- Stalking Shadows
- R.J. Hanson
- October 31, 2022 (Physical)
- March 23, 2023 (Audiobook)
- Terry F. Self
- Lords of Order and Chaos #4
- Bloodlines Reforged Saga #7
To make my bias’ known at the start; I’m a huge fan of this series, the saga, and the world they’re set in. I run the official wiki, and I’m an admin on the official Facebook group. I beta-read this book as well, so that did somewhat impact my perception of things.
On the topic of beta-reading this, I honestly thought this was an unintentional comedy the first time around. There are several scenes that had me laughing hard, but I was told they were intended to be somewhat funny.
This is not a sequel you can just pick up, and know what’s going on. You’ll be very lost if you’ve not read the other 3 books. Reading the Heirs of Vanity or the short stories isn’t a requirement, but I personally suggest it because it will introduce you to characters and lore that you wouldn’t know otherwise. The Lords of Order and Chaos series makes several references to the HoV series in passing.
If you’ve made it this far into the review, then you’ve likely read the first 3 LoOaC books. If you liked them, you’ll love Stalking Shadows, as it’s more of the same. It’s less of a sequel and more of a continuation of the currently ongoing plot. It picks up several days after book 3 and carries on as if they were the same book.
R.J. Hanson has crafted an incredibly interesting, deep, and complex fantasy world. The reason I made a wiki for them was because they just spew lore and references constantly, and you can read them and never look for deeper meaning or context and be content. But you can also look into them and find interesting easer eggs.
Despite having listened to the LoOaC series 4 times, I only recently realized Ivant II, the distant descendant of the prominent historical figure Lord Ivant lost his Kingdom of Ozur, as his ancestor did during a bloody war. Is the name Ivant just cursed? Or was it just a subtle easter egg? (Which the series is full of.) Despite my 4 listens, and my beta read of Stalking Shadows, I never noticed the parallels between Silas, a Lord of Chaos, and his long-lived vampire traveling companion, and his brother Dunewell, a Lord of Order, and his long-lived vampire slayer traveling companion.
Stalking Shadows, as well as the saga as a whole, is full of these sneaky little lore easter eggs that really have me re-reading or analyzing the books constantly, to see what else I’ve missed. You never know if a character the protagonists give a gold coin to will return as a knight 3 books later, and I love that about this saga, because it’s equally as likely as anything else you can predict.
For the most part, the audiobook narration is fantastic. However, it was littered with obnoxious background noises. They were numerous throughout the book and I found them incredibly distracting. One example included what sounded like a phone vibrating, and some were only several seconds apart.
NOTE: This copy was provided to me free of charge as a digital review copy. The opinions stated in this review are mine and mine alone, I was not paid or requested to give this book a certain rating, suggestion, or approval.