Shadowborn is of course the third and final (?) book in a trilogy by Alison Sinclair featuring a civilization torn asunder by an 800 year old curse that divides the world in half into the blind Darkborn who live by night and to whom sunlight is deadly and the Lightborn for whom the opposite is true. You can read my reviews of the previous two novels here and here.  Incidentally, if you click on the link to Sinclair’s site and then go to the individual book pages, you can read other reviews of the same books. I find it interesting because we all approach the review a little differently.

Unlike when I stumbled upon Darkborn, I didn’t read any other thoughts or comments about Shadowborn because I was already interested in the book. I did check them out afterward though and was not surprised to find that the comments echoed mine. The word fascinating seemed to crop up often and is one that I feel is most fitting to describe the world Sinclair created for our enjoyment. Oh and click here to read what author Alison Sinclair had to say when I asked her a few questions.

I’d like to take a quick minute to acknowledge the gorgeous, intricate cover art by Melanie Delon. Once again, a superb rendering that is reflective of the themes of the novel.

Speaking of details, both Dark- and Lightborn are fully realized races. Take the sonn of the Darkborn and their dependence upon technology their style of dress, societal norms and hold it up against the Lightborn who are quenched by darkness, are sighted, favour mages and mistrust technology and you will have a civilization (or civilizations if you prefer)  that is truly as opposite and different from each other as is day from night. A wonderful feat of imagination if you ask me. I know I keep harping on this point of details, but all the best stories have these details woven in the fabric of the story. It is that fundamental element (combined with excellently written, believable characters) that brings all the best stories to life.

Plot Summary

Remember, since we began Darkborn and through much of this book, it’s only been a week. That’s it. A week.

We receive a clue in the assertion that the Shadowborn are the mages – or the descendants of them – that originally laid the Curse.

Ishmael, having made it to the Borders surrenders to the arrest order carried by Mycene, but before they are able to head back north, Stranhorne is attacked by the Shadowborn.

Lysander Hearne (Balthasar’s brother) is alive we will shortly learn, he has fathered a son on a Shadowborn woman. It is his son, Sebastian, who is the father of Tercelle Amberley’s twins (remember back to the beginning of Darkborn). At Stranhorne, Sebastian ensorcels Bathasar into helping him. The Shadowborn overrun Stranhorne and it is abandoned as lost.

There are two factions of Shadowborn. One is led by the insane Emeya who is bent on conquest and the other by Isolde (younger daughter of Imogene, perpetrator of the Curse) who is working against her. Emeya ensorcels her followers, including Sebastian, although his parents are both supporters of Isolde.

Emeya’s faction is the ones who killed Isidore (the Lightborn prince) and were under orders to kill Vladimer.

Did Ishmael just die? I think he did…no… ah he is healed by a Shadowborn and taken to Isolde. (That’s how we learn much of what I just wrote above.) Ishamel has his magic augmented by Isolde (although it’s not something he really wants, strictly speaking).

The final battle is enjoined before I realized it was happening and though it was not long, I can only describe it as epic. The Shadowborn are defeated, but not without losses on all sides of sunrise: Dead are Farquhar Broome, (d-born) Tammorn, (l-born) the Lightborn archmage and two masters, Neill (s-born) as well as Isolde and Emeya both. Phoebe Broome has yet to wake and Sebastian is in the custody of Lightborn mages and Lysander has returned to his Shadowborn lady. Ishmael also survived the battle but his whereabouts are unknown. In addition to the power Isolde funnelled into him, both Farquhar and the archmage gifted him before they died so he now has more power than any mage living and less control as well. Ishmael is also the last repository of the Curse.

After three weeks of unconsciousness, Telmaine awakes and she and Balthasar are reunited.

Will we see more of the characters we have come to care for in such a short time? The closing words of Shadowborn certainly leave the window open to that possibility. If the story does end here though, I feel that Sinclair did an admirable job in wrapping up the series. I can’t help hoping to return to Minhorne someday though. Perhaps when Balthasar and Telmaine’s children are grown and the lines between day and night are blurred? Only Sinclair knows the answer to that. Having read all three books, I can unconditionally recommend them to Fantasy lovers everywhere, and to those who just love a good read, as excellent books. For myself, I look forward to whatever Sinclair imagines for her readers next.

And that is my satisfied 2¢ for today.


~ by leslies2cents on August 22, 2011.


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    • Grazie mille, si prega di tenere in visita. My Italian is rusty but I think I did ok. Thanks so much for the compliments; I hope you continue to enjoy visiting my blog.

  2. Cool information indeed. My friend has been looking for this update.

  3. Amazing Post!…

    Thanks a lot for this amazing post. Really amazing!…

    • Thank you. I’m glad there are others out there who enjoy Sinclair’s books. Be sure to check out my interview with her as well. You can access it direct from the site or there’s a link in the Shadowborn review.

  4. I love your site, it’s nice when you can tell somebody actuallly puts effort into a blog, and gives the topics. If you set up notifications value.

    • Thanks, I’m still working on maximizing viewership and trying to get RSS feeds and the like to work. In the meantime, please, check back often and I hope you enjoyed Shadowborn.

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