By: Peter Eliott
Published by: Further Press, LLC
Publication Date: November 1, 2022
Reviewed by: Kathy Stickles
Review Date: February 15, 2023
In A Dream of Shadows, book one of The Shadow Bidder Series, author Peter Eliott has written one of the most exciting and intense books that the fantasy genre has ever seen, and it is only the first book in the series. It is amazing that this adventure is pulled together in only 400 pages and it covers just a two-day period. Can you just imagine what happens on day 3?
On page one we are introduced to the protagonist of the story, Vazeer the Lash. This is a man who has lived his life thus far as a smuggler in a horrific, crime-filled city called Hell’s Labyrinth. His life is one filled with danger and the feeling of never knowing what will happen next that could bring his downfall or even his death. It is also a life that he desperately wants to shed as it is one that goes against everything this refined, sophisticated man believes in. In A Dream of Shadows, Vazeer is finally given his opportunity to do one last job and retire to enjoy the best he can find in this dreadful place.
Vazeer becomes one of a group of skilled Shadow Bidders whose job it is to rid the city of The Raving Blade, one of Hell’s Labyrinth’s most famous and terrifying holders of power. He and this group are given 48 hours to end this life. In turn, they believe, this death will lead them all to lives of peace and hope, things that they can only dream of but never seriously expected to gain. In addition to Vazeer, this group of assassins includes an ex-pirate with a skill for weapons and Nascinthé, a beautiful actress in a world where she does not belong, to name just a couple.
What follows is a riveting tale full of action, secrets, violence, and even a little romance. The difference between good and evil has never been more exciting than it is in this story. The action is never lacking from beginning to end and the plot twists come out of nowhere so fast that you cannot put the book down. It is so hard for an author to be able to keep such action going through every single page but Peter Eliott does just that and he does it perfectly. This book is so well-written that you cannot help but become completely involved and feel that you are no longer just reading words on a page but are there, in this city, a part of this plot. The reader can see and feel every moment. The amazingly vivid descriptions of the characters, the locations, and the background literally make this story come alive.
Another incredible highlight to the reading is that the author is able to bring a dark humor into this terrifying world through the actions and dialogue of the characters even during moments of intense action and fear and that is a true gift. There is so much more going on in the minds of each of these characters as they try to complete their mission and it is brought to the forefront through the excellent writing.
A Dream of Shadows is a page-turning work of art that should not be missed by anyone. The best part of this book is the fact that we know going into it that this is not the end. The worst part is the fact that we now have to wait for the second in the series to see what happens with these incredible characters.
Quill says: The journey that this author has taken into fantasy in a post-apocalyptic world is simply incredible. A novel like this is the best kind… it is fabulously written, would be amazing on the big screen, and leaves the reader desperate for the next book. The perfect trio!
For more information on A Dream of Shadows (The Shadow Bidder Series, Book One), please visit the author's website at: petereliott.com