Title: The Shadowed Path
Author: Gail Z. Martin
Genre/Age: General Fiction (Adult), Sci Fi & Fantasy
Publication date: June 14, 2016
How did I get the book: Review ebook copy from Rebellion Publishing via NetGalley
The Shadowed Path is a collection of short stories telling the backstory of Jonmarc Vahanian, hero of the author, Gail Z. Martin’s best-selling Chronicles of the Necromancer series. In this anthology, the reader gets to know Jonmarc as tragedy strikes his family in the form of raiders and along his journey to become a mercenary.
I didn’t realize when I signed up to review an advance copy of this book that it was really a collection of short stories but other than a bit of repetition at the start of the stories to introduce the characters and situation, it didn’t matter. Besides, I have nothing against short stories. I did wonder a bit afterwards why the short stories weren’t edited into a novel as it would have worked well. The central character (and many of the secondary ones) was the same, plus they were arranged chronologically. Regardless, like I said, it worked just fine as a collection of short stories.
But I’m getting a little ahead of myself. The Shadowed Path follows Jonmarc Vahanian, from the time he’s 15 until he’s 18 along the adventures and tragedy that make up his young life. We see him lose everything and start over, only for it to happen all over again, albeit in a different manner. Not wanting to be the cause of any more grief and death, he joins a caravan to make his way across the land to become a mercenary. Of course, the advance and action doesn’t stop there.
The Shadowed Path is a very compelling read and quickly sucks you into the story, or should I say short stories. It’s super easy to become invested in the characters, especially Jonmarc as he’s both likeable and well-written. There’s lots of action to keep you turning the pages and one cannot help but wonder what calamity will befall him next. The only thing that made me wonder was how so much could be crammed into two years as most of the short stories in the collection happen when he’s 17-18.
Regardless, it was a fun read and one that made me immediately look to see if my library had the Chronicles of the Necromancer series so I could read more about Jonmarc.
Should you read it?
Yes! If you’re a fantasy fan, you’ll love this book. And don’t worry if you’ve not read the Chronicles of the Necromancer series – I hadn’t but I’m certainly going to now – as The Shadowed Path is an enjoyable read all on its own. It’s super easy to get sucked into the story and connect with Jonmarc. Just beware that it is a collection of short stories and not a novel so there is a bit of repetition at the start of each story.