Kirsten Reviews: Shadows of Falling Night by S.M. Stirling
Shadows of Falling Night by S.M. Stirling
At last, S. M. Stirling, the New York Times bestselling author of the Novels of the Change, presents the stunning climax to his Shadowspawn trilogy—the ultimate confrontation, in which the fate of all humanity hangs in the balance....
Near-purebred home nocturnus Adrian Brézé and his human mate, Ellen, thought they had dealt with his twin sister, Adrienne. In fact, they thought she was dead.
But she survived and now leads a faction of the Shadowspawn—the ancient, shape-shifting, blood-drinking breed who secretly control the world—that wants to leave just enough of the human race alive to satisfy their hunger and serve their needs. She has nothing but hatred and contempt for her brother, who remains on the side of humanity, fighting with the Brotherhood against the Shadowspawn.
To defeat him, she has suborned his mentor—the greatest warrior of the Brotherhood. The man thinks he’s bringing a weapon to the Council of Shadows that will wipe out the Shadowspawn’s leaders. In truth, his actions will make Adrienne demon-goddess of the world...unless Adrian and Ellen can turn him back in time.
Shadows of Falling Night by S.M. Stirling. The conclusion to Stirling’s Shadowspawn trilogy doesn’t bring an easy end to the series.
The Shadowspawn are literally the stuff legends are based on. The stories of vampires, werewolves, incubi, and succubi can all be traced back to these powerful beings. And, not all of them are interested in keeping humans around as more than a convenient snack.
That’s the crux of Adrian Breze’s problem with his sister Adrienne. She’s not one to shy away from gore and violence, and in fact is just as prone to debate wine as she is to rip somebody apart. On top of that, she enjoys it, and in order to crown herself the demon-Goddess of the world, she’s twisted the mind of Adrian’s mentor so that he’ll do her dirty work.
Adrian and his human mate Ellen have to find a way to rescue his mentor, restore his sense, and stop Adrienne before it’s the end of the world as they know it. But Adrienne knows that the Brotherhood opposes her, and so she’s gathered a number of Shadowspawn to fight for her and won’t back down in the face of logic, when brutality will get her what she wants.
Without spoiling the book, which has twists, and unpleasant events which befall some favorite characters, it’s safe to say that Stirling’s combination of humor and at times over the top villains makes for an enjoyable read. The contrast between Adrienne and Monica (her thrall) and the playful and loving relationship that Ellen and Adrian have (their safeword is ‘earwax’) is both fun to see, and run parallel throughout the story. A reader can see why different characters make the choices they do, and sometimes that is just the thing to put their throat in between sharp teeth.
This book may have creatures that behave in much the same way as vampires and werewolves, but they’re not ‘prettied up,’ and there’s always a sense of danger about them, never letting one forget that these aren’t the sort of creatures that will rescue a person if they’re hungry for a snack. Even Adrian, the ‘good Shadowspawn’ that’s working with the Brotherhood against his twin sister isn’t so tame that he doesn’t struggle with his own appetites.
There are some pretty big changes for a few characters, and although sharing them would ruin the plot twists, it’s enough to say that nobody is the same after the dust settles.
Shadows of Falling Night will be released on May 7th, 2013.