Today’s featured book is the fantasy novella Into the Shadow Wood (Wind Rider Chronicles) by Allison D. Reid and released at the end of September. The story runs parallel to some of the events in the last part of Allison’s book Journey to Aviad (Book 1 the Wind Rider Chronicles) and we will also take a look at that later in the post.
Once a proud member of the Sovereign’s prestigious personal guard, Einar has lost everything: his home, his Sovereign, and his purpose. Most of his closest friends have either been killed in battle or executed. His friend Nevon died trying to fulfill a dangerous oath…one that Einar disagreed with, but now feels honor-bound to take up in his stead. The quest plunges Einar into the depths of the dark and twisted Shadow Wood, testing the limits of his strength, his beliefs, and his sanity. What he finds in the Wood is far more ominous than anything he’d expected. If he’s not careful, Nevon’s fate might end up being his own.
One of the early reviews for Smallwood.
I absolutely loved Journey to Aviad, the first book in Allison’s Wind Rider Chronicles. When I learned she was writing a novella that takes place at the same time as some of the events toward the end of Journey to Aviad, I knew I had to read it. Journey to Aviad was easily one of the five best books I’ve read this year, and somehow this short novella surpassed even that book. That in itself is among the highest praise I can heap upon “Into the Shadow Wood”.
This novella follows Einar, a character who played a major role early on in Journey to Aviad and who, I understand, does not appear in the sequel to that book. But he had a story to tell, which appears here and is absolutely fantastic. The world building and scene-setting that Allison excels at is present here in this novella. The Shadow Wood feels like a character in itself, exerting its sinister will upon the minds of the men traveling deep into its depths. The supporting cast with Einar, his companion Alaric and his commander Godwin, are both memorable characters in their own right. I loved Godwin’s deeply rooted faith and how it interacted with Einar’s skepticism. That interplay stood out as one of highlights of this novella and helped make Einar a dynamic character throughout this novella.
The one major criticism I had about Journey to Aviad was the lack of action, where it seemed like the girls were being swept along by events rather than taking control and making decisions. That certainly was not the case with this book, which is packed with action during the exploration of the Shadow Wood and then the major battle that takes place near the end. I loved how the events in this overlap with one of the events near the end of Journey to Aviad, providing that continuity and firmly placing the timing of this book into the Wind Riders chronology.
Overall this was a great read and a steal at the price. I’m very much looking forward to getting a chance to pick up the second book in Allison’s series and have a feeling that one will be wonderful as well. She has shown her ability to masterfully craft a living and vibrant world and to create characters who are dynamic in growth and are enjoyable to follow on their journeys. I cannot recommend this book, or Journey to Aviad, enough. If you enjoy fantasy at all, or want to read books that are steeped in faith and mystery and wonder, you won’t want to miss these.
About Journey to Aviad (Book 1 The Wind Chronicles).
Threatening clouds and fierce storms besiege the city of Tyroc. More frequent and powerful than ordinary storms, young Elowyn, a weaver’s daughter living in the outskirts of the city, senses something disturbing and unnatural about them. She soon realizes that the storms are but a warning sign of much more frightening things yet to come. Terrifying wolf-like creatures emerge from the depths of the wilderness at the bidding of a dark master. His name found only among the crumbling pages of ancient texts, the re-appearance of Alazoth and his Hounds is a dark omen for the people of Tyroc and beyond.
Only legends remain of the heroes and prophets whose blood was shed ages ago to banish him into the abyss, which should have remained his prison for all time. How he has been released is a mystery, but all the old stories agree that death and destruction are sure to follow. With the Hounds inching closer each day, the city of Tyroc caught up in religious and political turmoil, and her home life no less turbulent, Elowyn has nothing left to rely on but her meager courage and a budding faith in Aviad, the Creator.
She and her sister, Morganne, set out on a remarkable journey that challenges everything they have ever known about themselves, the world, and the path that Aviad has laid out for them.
One of the recent reviews for the book.
I was pleasantly surprised by this book, beautifully written and lyrical. Even when I set the book down to attend to my daily grind, thoughts of Elowyn and her plight followed me until I could open it again to continue her tale. The prologue drew me in, young Elowyn and her sister Morganne held me close, and now curiosity for what will become of them draws me to the next book, Ancient Voices: Into the Depths. I would recommend this book to any age reader. I have a 21-year old daughter [not specifying my age ;)], and yet I enjoyed every bit of it. That said, I am certain it would best appeal to YA or MG readers.
Buy the Book
Other Retailers – https://allisondreid.com/books-2/
Also by Allison D. Reid
Buy all the books: https://www.amazon.com/Allison-D.-Reid/e/B006C8KZEK
About Allison D. Reid
Allison D. Reid was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her love for medieval fantasy was sparked by the Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis, which fed both her imagination and her spiritual development. When at the age of thirteen her family moved to Germany, her passion for medieval history and legend only increased, and she found herself captivated by the ancient towns and castles of Europe.
Allison returned to the United States to study art and writing at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. She earned her B.A. under the tutelage of the well-renowned and prolific writer Andrew Salkey, a student of her other great inspiration, and the father of fantasy, J. R. R. Tolkien. After graduating from Hampshire College, Allison moved to Connecticut. There she got the opportunity to attend seminary and further explore her faith before returning to her home state of Ohio.
Allison now lives in the Miami Valley area with her husband and children. She continues to work on her first published series while taking care of her family, editing for other independent writers, and managing a home business.
Connect to Allison
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Allison-D.-Reid/e/B006C8KZEK
Website – https://allisondreid.com/
Author Blog – https://allisondreid.com/blog/
Personal Blog – https://weavingword.wordpress.com/
Newsletter Blog – http://weeklyfantasyfix.blogspot.com.au/
Newsletter Subscription Link – http://wordpress.us10.list-manage1.com/subscribe?u=6a6fd90e462e13ad7628eaaad&id=6425063db8
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JourneytoAviad/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/AllisonDReid
Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5451388.Allison_D_Reid?from_search=true
Christmas Tree courtesy of author John. W. Howell
Thanks very much for dropping in today and as always your feedback and shares to your own network are appreciated. Sally