Dolor and Shadow released on 31 May 2015. Now, three months later, I wish to report on the progress. Nothing summarizes a book better than the readers! Here is what they have to say about Dolor and Shadow.
Angela Dukes – 5 star
This multi-layered story has captivating characters that left me with mixed feelings. I found myself cheering both for the heroine and her sworn enemies. I love the vivid descriptions of this magic-wielding queen doing battle. Yes the language is challenging, however, as a paranormal romance reader, I welcomed the challenge. I may have found a new genre to explore thanks to this book.
Erin – 5 star
was a huge fan of sword and sorcery novels growing up, but hadn’t picked one up in a while as an adult. Dolor and Shadow reminded me exactly why I loved the genre, and still do. This novel is big, detailed, and sweeping in scope. The characters are very well done, multi-layered and deep. They don’t give up their secrets immediately, a fact I greatly appreciate in novels of any genre. Kallan is an amazing heroine, strong, spunky, but full of conflicting emotions about ruling. She has to grow up fast and make some selfless decisions for her people. Kallan is also conflicted about her feelings for Rune, the man she owes her life to, but whose kingdom she is at war with. The two sworn enemies have to work together if they want to survive a common threat, leading to much verbal sparring and sexual tension. I love the level of detail the author gave to world building. Norse place names, culture, and snippets of history were seamlessly interwoven into the narrative, making it clear the author did her research. This is a sweeping, epic novel to sink your teeth into! I highly recommend it to all fantasy lovers.
Michael Lyons – 4 star review
Dolor and Shadow by Angela B Chrysler is an epic saga, some 700 pages in the kindle edition. It introduces the reader to the world of Norse legend, and is intricately described and detailed.
Much of the tale concerns the thousand year conflict between the Dokkalfar and the Ljosalfar, two eleven races that inhabit Alfheim or the land of the elves. The Dokkalfar are led by Kallan, daughter of King Eyolf who inherits the throne from him when he is ambushed and slain by treachery at the hands of the King of the Ljosalfar. This precipitates a 1000 year war between the two immortal races. Woven throughout this endless conflict there is subterfuge, treachery and of course Seidr, the magical energy that Kallan and a few of her fellow Seidkona can wield.
There is plenty of intrigue, action, swordplay and magic in this tale and many surprising twists in it plot. Given the amount of background and world crafting and research that obviously went into creating this story it is a bit of a daunting read, much of what the reader learns has to be exposed through dialog and interaction and therefore details of the world are constantly being shaped and crafted as the story itself moves forward, a difficult feat for any author, but handled in a competent way by Ms Chrysler.
I gave this story a four star rating, i liked it a lot but it suffered a bit from its length (it likely should have been two books) and also the constant (necessary) introductions of new characters, lands and peoples makes the beginning of the tale difficult to get into, requiring the reader to persevere while the world is built up around them. I feel with judicious editing this slight difficulty could be overcome and this work would compare favorably with any of the best examples of this genre.
Nicholas C, Rossis – 5 star review on Amazon
Epic – that’s the one word that sums up Dolor and Shadow in my mind. Chrysler has created a rich and vivid world, walked by fierce warriors and gods alike. It’s obvious that she has studied her history, and her world-building ability left me in awe, as did her exceptional writing.
The only problem was the epic scope itself, which left me dazed at first, while I was trying to memorize one unfamiliar name after another. I gave up after realizing that Chrysler had named even the most secondary of characters. Personally, I would have left out the names of at least half the characters, to avoid unnecessary confusion (plus, some of these unusual names sounded alike). Mercifully, after a while the pieces started fitting together, allowing me the full immersion that is the mark of a great book.
Another reviewer suggested this book could have been split up into two separate books. Personally I disagree; I liked the tight pacing of the book, and worry that such a move would have made it flatter. This was a sharp-edged read, with many a memorable moments and likable, identifiable characters.
I won a free copy from the author on a giveaway, with no obligation to review.
JCD – 5 star
Magic! That’s the one word that can explain this multi-layered, epic fantasy. This Nordic fantasy was epic in size but so worth the read. The characters and story seem to build and layer as the tale progresses. This book will take the reader on a journey they will never forget.
Priority 1 Escorts, LLC – 5 star
This is an epic tale that you won’t want to put down!
Kallan, daughter of King Eyolf, inherits the throne when her father is ambushed and slain. She is also known as a Seidkona to a select few. When someone in the high court becomes an enemy bent on a takeover, Kallan is abducted, but escapes with the help of someone from her past, she starts the long journey back home in the company of the king of Ljosalfar.
The reader is introduced to the Norse legend and the ongoing battle between the Dokkalfar kingdom and Ljosallar Kingdom. Sparks continually fly between both headstrong Queen and King as they make their way through harsh conditions.
Ms. Chrysler used vivid details of the countryside, foods, and legends in her tale. You will be involved with lots of swordplay, action, treachery and magic. I highly recommend this book to any one that enjoys historical, action, adventures, suspense and love. I give this awesome work 5*****!!
I received this book in exchange of an honest review.
Lenita Sheridan – 5 stars on Goodreads
It’s hard to do this book justice due to its length. Quite a bit of work went into this epic dark fantasy. For a dark fantasy, this book is simply excellent. It is well researched (especially the Norse mythology) and fits the title quite well. The book also has a very appropriate cover. After reading the author bio it was easy to see how she could write such a book. The author is a talented and skilled writer. The fighting and banter between Kallan and Rune is very well done and even humorous in parts, as reflects the author’s dry sense of humor. Though this book is sad, as the title suggests, it is well worth the read.
Ryan Guy – 5 stars
With first-rate world building, in depth character development, and layers of political drama and warfare, this book captivated me.
The brutalities of war, which unfortunately included children as casualties, were not glossed over, nor dwelt upon to the point of being violence just for the sake of violence. People’s deaths affected the main characters in realistic, deep, and debilitating ways. A good portion of the narrative focused on one character’s, Kallan’s, struggle to cope with the atrocities she’d been a witness to and victim of.
Kallan’s plight is the central focus of the story but, as allies and foes protect and pursue her, mysteries of the lands through which she travels and of the people who inhabit them unravel to reveal subplots steeped in myth and magic.
With an ending that’s just the beginning, I will be first in line for Volume 2.