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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
In Shadowbane: Age of Aelfborn by Paul Francois, young Megildur must traverse Aerynth, a world in constant turmoil, to rescue his sister and fulfill a destiny ordained by the All-Father. He must find the mighty but cursed sword, Shadowbane, and lead everyone to unity and peace. The story premise is a familiar concept in the fantasy genre - you have a come-of-age protagonist chosen to find a mystical item and embark on a perilous quest. That said, a skilled storyteller can put a fresh spin on a classic theme, and Paul Francois successfully did that.
There are evident inspirations from other well-known fantasy fictions for its world-building, but there are also unique qualities to keep readers interested. In terms of characterization, protagonist Megildur will not disappoint you. As an Aelfborn, or half Human and half Elf, Megildur already experiences hardship due to his race. He’s easy to root for and has traits that we would want in a lead character or a hero.
The narrative and the dialogue are clear cut. The plot is well-structured, even though I feel that some parts can be more polished in terms of pacing. On the other hand, Shadowbane: Age of Aelfborn is overall a solid and enjoyable read, ticking all the necessary prerequisite of a fantasy novel. Francois has an interesting story to tell, and no doubt he has more to share with readers. He’s another worthy writer in this genre and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future.