The Shadow Saint by Gareth Hanrahan

Guerdon shambles on from age to age, incorporating its scars and eating its scabs, surviving as best it can.

Prepare yourself for a multitude of shifts… in perspective, setting, character goals. Guerdon is a city that has changed and evolved through The Gutter Miracle and the emergence of the New City. Now Effro Kelkin has the power in his hands in the form of the Emergency Committee and some in the city are ready to open up elections, yet others think that the ground hasn’t settled since the turbulent actions of The Gutter Prayer.

To add to the conflicts are the representatives from neighboring Haith who see benefit in opening up greater lines of trade between the nations… especially when it comes to the weapons the alchemists have nearly perfected. And there’s a new device that is rumored to be in the city, one that could change the course of the outside war. But these trade agreements would certainly threaten Guerdon’s stake as a neutral entity in the ongoing war. The Godwar jeopardizes the relative peace or at least the thin veneer that many are trying to hold together as there are factions and individuals who are active in making their cases known.

Hanrahan shifts the perspective to several new characters and a couple old ones. First and foremost is Eladora who is now Kelkin’s assistant and in charge of, among other things, gaining allegiance to the cause from the occupants of the New City. And then there’s The Spy. A character that keeps you on your toes for every word of every page. A chameleon of personalities and allegiances in order to attain his goal, his chess-like moves keep him several steps ahead. (And those fav characters from The Gutter Prayer: you will meet again.)

A couple tips in getting into this sequel:

1. I would definitely recommend reading Hanrahan’s Gutter Prayer Refresher from his website. Even though I read it just a couple months back, I needed to review some of the characters and back story.

2. Be prepared for a pretty dense read. This is not a criticism. I felt like it took a little extra effort to keep up with the various threads in the Shadow Saint.

3. Hanrahan’s writing is as immersive and particular as in the first book. Each page is a trip of metaphor and detail that takes the reader into his city.

4. A widening of the world. A spreading of the political scene. Hold on and open your mind. You will not regret it.

Highly Recommended!

5 out of 5 stars

Thank you to NetGalley, Orbit Books, and the author for an advanced copy for review.

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