Flavia-Adriana edited the summary of Shadowheart Tuesday, June 28, 2011.
Picking up where he left off in November 2010's Elfsorrow, Barclay has no qualms about heaping more misery and catastrophe on his devastated creation. The world includes a complex and rational system of magic that requires the cooperation of mages. One of the colleges of magic uses the near-destruction of a rival as the impetus for a war that brings in all four colleges and leaves the world even more battered and chaotic than it already was thanks to a series of political wars. The Raven, a group of heroes trying to stop the destruction, is battered and damaged as well, its numbers greatly reduced. Frequent perspective shifts give a sense of urgency at the expense of allowing the reader to get fully invested in any single character. Battle scenes are well realized and varied, vital in a book consisting almost entirely of epic conflict.