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The Crowded Shadows by Celine Kiernan

Born and raised in Dublin, Ireland, Celine Kiernan has spent the majority of her working life in the film business. Trained at the SullivanBluth Studio’s, her career as a classical feature character animator has spanned over seventeen years. She’s spent most of her time working between Germany, Ireland and the USA. Celine wrote her first novel at the age of eleven and hasn’t stopped writing or drawing since. She is well known for her fantasy series, The Moorehawke Trilogy, which consists of The Poison Throne, The Crowded Shadows and The Rebel Prince.

New Friends. Old Enemies. Who can you trust?

Wynter Moorehawke travels alone and unprotected in bandit-infested forests, searching for the rebel Prince Alberon. But many enemies are lurking in the shadows. It seems that every tyrant and zealot who has ever threatened the Kingdom is sending emissaries to meet Alberon. Wynter becomes increasingly nervous of the prince’s intentions.

She is overjoyed when Razi and Christopher re-appear, but where old friends go, old enemies soon follow and Wynter finds herself confronted with the infamous Wolves – the Loups-Garous. It is to Christopher’s adopted people, the Merron, that Wynter and Razi must now turn for sanctuary. But the Merron have sided with their mortal enemy, Marguerite Shirken. What is behind these strange alliances and is Alberon at the centre of it all?

Just like The Poison Throne, this book is heavily driven by its characters and their relationships. While the plot moves slowly and is punctuated with long discussions, readers are kept engaged by the interactions between characters. These discussions also provide insight into the politics and history of the world as well, so I enjoyed them. 

The Crowded Shadows also sees romances blossom for the main characters: while it was pretty obvious that Christopher and Wynter have feelings for one another, I found Razi’s romance with Embla both hilarious and awkward that the same time. I thought it moved very fast and grew too serious too quickly, but I also think they are perfect for one another. Christopher is still, undoubtedly, my favourite character: brave and loyal, but broken emotionally and pragmatic in his approach to life. I think he caused more problems by keeping secrets from Razi and Wynter concerning the Merron, but I also understand his motivations for doing so. 

This is a book I thoroughly enjoyed – wonderful characters and good storyline. I want to read the third and final book soon, and continue Wynter, Christopher and Razi’s incredible journey. You are seriously missing out if you haven’t picked up this series. 

About the book:

  • Date published: 01 January 2010
  • Publisher: Allen & Unwin
  • Format: Paperback, 528 pages
  • ISBN 13: 9781741758719 ISBN 10: 174175870X
  • Categories: Fantasy
  • Goodreads / The Book Depository
  • My review of The Poison Throne (The Moorehawk Trilogy #1)
  • My review of The Rebel Prince (The Moorehawk Trilogy #3)

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