The Outstretched Shadow
by Mercedes Lackey & James Mallory
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
608 pages; ISBN: 0765302195
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Though only seventeen, the expectations for Kellen Tavadon, as the son of the Arch-Mage Lycaelon, are extraordinary. He has spent his life training in the High Magic trying to live up to what everyone anticipates he will achieve. Still his studies makes him wonder if that is all there is though Kellen is proud of his father and the other members of the sage Council of Mages as they guide the lives of the occupants of the Golden City of the Bells, Armethalieh.
While skipping his lessons, Kellen finds three forbidden books. Banned as heresy, these are the Books of Wild Magic. Unable to resist though he knows Wild Magic extracts a high personal payment from its user, Kellen begins studying his find. However, his sire learns what Kellen has done and exiles his son but after Kellen leaves, Lycaelon sends the Golems to kill him. As the teen discover a world of magic in which females even partake and centaurs and unicorns live, he also struggles to survive while wondering if the myth of evil demons is true too.
Though the first of a sword and sorcery trilogy, THE OUTSTRETCHED SHADOW may be the fantasy novel of the year. The story line is action-packed, but insures that magic seems genuine and the mythological creatures appear real so that the audience believes in Golems and unicorns, etc. Besides a tremendous opening gamut, this epic fantasy novel provides a strong conclusion (not the typical salami slice ending), but leaves enough threads to tease readers anticipating the next novel. Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory chronicle a great tale that will provide the duo much acclaim.
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