Through Fire and Shadow

The Forged and The Fallen

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
586 Pages
Reviewed on 03/28/2024
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Delene Vrey for Readers' Favorite

Kings and queens have been murdered, and both kingdoms blame the other. At the same time, a third party takes advantage of the chaos to finally exact revenge on humans and dragons alike. After the battle of Nevergrace, where the newly knighted Cyran Orendain survived an epic battle with the famed Dragon Queen, monsters from the Evenmeres target villages on the edges of the forest. Cyran and his archers travel on Eidelmere, an ancient forest dragon, and are sent to investigate the truth about the village attacks. When the sea sky rains blood and a world stands on the edge of destruction, will there be a true winner, or will an old enemy sworn to vengeance finally have the kingdoms of Cimeren where he wants them? Broken and hurting. Through Fire and Shadow by R.M. Schultz is a story of epic proportions, and attempting to give a full review of the plot is a huge undertaking. So many subplots and incidents bring this epic to life and reveal the intricacies that make this riveting fantasy one of the best I have read in a while.

R.M. Shultz is a fantastic fantasy writer, and this second book in The Forged and the Fallen series does not disappoint. Through Fire and Shadow develops quickly with heart-stopping fight sequences between dragons and their human riders. Non-stop action drives the plot and creates the urgency and anxiety surrounding the countries preparing for war. Shultz has dealt with some current topics in his dragon-filled epic. The apparent theme is war and its effect on citizens and what those in power will do to stay in control. Another theme is trust. Cyran’s struggle to understand and trust his dragon is a prominent aspect that develops throughout the plot. Will he finally trust his thorn dragon and realize the deadly team they are? What stood out for me the most, though, was the story of the Dragon Queen, who has lived for centuries and through the Great Dragon War. She has seen the history of Cimeren develop and repeat itself and has seen in Cyran someone who will be important in the future. Dragons are the characters that dominate this book. Although this is the story of Cimeren, the dragon characters bring wisdom and the gravitas that sets this series apart from other fantasy novels.