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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
464 pages
Nov 2005
Bethany House Publishers

Shadow Over Kiriath

by Karen Hancock

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Review:

As Abramm Kalladorne prepares for his coronation, the Mataio, members of the Shadow, the Esurhite enemies, and even a hidden enemy in Abramm's own cabinet, plot to overthrow him in the third book of the multiple award-winning series, the Legends of the Guardian-King. Karen Hancock's Shadow over Kiriath continues Abramm's attempt to claim his crown and to banish the Shadow from his land.

Six months after he defeats the morwhol in Book 2, Abramm has a crippled left arm from the encounter and vivid scars on his face. His brother Gillard wastes away in unconsciousness from the attack, but his defenders hope to rescue him. The Esurhites continue their attacks on neighboring Chesedh and on Kiriath, prompting the two realms to agree to a royal marriage between Princess Madeline's older sister, First Princess Briellen, and King Abramm. The Mataio start to challenge Abramm's coronation because of his physical imperfections when Eidon manifests his approval of Abramm with supernatural power.

Though the manifestation at the coronation make Abramm extremely popular, ushering many believers into following Tersius, son of Eidon, all is not well. The king's growing realization of his love for Princess Madeline and her love for him threatens the alliance between Chesedh and Kiriath. Is Princess Madeline's brother present to steal the country's historic regalia which legend says imbues the rightful king with special abilities? Where will the Esurhites strike next? How can Abramm reignite the Guardstars to protect the country? Is Princess Carissa's abusive ex-husband willing to submit to the rule of Abramm? Through all of this, one of Abramm's confidantes plots against him.

Hancock, winner of eight awards for the first two books of the series, plies her great storytelling skills as she carries the reader back into Kiriath. This book concentrates more on the love story than the other two books of the series, though she provides plenty of swashbuckling excitement with Esurhite pirates, rebellious lords, and the vindictive Mataio.

As in her other books, she builds on Abramm's growing faith, but he shows a lack of regard about his and Madeline's reputations that is disappointing. At times they do incredibly foolish things. Although Princess Carissa's love for Abramm's best friend, Trap, is foreshadowed, she disappears for long stretches of the book. Hancock makes the Shadow, the forces of evil, appear stronger than the great god of light, Eidon, when she allows a master evil spirit called a Warhast to indwell some who have accepted the Terstan shield, which is a symbol that Eidon burns into the chest of his converts. Hancock does not explain how both could occur.

Shadow over Kiriath is a good book and an exciting read. After the first two books in the series were so superb, this one seemed a slight letdown. Others may disagree. Fans of Kiriath, Abramm Kalladorne, and Karen Hancock will want to grab the nearest copy. I'm looking forward to book four in the series. -- Debbie W. Wilson, Christian Book Previews.com

Book Jacket:

Three-time Christy Award-winning author Karen Hancock continues the epic series LEGENDS OF THE GUARDIAN-KING. After months of conflict and opposition, Abramm Kalladorne has finally stepped into his destiny as king of Kiriath--only to find himself facing more problems than ever. The Mataio remains antagonistic, the failed rebellionís supporters have slipped through his grasp to plot anew, bad luck plagues his every attempt to build Kiriathís defenses...and that's just the beginning.

As the forces of the Black Moon advance toward Kiriathan shores, Abramm agrees to a desperately needed alliance-by-marriage with neighboring Chesedh. But with the hour for his union approaching, he is horrified to discover that he has become dangerously attracted to his fiancťeís younger sister, the headstrong Lady Madeleine. Even worse, he learns that his attraction is reciprocated--just the sort of situation his enemies can use to destroy everything heís trying to accomplish. And Eidon just might let them succeed.

Treachery and faithfulness, guilt and forgiveness, the joy of desires fulfilled and the pain of tragic loss all weave the tapestry of one manís destiny realized--where mind-boggling blessings come wrapped in a mantle of suffering that will test Abrammís faith to the limit and challenge everything he thinks he knows about himself and the one who owns his soul.