A Review of S.K Michels’ debut novel, The Shadow and The Light
By Jahzeel Dionne V. Ybasco
An archetypal story with seven leading characters, among them a muse, an old man, and three hero archetypes, this novel has a certain appeal, not different from George R.R. Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire. What makes this novel interesting is the author’s ability to tell a grim story in a fairytale-like manner that although the reader is immersed in The Shadow, he/she can’t help but be optimistic that in one of the four hundred pages of the book, a hero—or two—will come and save him/her.
It was like seeing an animation in my head. The setting has been described so well, it feels like you enter a completely different world. For a fantasy novel, that is saying something as only few authors, new authors in particular, can achieve that—create a world and make people feel it is real.
S.K. Michels is a genius in storytelling. However, I think the dialogues between and among characters can use an improvement since reading the novel has made me so concerned about those individuals. There are moments when I can’t distinguish Murdoch’s language from that of Arienne’s but maybe because they come from nobility. I have to say though that the dialogue does not get in the way of the intense scenes and actions provided in the story.
However, as the story progresses, I can’t help but think that it is another take on Frodo Baggins as he embarks on his journey toward Mt. Doom. It was the same darkness trying to take over and the protagonist trying to keep it at bay. Even Sapineald reminds me of Lothlorien, and eorin the Elves. Even the sceolians helping to retrieve Caliphurn from the Ghenna reminds me of the Eagles from Lord of the Rings. I don’t really mind though because for a Lord of the Rings fan, this is a treat.
Still, with her knack of using words to create an imaginary world full of intricate details and amazing and lovable characters, S.K. Michels is undeniably a talented author to watch out for.
Thank you for the opportunity of reading your awesome book. Please do write another story. I CAN’T sit not knowing what may happen to Greenwyth after the war. Also, you owe Baldarich his existence since I really want to know the importance of his inclusion in the story. Lastly, please do give me another opportunity to read your sequels.
From one of your first fans,