Following quickly after the ending in "Elfsorrow, The Legends of the Raven, Book One", this book (actually the fifth book in a collection) titled "Shadowheart, The Legends of the Raven, Book 2" is not as well plotted out.
Mr. Barclay still manages to superbly build his characterization with a huge cast, and continues to expand the war that rages through the land, but he falls short in giving readers a more personal "feel" to what's happening. You get the sense of the grand scheme of the story –the battle for supremacy among the four magic colleges, but with new characters replacing "killed off" ones, readers will be left feeling a bit unattached to them.
Still, the battle rages on in Balaia and the Ravens return to fight to the end. The colleges of magic play the major roles as the Ravens and tribes of the elves continue to fight for the continent's survival.
Although it does start slower than the other books, there are enough battle scenes, and adventures to keep a reader entertained at a certain level. Reader fans will be happy to see the final conclusion, the final victory for those involved.
As a reader I was a bit disappointed in the "grand" plot. I wanted to see more characterization. As a Reviewer, I felt that this book fell into its own place for a series that has definite entertainment value.
If you select this book to review please also select book 1: Elfsorrow
The Raven is tested to the point of destruction when a savage war is unleashed across his world and the magical colleges of Balaia tear the land apart in their struggle for supremacy. Can The Raven even survive, let alone triumph?