Stands a Shadow

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In Farlander, the first book of the Heart of the World series, readers met Ash, an aging master assassin of the famed order of Roshun, and his apprentice Nico, a boy who always managed to be in the wrong place at the right time. Ash and Nico were sent on a suicidal mission to fulfill a contract against the favored son of the Holy Matriarch, the ruler of Mann. The assassination of the Matriarch’s son maintained the honor and reputation of the Roshun, but further destabilized a nation already beset by strife. For ...

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Stands a Shadow

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Overview

In Farlander, the first book of the Heart of the World series, readers met Ash, an aging master assassin of the famed order of Roshun, and his apprentice Nico, a boy who always managed to be in the wrong place at the right time. Ash and Nico were sent on a suicidal mission to fulfill a contract against the favored son of the Holy Matriarch, the ruler of Mann. The assassination of the Matriarch’s son maintained the honor and reputation of the Roshun, but further destabilized a nation already beset by strife. For Ash, fulfilling the contract came at an enormous personal cost.

Now in Stands a Shadow, driven by grief and anger, Ash embarks on a journey that takes him through the Free Ports and toward the embattled city of Bar-Khos. He arrives at the city as the Holy Matriarch of Mann orders her forces to breach the walls of Bar-Khos and bring it under her control. Renouncing the ways of the Roshun, Ash disguises himself among the Mannian soldiers, determined to go to any lengths to have his revenge against the Matriarch.…

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Buchanan continues the story of the Roshun assassin Ash, introduced in Farlander (Sept. 2011), who has successfully killed the Matriarch’s son, but grieves the loss of his apprentice, Nico. Ash sets about gaining retribution against the background of the Mann Empire’s continuing siege of the island city Bar-Khos. As a large cast of characters navigate a complicated plot, the story changes viewpoints a little too frequently to build up narrative continuity or cohesiveness. The quick shifts also make it difficult to build any sympathy for such unlikable people as the callous Diplomat Ché. More concerned with the movements of military forces and portraying a complex world than with action, the book has a leisurely pace atypical of military fantasies, feeling more like an epic quest without a well-defined goal. (Nov.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Col Buchanan

“With a narrative that is riveting from beginning to end, from the big battles to the smallest interactions, this is the rare book that a reader wishes would never end.”

RT Book Reviews, 4½ stars on Stands a Shadow

“Well rendered and nicely paced… Stirring combat and vivid details.”

—Kirkus Reviews on Stands a Shadow

“Something special…Buchanan writes vividly and well, and the story grips from the astonishing opening sequence to the unexpected conclusion.”

—The Times (UK) on Farlander

“Completely absorbing. Once I was into it, I just couldn’t put it down. I’m looking forward to the sequel!”

—Glen Cook, author of The Black Company series on Farlander

“Gripping… Delightfully undermin[es] expectations.”

—SFX on Farlander

Kirkus Reviews
Sequel to Buchanan's fantasy debut, Farlander (2011), which featured an evil, expansionist religious empire, its democratic adversaries and a saintly assassin cult. Having destroyed the Roshun assassins, the Holy Empire of Mann turns its full attention to the siege of the city of Bar-Khos. The young Matriarch, Sasheen, leads Mann's vast armies in person, while tough, brilliant general Marsalas Creed struggles to gather reinforcements for the dwindling garrison, which Bar-Khos' allies are reluctant to send. Old assassin Ash, meanwhile, wracked with guilt over the callous execution of his innocent apprentice, Nico, by the Matriarch, determines to kill Sasheen or perish in the attempt. What follows--Ash's adventures interspersed with bloody battles--is well rendered and nicely paced but rarely surprising. Except when one day a lake is frozen hard enough for a fleeing army to cross, whereas a day later one of the characters is swimming in a nearby river and not even complaining of the cold. The question that lingered after the first installment, whether or not Buchanan has a genuine imagination, must be answered in the negative: A few steampunk overtones, like flying warships, add little to the standard mix, no matter how competently crafted. Readers willing to settle for stirring combat and vivid details may hang around, but those wanting a bigger bang for their buck will not.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780330511896
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 3/28/2012

Meet the Author

COL BUCHANAN lives in Lancaster, England. Farlander was his debut novel, and the first novel in the Heart of the World series.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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(5)

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 5, 2012

    Good solid read.

    Having read the previous book in the series I was expecting the same methodical build up to the end, which is exactly what I got. It's not a fast reading book, but at the same time it doesn't drag to the point of boredom. Characters are well fleshed out and a person learns enough background in them in this book that they become more fully realized than the previous book. Overall it was a good read, but it wasn't a story that made me want to read it in one sitting.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 20, 2012

    Wonderful

    Buchanan continues the vivid writing , well crafted characters and indepth worldbuilding in the second book of the Heart of the World series. The story does hop around a little to much in my opion but I feel it finds its footing by the middle. There were also some moments that felt rushed.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2014

    Great Book

    Can't wait for the next one.

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

    Posted February 11, 2013

    Not really pissed off

    Great read! Sucked me in despite of Nico's unforseen demise

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2012

    This book is good fun. Sometimes the storylines seem a bit scatt

    This book is good fun. Sometimes the storylines seem a bit scattered and seem to get ahead or fall behind themselves but they always come around and make a point. I have a single complaint, I got so into the story on my nook I didn't realize I was in the last chapter.... Sir you are not nice for ending the book like that! :D I will definitely be waiting for the next one!

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

    Posted January 7, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2012

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