Today, I am shamelessly talking about Dolor and Shadow. But I’m taking an approach I haven’t really done before. I’m directly telling you why Dolor and Shadow is so different than any other high fantasy available today. Everything posted here is an accumulation of reports from beta-readers, reviewers, and readers.
Any hard-core fantasy reader will tell you they’ve attempted certain fantasy books time and again. Readers find most fantasies dry. So very dry. Like slow chewing a barrel. The story may be GREAT… great enough for you to ignore how dry the writing is. Other fantasy authors have mastered the art of imagery… and nothing else. Few can write dialogue while others can write sweeping detail and submerge you completely into their story, only for the reader to emerge at the end and realize, the author had no story at all and the book was simply uneventful.
Dolor and Shadow took seven years to write. What you purchase on Amazon is actually the fifth edition of the book. What that book was put through was so much more than grueling. Within this story you will find accurately portrayed psychological conditions a number of us can relate to. A psychologist reviewed the book for consistency. You will find an accurate magic system confirmed by my science consultant. Yes, a science consultant—chemist and physicist—worked on Dolor and Shadow’s metallurgy, herbs, potions, drugs, and magic system. No less than three attorneys proof read the manuscript for language, translation, and grammar.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. Simply put, the writing is extraordinary—so says the reviews—the story is a non-stop adventure, but it is the setting that breathes life into Dolor and Shadow. The setting is a character that lives and moves alongside Kallan and Rune. The setting is what makes the story what it is.
Dolor and Shadow has it all: the sweeping imagery, the story, action, adventure, romance, a few murder mysteries, a goddess with motives she isn’t ready to reveal. Betrayal, sword fights, historical accuracy, usurpers, pompous overbearing Nord Lords, and one hell of a heroine who has a fondness for throwing fire. There is never a dull moment, but the action is balanced enough to give readers a chance to catch their breath. The characters are multi-layered with a number of secrets, few of which are reveled.
So what is it Dolor and Shadow has that no other fantasy book has? Dolor and Shadow has it all in the sense of character, all in the sense of writing, and all in the sense of story. It is the triple threat. There are elves (Alfar… four clans to be exact), dwarves (Dvergar), Norse gods—Loptr (Loki) and Sigyn make an appearance along with Surtr (the Fire Giant) and Heimdallr—The Celtic gods are present… Danann… and the Fae goddess, Fand, as well as some not-so fictitious characters.
There is breathtaking imagery that readers have reported to be magnificent in scope. The word “epic” rolls from the pages with the first line. “Think back to the oldest era your mind can fathom. Back when the gods were still men who had not yet done the deeds that would deify them.”
Dolor and Shadow takes the work out of imagination. The setting rises up and engulfs you alongside Kallan and Rune who you will stand beside and fight alongside while an epic adventure and romance carries them on their journey.
The magic system—the Seidr—adds to the scope of the world you’ll enter. The Seidr is part of the setting and is the life source that brings this world to life. In Dolor and Shadow, the land moves, it thinks, it has a mind of its own and Kallan and Rune both learn to wield it.
The story is filled with as much webbing, secrets, and strings… as Harry Potter, Tolkien, and Game of Thrones. The story is the reason why it took seven years to write. With elves as old as 2,000 years… and a lifetime that spans two wars… it took a lot of weaving to pull this off. Dolor and Shadow is book #1 of a 7 book series and the “saturated detail” that high fantasy lovers adore is there, foreshadowing events that will come to pass six books down the road. This is a book you will have to re-read after every book to catch things you missed the first time through.
Dolor and Shadow is a daunting read… if you aren’t familiar with the high fantasy genre, you may feel intimated by the insurmountable level of detail. No worries. This detail is meant to breathe life into the book and is not meant for you to remember. Despite its epic scope, complex webbing, and non-stop adventure, this is a fantasy that is written clean enough for anyone to read. It has the complexity that intellects relish, while a clean style that allows 12-year-olds to breeze through the book in only two days.
Dolor and Shadow was written for the high fantasy fan, but once more, this is why Dolor and Shadow is so different…
This book was written for the professionals who are sick of picking up books where the author neglected researching their field of expertise. No one will be disappointed with this read. Dolor and Shadow was written for those familiar with Norway. It was written for historians, scientists, Viking enthusiasts, psychologists, those of you who reenact Scandinavian battles, weapon masters, war veterans—War veterans have reported that the realistically depicted war scenes triggered their PTSD—and doctors. Yes doctors. An EMT from Boston worked on Dolor and Shadow to confirm the accuracy on how the body bleeds, how wounds fester, and how people die. But most of all, High Fantasy fans from all walks of life, Dolor and Shadow was written for you.