrand discover that the worst imaginable thing has happened: Arunis has stolen the Nilstone. Now our heroes face a terrible choice. They can flee with the crew, and leave Arunis to do what he will?or they can pursue him into the wild, abandoning all but the slimmest chance of ever returning home, and travel the River of Shadows, a waterway rumored to be connected to ...
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The River of Shadows (Chathrand Voyage Series #3)

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Overview

After a harrowing escape from their first landfall in the southern lands and worse disasters in the city where they seek refuge, the crew of the Chathrand discover that the worst imaginable thing has happened: Arunis has stolen the Nilstone. Now our heroes face a terrible choice. They can flee with the crew, and leave Arunis to do what he will—or they can pursue him into the wild, abandoning all but the slimmest chance of ever returning home, and travel the River of Shadows, a waterway rumored to be connected to the spirit realm. They are running out of time before Arunis masters the Nilstone—and unleashes the Swarm of Night into the world.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR ROBERT V. S. REDICK
 
“Robert Redick is an extraordinary talent.”—New York Times bestselling author Karen Miller
 
The Red Wolf Conspiracy
 
“This is one terrific read. . . . I can’t remember when I’ve been more enthralled.”—Terry Brooks
 
“Masterful storytelling . . . a delight.”—Los Angeles Times
 
“With comparisons to George R. R. Martin and Philip Pullman, this is highly recommended for all fantasy collections.”—Library Journal (starred review)

The Ruling Sea
 
“Exciting . . . enough plot twists and double-crosses to satisfy the most demanding lovers of suspense . . . Redick’s brilliant depiction of the microcosmic world aboard the Chathrand will captivate readers.”—Publishers Weekly
 
“This high-seas adventure has all the ingredients for a good read: a large and diverse cast of characters, magic, deceit, betrayal and unexpected twists.”—RT Book Reviews
 
“Easily one of the best fantasy novels of the year.”—Fantasy Book Critic

From the Hardcover edition.

The Barnes & Noble Review

From Paul Di Filippo's "THE SPECULATOR" column on The Barnes & Noble Review


British critic and editor David Pringle has a very interesting literary theory. He maintains that much of the last century of popular fiction has been consciously or unconsciously following a smallish stock of narrative templates and methods brilliantly codified during the late Victorian/early Edwardian period, or what Pringle dubs "The Age of Storytellers." Kipling, Stevenson, Verne, Wells, Doyle, Haggard: these writers and others were such powerful, popular storytellers that their influential signature patterns of fiction writing continue to determine the kind of tales that get fashioned and sold right down into the twenty-first century. In this light, later inspirations and role models such as Tolkien pale in comparison, and fantasy writers seeking to return to the ur-source would do well to leap backward a generation deeper than many shallow scavengers currently do.

Pringle's theory certainly receives a boost from the inspired work of Robert Redick, whose quartet of novels known as "The Chathrand Voyage" reaches its penultimate stage with The River of Shadows. Redick has succeeded in creating a Kidnapped or Treasure Island for contemporary times, which reads at once like some timeless fable and also like a knowing postmodern artifact (a mysterious editor intervenes at times with pronouncements that break the fourth wall). This work manages to be both sophisticated and naïve, direct and cunning, heartfelt and cerebral. The adventure is nonstop, the characters powerfully endearing, and the world-building meticulous, generous, fresh, and surprising: the term "widescreen baroque," coined by SF Grandmaster Brian Aldiss, proves a particularly apt tag for this example of what The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction defines as "a subgenre of science fiction characterized by larger-than-life characters, violence, intrigue, extravagant settings or actions, and fast-paced plotting."

Redick's series began in 2008 with The Red Wolf Conspiracy. A panoply of Dickensian characters were set loose in a largely maritime world, all abroil in conflict, intrigue, and passionate plots. Chief among the large cast were "tarboy" Pazel Pathkendle, exiled by war from a cozy home to the lowest stratum of sailors; and Thasha Isiq, an admiral's daughter about to be sacrificed in a loveless diplomatic marriage. Aboard the humongous warship Chathrand, these youngsters find each other and fall in love, in the midst of intricate dangers, both natural and supernatural. Pazel and Thasha each exhibit growing magical talents which wreak dramatic penalties on the hapless users. Strewing the path of the main struggle -- will an evil conjurer named Arunis Wytterscorm gain the most potent magical device in the whole world? -- are a hundred other obstacles and difficulties, to be transcended only by love, courage, friendship, and faith.

By the end of the second book, The Ruling Sea -- an installment that gifted us with a plague of mutant rats, tiny mannikin warriors, ninjas turned were-whales, good old cannon-fire between warships, and lost civilizations of tropical isles -- the battered vessel and its equally battered crew had landed on terra incognita only to find that everything they assumed about their destination was wrong.

River of Shadows picks up precisely at this point. With some Swiftian satire (humans in the southern hemisphere are mindless beasts, and the dominant race are golliwogs), Redick propels Pazel and Thasha in search of a way to stop Arunis, who continues to lurk in the labyrinth of the Chathrand. Time-slips and evil sentient swords complicate matters, before a Pyrrhic victory is attained, setting us up for a future, final confrontation.

Besides his intelligent emulation of the techniques of Old Masters -- Robert Louis Stevenson and H. Rider Haggard come to mind -- Redick is not above paying homage to such twentieth-century luminaries as Robert E. Howard and Edgar Rice Burroughs. His world of Alifros has the mix of red-blooded barbarism and decadent court life that marked Howard's Hyborian Age, or Burroughs's ancient Mars. In fact, Alifros features such a thick, ripe history that, as in the best fantasies, the exotic milieu itself becomes a character. And the giant ship stirs up echoes of Peake's Gormenghast.

But what ultimately ensnares the reader in this fantasy (and in all great fantasies, I think) is, paradoxically, its verisimilitude, its shock-of-recognition intersections with the consensus reality we inhabit, sensory and emotional touchstones both small and large. The stifling smell of a cramped grog-locker; Thasha's salt-stiffened hair; the sore mangled paw of an intelligent rat; the desire to reconnect with lost family. Redick exhibits such a winning sensitivity toward and engagement with life's many common vicissitudes ("How many times could the world change, before there was nothing left you could recognize?"), its sweetness and gall, that the fantastical elements seem at times secondary to the very human losses and triumphs he so ably crafts for our enjoyment.




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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345523822
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/19/2011
  • Series: Chathrand Voyage Series , #3
  • Pages: 592
  • Sales rank: 362,924
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 9.16 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Meet the Author


Robert V. S. Redick, a former theater critic and international development researcher, was a finalist for the AWP/Thomas Dunne Novel Award for his unpublished first novel, Conquistadors.

Michael Page has been recording audiobooks since 1984 and has over two hundred titles to his credit. He has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for The War That Killed Achilles by Caroline Alexander and The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

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(18)

4 Star

(7)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This epic fantasy continues the exhilarating adventures of the crew of the Chathrand Voyage

    The ancient ship Chathrand has finally crossed the Ruling Sea and reached the southern tip of Bali Adro where they hope to form an alliance with the humans. The trek was dangerous for the crew as many died mostly due to attacks of dark magic and supply shortages. However, the rebel alliance led by Pazel "the Tarboy" Pathkendle and the admiral's daughter Thasha Isiq feel combat ready for anything.

    They quickly realize how wrong they are when the meet those from the empire. The final battle between the rebel alliance and the ancient sorcerer Arunis for control of the powerful Nilstone relic has begun. Even if one possesses the arcane stone, it does not mean victory as failing to deploy properly leads to a horrific death. As Arunis gets closer to success, Pazel and Thasha unite with their enemies in a desperate ploy to prevent the sorcerer from winning. However, a crewmember flirts with Thasha dividing her from Pazel and enabling Arunis to close in on the ultimate victory.

    This epic fantasy continues the exhilarating adventures of the crew of the Chathrand Voyage (see The Red Wolf Conspiracy and The Ruling Sea) and like its predecessors does not allow readers a respite as the action keeps on coming. All that seafaring escapades and land battles are two edged swords as the excitement is immense, but the cast is so numerous few come across beyond what was previously developed. Still fans will relish the third Voyage of the Chathrand while newcomers need to read the previous entries to understand what motivates the prime players to act as they do.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 17, 2012

    None of the reviews below seem to make sense. Anyways, I thought

    None of the reviews below seem to make sense. Anyways, I thought this
    was a fantastic novel. Thank you, Mr. Redick.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Mithos to fallenstreak

    Where does the star clan currently reside.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2012

    Dawnpaw

    Im back after sherching fir mt charger im finLly back

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    Shadowblaze

    6:00 am i think. The sun is rising and the moon is setting

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    Six ovlock

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    to lilywhisper

    rip her throat and disappears

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Fallenstreak

    I dont know sorry... hey do u by chance have a hamburger on u?

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Assasin to appleleaf

    Ill give u a hont pn where im going. I look up to the SKY then walk away

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2012

    Streakfeather

    "I know that," the silver-and-black warrior says patiently to Fallenstreak. "In case you did not notice, I made that post on June twenty-fifth, not today. Of course, it is pointless now, but that does not seem to matter." —$ + ¿ € @ |< ¿ € @ + # € ¿

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2012

    Autumnstar to Silverpaw

    "Yes you can join. New camp At 'shadowed moon'." ~Autumnstar :3

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Silencefang

    Hi hi i wanna join ps i luv loganfoot

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 22, 2012

    Omnifoot

    Doesnt get on much cuz so many rpgs.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2012

    Shadowkit

    Wants to join

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2012

    To nightkiy

    Look at the post titled to catstht want to joun, or look at the post with the riddle. Decipher the riddle if u can an come to our camp. Hint: in between each letter

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2011

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    Posted June 11, 2011

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    Posted June 16, 2011

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