Embers of Shadow

Ages of Malice, Book III

Fiction - Thriller - General
400 Pages
Reviewed on 05/02/2024
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Lloyd Jeffries enjoys dark comedies, philosophy, clever turns of phrase, religious studies and thought experiments involving the esoteric and legendary. A decorated veteran of numerous conflicts, he served in the U.S. military and has practiced Emergency, Trauma and Wilderness medicine for more than twenty years. He hides out in Florida with his family and Buck the Wonder Dog.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

In books one and two of the Ages of Malice series by Lloyd Jeffries, reporter Emery Merrick is offered a second chance at life, then introduced to Thaddeus Drake, who's actually the first murderer in the history of man: Cain. Assigned to a special report, Emery discovers Cain's immortality and links to the ancient past are made present. Emery's work on a precious biography turns out to be horrifically dangerous, with potential ramifications for the whole of humanity. Emery survives but is emotionally defeated. His former love, Rhyme, has married Cain and wants nothing more than to protect Emery, get her life back, and take down her hellish husband. Now, in book three, Embers of Shadow, we see the fight to free Rhyme from Cain, who continues growing in power by the second, and Emery's role in a war that has arrived with the Antichrist. The attacks on Emery and Rhyme and the implosion of humanity are threatened with obliteration at every angle.

I had the pure delight of reading both books one and two in the Ages of Malice series by the wildly talented Lloyd Jeffries, and eagerly anticipated Embers of Shadow. It should not come as any surprise that Jeffries continues to go from strength to strength with this powerful saga. It's difficult for me to tell a reader that book three could be read as a standalone, as it would certainly rob them of an exceptional build-up. At this stage, Emery, Rhyme, and Cain are all thoroughly developed. I love Emery's dogged pursuit to get the whole mess on paper in what feels like almost a follow-up to the Bible. Ancient history is coming to life in real time. It's terrifying, particularly as Jeffries paints a picture of both heaven and hell on Earth in near cinematic detail. To me, the real star is actually Rhyme, who is just a firecracker of a female protagonist. She is fiercely strong, retains her agency even as her husband stifles her life, and gets things done. As far as stories of the supernatural, the frailty and redemption of man, and themes that explode off the page, Jeffries gives as good as a reader can possibly get. Very highly recommended.

K.C. Finn

Embers of Shadow is a work of fiction in the action, metaphysical writing, and thriller subgenres, and forms the third novel in the Ages of Malice series. It is best suited to mature readers owing to scenes of violence and explicit language throughout. Penned by author Lloyd Jeffries, this fascinating high-stakes narrative delves into a world where the Antichrist's influence tightens, weaving together the struggles of Rhyme Carter and Emery Merrick against sinister forces. Rhyme battles her malevolent husband, the FBI, and a secret society with global ambitions. Simultaneously, Emery witnesses the Antichrist's rise and a world-altering coup.

Author Lloyd Jeffries has crafted a riveting continuation of the Ages of Malice series, plunging readers into a race against time that grips you from the first moment with its imaginative, descriptive worldbuilding. The narrative crackles with tension as the protagonists grapple with their roles in thwarting Cain's dominion, and I really enjoyed the unique dialogue styles and the dark wit that underpins the many fraught conversations. The story's unpredictable twists and intense climax reflect Jeffries' mastery in creating an intricate and immersive world that pauses at just the right moments to keep you immersed before rocketing into the next blockbuster moment. This well-considered narrative not only entertains but also challenges with its exploration of morality, prophecy, and human resilience. It deftly blends the supernatural with the tangible, keeping readers hooked on a rollercoaster of suspense and revelations but it’s also always asking the right questions and leaving many of them to simmer in the back of your mind for a good long while before they’re answered. Overall, Embers of Shadow is a must-read for those craving a mind-bending journey that questions the boundaries between good and evil.

Tracy Traynor

Embers of Shadow (Ages of Malice Book 3) by Lloyd Jeffries is a high-stakes, edge-of-your-seat thriller. In West Virginia, America Rhyme Carter fights for her life, yet assassins find her everywhere she hides. As her life races to its end, a fierce and extremely unusual ally comes to her aid. Can the two of them defeat the myriads of bullets that whizz past her head? In Mount Tabor, Israel Emery Merrick rests for a moment with Friar Papadopoulos, who studies the Bible for its end-times prophecies. The friar examines the drugged-up reporter with a calculating eye—is Emery a helpless pawn of the enemy or is he something more? Immortals reveal themselves. Cain’s crazy laughter echoes around him as he prepares the world for his dominion. Is there a way to stop him? Can the relics of old push back the advances of Lucifer himself?

Embers of Shadow by Lloyd Jeffries is an extremely fast-paced, adrenalin-pumping ride! Emery, in the eyes of Cain, is a long-suffering biographer and a minion; a pawn in his plans. To me, Emery emerges as a protagonist who is a sort of anti-hero, someone I both rooted for and loathed. Despite his on-the-fence position and feeble excuses (not to mention his drug addiction), I longed for him to rise up and become more than he was. As evil moves forward, seemingly unstoppable, the World’s End plan comes to fruition. Humankind stands teetering on a crumbling precipice. Will Emery (our Everyman) choose to serve humanity and the one he loves? With raging immortals and relics of immense power, Embers of Shadow was gripping from start to finish. This high-tension thriller is masterfully composed and well deserving of five stars.

Cecelia Hopkins

Embers of Shadow by Lloyd Jeffries sees Emery struggle with his role as a biographer to the enigmatic Cain. Brother Papadopoulos suggests that Cain fits the profile of the antichrist, but Emery is too heavily committed to withdraw. The immortal Longinus demonstrates heroic powers, while the immortal Igneus defends Israel with supernatural strength. Both appear to be Cain’s henchmen but could be pursuing other agendas. Emery’s former wife, the beautiful red-headed Rhyme Carter, is currently married to Cain and valiantly escaping pursuit from all sides. Cain’s bold move in establishing a new cluster of kingdoms with him as overlord attracts the wrath of the United States of America. The politics and relationships involved grow more complex and fascinating with every moment.

Embers of Shadow by Lloyd Jeffries is the third book in the Ages of Malice series but reads very well on its own. The novel is a combination of speculative fiction and supernatural thriller. I thought the apocalyptic theme would make the story predictable, but by the end, there are twists and turns enough to deliver unexpected outcomes. The suspense built as I read along, realizing how original and three-dimensional all the characters are. Rhyme Carter was scintillating as the reluctant mistress of evil and the emotional tie between the protagonist and antagonist. Jonas was a fantastic fighter with emotional depth, while Sebastian’s powers introduced a true wildcard into the plot. The narrative is well crafted with fast-paced action, creating a compelling end-of-days drama. I enjoyed Embers of Shadow and cannot wait to read the final book in the series!

Essien Asian

By compiling his biography, Emery Merrick becomes an unwilling witness to the carnage that Thaddeus Drake and his associates wreak on the Middle Eastern nations and Russia as they lay claim to the region. Emery has a growing suspicion there is more to this billionaire with almost god-like powers but he cannot put a finger on it. Now he is left with the task of locating the remnants of those who resist this madman and helping them put a stop to nefarious plans for world domination. Their only hope involves a daring plot to seize an ancient artifact capable of turning the tide but can one truly stop the end of days? Find out in Embers Of Shadow by Lloyd Jeffries.

The third book in the Ages Of Malice series has a brave group of mortals stage a last-ditch attempt to rewrite what has already been ordained. Embers Of Shadow takes details from the biblical prophecies of the book of Revelation and spins a compelling story around them that is as believable as it is thought-provoking. Lloyd Jeffries uses character development that is simple enough for the reader to understand without interfering with their appreciation of the overall smooth flow of the story. He does an excellent job of veiling his biblical references in a manner that engages the reader without putting off those of an alternative faith. The concept of the immortals is a masterstroke that is certain to catch the attention of avid fantasy and science fiction enthusiasts. With its unique storyline and interesting subplots, Embers Of Shadow has all the ingredients to become a massive hit with readers.

Miche Arendse

Embers of Shadow: Ages of Malice by Lloyd Jeffries, the third installment in the Ages of Malice series, thrusts readers into a world gripped by chaos, where the shadow of the Antichrist looms large, and the very fabric of humanity hangs in the balance. Following the aftermath of a brazen attack on Israel, setting the stage for a relentless battle against the forces of evil, Rhyme Carter, facing the gravest challenges of her life, becomes a central figure in the fight for freedom, pitted against her malevolent husband, the FBI, and a clandestine society with grandiose ambitions of world domination. The tension is palpable as she races against time, desperately seeking allies to escape the clutches of those who would see her subdued.

Embers of Shadow: Ages of Malice by Lloyd Jeffries is a masterfully written novel that explores the inexorable march toward an apocalyptic future, and the stakes have never been higher. The series' trademark unpredictability is maintained, with a masterful narrative that shatters preconceived notions and keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Jeffries doesn't shy away from delving into the depths of the human psyche, questioning the limits of resilience and the lengths to which one must go to thwart impending doom. Jeffries's ability to weave together a seamless blend of supernatural elements with a narrative grounded in the complexities of human nature makes this book come alive and allows the reader to become immersed in the fast-paced plot. Along with a well-rounded and unique cast of characters, Embers of Shadow satisfies and leaves nothing to be desired.

Rabia Tanveer

Embers of Shadow is the third book in the Ages of Malice by Lloyd Jeffries. The trials and tribulations of Emery Merrick and Rhyme Carter continue as they race against time to save everyone. The Antichrist was growing stronger, and all Emery could do was watch in absolute horror. Rhyme, on the other hand, had her hands full. She had the FBI hot on her tail, an evil husband to shake off, and above all, she had to stop world domination by a secret society. All Rhyme needed was a weak spot, a chink in her enemies' armor, but for that, she needed the help of some unexpected allies. Emery had to find a way to break free and gain courage. But the question remains: can two mere mortals stop the Antichrist and the impending apocalypse?

After reading the first two in the series, I found Embers of Shadow to be an incredible novel. Lloyd Jeffries is a master storyteller with a gift for creating vivid images with his words. I am a huge fan of his world-building and character development, and he never disappoints. Emery was a powerhouse! He was the life of the story and the perfect protagonist to lead the plot forward. I felt bad for Emery, caught in the worst situation ever, and having to go against his nature to find a solution for his malady. The action was so good I was sitting on the edge of my seat and holding my breath. The twists were unpredictable; there was never a moment when I thought I'd figured it out. Jeffries always surprised me, and I loved every moment. You hardly ever come across supernatural thrillers of this quality. I only have praise for this magnificent story!

Pikasho Deka

Embers of Shadow is the third book of the Age of Malice series by Lloyd Jeffries. Disgraced journalist Emery Merrick battles his demons with addiction while being forced to serve the Antichrist Cain as he works toward world domination. Following the brutal attack on Israel, Cain proclaims himself as the Messiah and enacts an insidious plan to set up a new world order. Meanwhile, Cain's wife, Rhyme Carter, is on the run, with the FBI and Cain's underlings hot on her trail. When a plot to steal the Roman Centurion Longinus' spear fails miserably, Emery and his newfound allies must formulate a new plan to stop Cain. Cain, who has united the region under the name of the Kingdom of Imperium, is set to crown a new king. Can Emery and Rhyme find a way to save the world?

Lloyd Jeffries draws inspiration from real-world geopolitical events to deliver a gripping tale of good versus evil that will enamor fantasy and thriller readers alike. Gritty, action-packed, and filled to the brim with suspense and political intrigue, Embers of Shadow is a stellar addition to the Age of Malice series. Although tragic and heartbreaking at times, Jeffries' narrative is layered with witty dialogue and features a cast of memorable and multi-faceted characters who keep you entertained from the first page to the last. Using a fast-paced plot with twists and turns at regular intervals, the author ensures readers are captivated all the way through. I only wish there were more scenes of Emery and Rhyme together. But, overall, this is a fantastic series that I highly recommend to fantasy fans who love epic stories with lots of action and intrigue.

Asher Syed

Embers of Shadow by Lloyd Jeffries is the third book in the supernatural Ages of Malice series. In A Portion of Malice, Emery Merrick faces a critical decision before being hired by billionaire Thaddeus Drake to pen his biography. Unveiling Drake's dark secret, Merrick is thrust into an ancient, malevolent society's sinister plans. In A Measure of Rhyme, Rhyme Carter, wed to the Antichrist, remains in love with Emery. Emery wakes up to Rhyme's betrayal, spiraling into addiction as immortal schemes rage around him. Rhyme plots against her husband, who embodies the first murderer in human history, Cain. Now, Cain has made his move into the holy land, and his ascent is on a fast-moving, scorched earth track. Emery bears witness, as does Cain's wife, Rhyme, who has more than just the Antichrist clipping at her heels. What are the chances of saving humanity when the Antichrist can look you dead in the eye and say, “O dear Emery, ye of little faith...”?

I entered the Ages of Malice series by Lloyd Jeffries with book two and loved it so much that I went back to the first book so I could take it all in completely. Here we are now with Embers of Shadow, and there is no question that Jeffries has a real ability to move from strength to strength. Emery is a deeply flawed man who tends to miss the forest for the trees, and between his past addiction, his visions of Cain and Rhyme, and the turmoil he is in, Jeffries has fleshed him out into a layered personality that outflanks any plot device. This emotional depth extends to Rhyme, who consistently demonstrates remarkable resilience and strength, even in the face of overwhelming odds and supernatural adversaries. Even ancillary characters are given the Jeffries polish, pushing through themes of redemption and sacrifice in a standout scene that is almost pure cinema with Jenkins and Crispy. The writing is fantastic, the intelligent wit and severe stakes are on fire, and we are once again consumed in a world being consumed by the Prince of Darkness.

Paul Zietsman

In Embers of Shadow by Lloyd Jeffries, the immortal Cain, the Antichrist, is hellbent on conquering the world. He takes control of Israel and numerous other nations, naming his empire Imperium and assuming the role of emperor. Mere mortal men, the leaders of the world, including the president of the USA, soon realize that they are dealing with supernatural powers, ones against which they have no defense. A drug addict journalist, Emery Merrick, is enlisted as Cain's personal scribe to document his victories and write his biography. He knows that he is one of Cain's pawns, but, as is the case with so many others, he lacks the courage and the strength to openly go against the powerful Antichrist. Some bow before Cain out of fear, others because of his exceedingly powerful charm and flamboyance. Will God's people overcome the evil that is the Antichrist, or will Cain's twisted yet calculated plans come to fruition?

An epic tale of good versus evil (in a very literal sense), Embers of Shadow by masterful author Lloyd Jeffries had me roused at every turn, galvanized to keep flipping its pages. I especially enjoyed protagonist Emery's dealings with other characters, his musings about himself, and his battles with his demons, notably drugs and alcohol. I felt immersed in this world as if it were my story being told. This was augmented by Emery's experiences being related from a first-person perspective. The other main characters are also well-detailed and authentic, and their stories blend effortlessly into the main plot. Embers of Shadow is a gripping and excellent thriller with absorbing subject matter, a rich and colorful cast of good and evil personalities, and a plot that erupts into a terrific climax.