Shadowfall by James Clemens
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In Myrillia the gods live between the humans. A hundred of them settled and claimed their land, and made their Grace flow into it. The solitaries live far away, in barbaric land. Then, one day, one of the Hundred is killed. And Tylar de Noche is falsely accused of the slaying of a god.
We follow Tylar in his journey to clean his name. The story starts off very slow, especially since there are a lot of characters introduced pretty early on. The strength of this book is that it ties up all these characters so neatly in the end, without giving too much away for the sequel, Hinterland. There were a lot of twists I did not see coming. I loved how corruption is so wide spread and that not even the gods are spared. The desperation was so heartfelt it made me uncomfortable.
Of course, you cannot write a review about Shadowfall without mentioning the magic system. It's awesome. It is different, it is gross, and it even is well thought through. I did wonder a few times why Tylar wasn't just throwing his blood at his enemies. It should work, right?
Tylar undergoes a great transformation. He is turned from a broken man into a perfect knight, and his mind slowly grows into it. It goes very gently and with little steps at a time he is accepting his new fate. I also really liked how things aren't easily resolved between Tylar and Kathryn. It made this book feel so more credible. And that's quite an achievement in a book where it is common to be covered in someone's faeces.