BOOK REVIEW | THE SHADOW GATE BY L.L. MACRAE
As usual, I never get to books when I think I am going to get to books. However, I managed to get to this one eventually.
The Shadow Gate is the second book in the the Dragon Spirits series.
Opening the shadow gate is the only way Fenn’s memories can be restored—and with them, his life and family.
It could also destroy the world.
Guided by dragon spirit Hassen and manipulated by the Myr, Fenn fights the corruption spreading through Tassar—and himself—in an attempt to find his family. Separated from his allies and unable to trust even his own mind, the arduous journey takes its toll.
Far from home and reunited with her sister, Calidra battles to keep her loved ones safe. But when the fickle loyalties of dragon spirits shifts, and darkness lurks around every corner, running from her fears is no longer an option.
And in the far south, consequences of the past catch up with those fighting for their freedom.
Book two in the DRAGON SPIRITS epic fantasy trilogy! Return to the magic-drenched world of Tassar, where ancient artefacts awaken and the seeds of corruption are sown.
The Shadow Gate is the second book in the Dragon Spirits series that was started in The Iron Crown by L.L. Macrae.
This second book continues the story that was started in the first book and we see that after their return, the Myr are becoming decidedly more bold in their assertions to carry out the plans that they have for the world of Tassar.
The Shadow Gate is more fast paced than first book in the series as now that the world of Tassar has been introduced, L.L. MacRae can throw caution to the wind and can get on with telling the story of the battle between the dragon spirits and the Myr, and the effects that it will have on the people and the lands that make up the story.
In relation to the world building aspect, L.L. Macrae assumes that there is now some familiarity amongst her readers and that they are prepared for what is to come.
Character wise, this book is different from the previous book in that the party that we had in the first book have all split up and gone their separate ways. Fenn, along with Apollo and Inquisitor Nadia have gone to search for the Citirine Key in order to rectify the decisions that Apollo had made previously. In addition to this, Fenn believes that the only way to regain his memories is to take matters into his own hands.
Also, there is Callidra and Jisyel, who are doing their best to help the refuges from the Myrs attack with her sister Malora, and Calidra’s newly found niece, Renys. In the midst of this, Macrae also gives some time to give he point of view of the inquisitors and Torsten also returns.
Throughout the book, Macrae builds upon the characters that we were introduced to and starts to add nuances to their characters and we get some more humanistic qualities to make them more believable. Fo instance, the characters are definitely greyer than in the first book, they can be fickle, argumentative and impulsive, but at the same time they can warm, loving and generally nice to be around.
In The Shadow Gate, Macrae really brings to the fore that the stakes are higher in this book. We get the impression that the Myr are far more of a threat and that they have set in motion plans that have been maturing for eons and that what seems to be at first to be a random resurgence of their powers, it is in actual fact a well-orchestrated plan that is only just coming to fruition.
Not only do we get the usually adept characterisations of the main characters, we also get to see ore of the dragons and how much they are intrinsically linked to the very ecology of the world. Not only that we get hints at the lore of Tassar and how the Dragons and the Myr have been fighting their battle for millennia.
Now I have read quite a few of L.L. Macrae’s books and I have a theory. I am not sure whether I am right or that I am just making things up. Recently, I read the first books of the Linaria series, and similarly to the world of Tassar, the world is governed by Dragons, although they are a different iteration. Now, whilst reading this, it struck me that there are some similar terms used in both books. High Dragons in both books are called Archons, so I was wondering is this a connecting universe, similar to the Cosmere and other fantasy worlds. Just a thought, but it did cross my mind regularly.
The Shadow Gate is a cracking sequel to Iron Crown and moves the story to greater stakes, setting it up perfectly for the third book