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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
A man awakes in a mausoleum, with no idea how he got there or who he is. As his memories are hazy, the murals on the walls seem to hold clues to his identity. When he finally has the chance to get out from the tomb, he finds himself in a large hall with the Neglafem or Keepers of the Heir. After he demands to know his name, an old man reveals the answer that he desperately seeks – Aberthol Nauile, rightful heir to the throne and Lord of all Nuadaim. I really appreciated the ‘Names and Terms’ section provided by author D. Robert Pease, who even provided a link to that section at the end of every chapter. This is a very well-thought assessment of a perfect readability format for a fantasy novel.
Aberthol learns that he’s actually 327 years old, a reborn Nuadaim’s savior, and the one that people have been waiting for. Aberthol hesitantly prepares himself for his Presentation, the day he meets his people as king. However, Aberthol and the Neglafem are attacked. The chieftain of the Neglafem, Illiam, is killed. Elise, Illiam’s granddaughter, continues to fulfill her grandfather’s duty to look after Aberthol, despite her grief and anger at Aberthol’s failure to save her grandfather. I couldn't help but sympathize with the protagonist, as too much is expected of him in a very short time. Yet, Aberthol regains his identity as the story moves along.
Pease’s Shadow Swarm is a complete fantasy tale; a hero, a magical sword, dragons, and dark enemies with enough illustrations of maps which further provide a greater understanding of the world-building. Fans of epic fantasy fiction will find Shadow Swarm a deeply engrossing, fantastic read.