A Chance Beginning

Shadow's Fire Book 1

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
410 Pages
Reviewed on 05/13/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Christopher Patterson lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife, Kellie, and children. A Tucson native, Christopher studied literature and creative writing at the University of Arizona and currently teaches in Tucson. He gained a love for adventure and fantasy at a young age and started writing fantasy-adventure stories using his grandmother’s typewriter. She would title all of his stories “The Next Great American Novel.” His family has always been encouraging and supportive of his craft and it was in college when he discovered he desired a career as an author and began seriously writing. He has also played the guitar for over 20 years and is active in both the music and youth ministries at church. Christopher is also involved in sports, coaching both wrestling and football, and competing in power lifting.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Julia Schemmer for Readers' Favorite

The pursuit of a personal desire can lead oneself into a journey like no other. In Shadow’s Fire: A Chance Beginning, by exquisite author Christopher Patterson, this is just the case! From giving up everything to pursue a life of promise, potential and purpose to leaving the family that embraced them through life, the book is chock-full of characters that will inspire, motivate, and empower you to pursue your dream. Of course, no book would be good without some action! Patterson employs a strong use of battles and events that will keep you reading into the wee hours of the morning, on the edge of your seat with every turn of the page. Through its intense three hundred and twenty pages, you will find yourself saddened when you reach the last page. Patterson does not just describe a fantasy land; he brings it to life through his stunning use of imagery, character development, and plot twists and turns at every corner.

I am an adventure book junkie, so I had high expectations when I first picked up Shadow’s Fire: A Chance Beginning. However, I am thoroughly impressed that author Christopher Patterson was able to meet (and sometimes overreach!) each expectation to the fullest extent of excellence. This book is a treasure, a find, and you will be happy you decided to read it. I loved the struggles that each character had to endure while pursuing their own destiny. It gave me hope to realize that there are going to be battles, but there are also going to be victories. I laughed, I cried, and I was drawn into every word of the fantastic story Patterson so diligently laid out for the reader.

Cheryl E. Rodriguez

“All young men have grand ideas.” Christopher Patterson’s Shadow’s Fire: A Chance Beginning is an epic tale of three ambitious and virile, yet naive, young men. Leaving the mundane life of farming behind, two brothers, Befel and Erik, and their cousin, Bryon, embark on a journey seeking the riches in the East. In the beginning, their adventurous quest takes them on a purposeful pursuit. The good-hearted Erik is driven by the idea of a divine purpose, but his egotistical cousin Bryon's motives are purely selfish. Traveling down destiny’s path, they encounter things they would never have seen at home and find themselves battling for their livelihood. When a good man’s conscience is seared through battle, will the darkness of the soul overshadow the radiant hope held within? These young men find themselves accosted and haunted by what they have seen and done, living a nightmare with eyes wide open. Commissioned by the Messenger of the East, the trio sets out with a crew of mercenaries and dwarfs on an enhanced quest, a dangerous mission to find a mysterious lost scroll. When good and evil collide, will their expedition be led by the Creator or overtaken by Shadow. Will it prove to be a noble quest or a wayfaring escapade of folly? Only time will tell.

Fantasy is all about good versus evil. In the beginning, Shadow’s Fire seems predictable, typical to the fantasy genre. However, as the plot unfolds, it begins to take on its own unique, larger-than-life shape and destination. Mr. Patterson’s writing vocabulary is expansive, often using archaic language and symbolism to bring life to the story. His writing style is acutely descriptive - not only does he give a voice to his characters, but resonating sounds to his scenery as well. Although overwhelming at times, I appreciate the depth and extensive detail given to his main characters. The author understands the importance of character background and development for a successful epic trilogy. Keeping with the fantasy genre, Mr. Patterson tells his enchanted fairy tale with unrestrained imagination by vividly illustrating the mythology and geography of his imaginary world. (The inclusion of the map drawing was a nice touch.) By using ancient and mystical weaponry, the author portrays intense graphic battle scenes that allow you to feel the death-defying adrenaline surge of the characters amid the spellbinding chaos, and blood and guts of the barbaric fighting. Shadow’s Fire: A Chance Beginning ending was a cliffhanger; Christopher Patterson left you on the edge, anticipating the next book in the Shadow Fire Trilogy.

Melinda Hills

Brothers Erik and Befel Eleodum and their cousin, Bryon, embark on a journey to find a greater purpose in their lives. Leaving the family farm, they head to the coast to board a boat to the East to take part in the wars that promise to pay well, but they encounter many new people and situations on the way. Shadow’s Fire: A Chance Beginning, Book One of the Shadow’s Fire Trilogy by Christopher Patterson follows the three boys as they become young men, forced to grow up quickly by the circumstances in which they find themselves, learning about themselves and the wider world of which they are ignorant. Something special sets Erik apart from other young men, though, and this quality is recognized first by Marcus, the leader of the Gypsy caravan the travelers join, then by Turk, one of the dwarves with whom the group searches for a prize to present to the Messenger of the East. Not everyone appreciates the boys, however, and problems follow them as they move deeper into the mountains. The question is whether or not they will reach their goal and find what they seek or meet with some misfortune along the way.

Much in the style of several other fictional quests, Shadow’s Fire: A Chance Beginning is a highly engaging story with well-developed characters and a strong plot. Not only is the action well-paced, there is also plenty of depth to the emotions of the characters as they engage with all sorts of new people and different races. The fate of the world is in the hands of these young men and their interactions with the people they meet will determine the ultimate success or failure of universal peace and cooperation.

Lisa Jones

Shadow's Fire by Christoper Patterson is a wonderful fantasy adventure about a young man named Erik. For generations his family has farmed the land and Erik is happy to do the same. All he wants is peace and a quiet life whereas his brother and cousin long for adventure. They are hungry for fortune and they want another life different to the one they are leading. Erik is finally convinced of a more adventurous way of living, and he leaves his family to set off for the unknown with Befel and Bryon. The life they find is not what they expected at all and they experience the bitter truth of what they desire. The fact is that everything has its price and, more often than not, it is paid for with innocent blood. The harshest lesson of all is that a different life is not always better.

Christopher Patterson delivers a wonderful novel in Shadow's Fire. This book is the first in the trilogy and I must say that I loved it. The story was bold and intriguing and it left the reader eager to find out what would happen next. Patterson shows true flair and his style is unique. I found the presentation of the novel excellent and well thought out and the maps at the beginning were fantastic. The characters were well developed and so was the plot, keeping me guessing. I liked the grit and the danger; it added more depth. I would highly recommend this book to all.

Mamta Madhavan

Shadow's Fire: A Chance Beginning - Book One of the Shadow's Fire Trilogy is the first of this fantasy-based adventure series. Erik Eleodum is happy with his life of farming in northern Hathgolthane. He is content with his simple life, as was his father. But same is not the case with his brother, Befel, and cousin, Byron. They both are looking to take a break from boring farm life and they want to travel and find money and fame. The trio leaves their farm in search of adventure, fame and fortune and go to the country of Golgolithul in their search for adventure and money. They realize life is not that easy and there is treachery everywhere when it comes to dealing with money. Will these three guys become wealthy and famous? And will Eric be able to go back to his simple life?

The story has been well developed, keeping in mind there are many twists and turns. The characters all seem real and well portrayed and they progress along with the story. The style of writing veers from archaic to rich language and the scenes are very descriptive. There is a lot of action in the story when these three men experience black magic, slipping past assassins, battling a group of slavers and much more that will keep readers glued to the book.

Destiny, chance, fate and the other circumstances in the story that take these men into a different life have been executed well to make it an exciting story.

Jackie Lee

I truly enjoyed this story. I rank it with Rayomnd E Feist's Riftwar Saga - until now, my favorite trilogy. Looking forward to the next book.

Allen M Werner

A Chance Beginning, the first book in the Shadow's Fire trilogy, is a fun, adventurous, old-school companion's quest. The author leads the reader through a well-conceived landscape rich with history and factions. Reading this first book in the Shadow's Fire trilogy reminded me of the first time I read 'Dragons of Autumn Twilight' but much grittier, more teeth. The battle scenes are descriptive and the gypsies and dwarves entering the tale give the story even more depth. I especially like the dwarves. Five stars for Erik, Befel and Bryon. Additionally, it would be cool to see a book focused on the exploits of Marcus.