|Shadow is book two in the Pendulum trilogy that
begun with Pilgrims, and is author Will Elliotts third book (that
other is The Pilo Family Circus of which I know not enough).
continues to follow the progress of Eric and Case through Levaal along with the stories of
their original travelling companions. As with Pilgrims this book again
defies the storyline expectations of standard fantasy. Eric has now realised that he is no
one special to the life of Levaal, except he has been allowed to live when he first
entered; the chief villain has nearly ascended to godhood to his now belated consternation
and the other gods delight; his chief deputy is also having second thoughts but no
crisis of confidence in his plotting against incipient god; the dragons who created Levaal
are close to breaking out of their prison and getting ready to wreck havoc and mayhem over
all humanity in Levaal; and more is revealed of the eccentricity and bizarreness of the
life and nature of Levaal.
This book was both bleak and hopeful at turns; offering visions of an inevitable
triumph of the dragons or the success of the human players to survive. None are shown as
above petty squabbles and minor failings, yet the human characters are capable of
greatness if they try but very often they dont.
I found Shadow to be a wonderful sequel to Pilgrims and am
looking forward to the resolution of the story. Mr Elliott has set the next volume up such
that whatever hints he has given for that resolution they are sure to be well-cooked red
herrings. Expect the unexpected. If you want a comfortable read in a predictable world
with characters that follow a well tried script, then read something else. Shadow
(and Pilgrims) has been written without regard to the vogue fantasy rulebook
and is all the better for it.