The Stealthmaster’s Shadow is finally here! Hope Ann’s latest novella will be available for Kindle tomorrow for $2.99. The links are down below. She’d love to sell 50 copies tomorrow, so let’s see if we can help her out with that. :)
It’s been ten confounded years since the war ended.
Verus, a retired soldier, determines to enforce the peace the victory ought to have brought. His wanderings bring him to the city of Nerva, a sprawling riverside chaos no other Stealthmaster will touch.
Commandeering the task of a former comrade, Verus presents himself to the governor and promises to search out hidden Subverters. The true reason for his actions he keeps to himself. After all, the tyrannical governor will hardly approve of lending aid to those pitted against him, but the Subverters need information. Maybe even weapons.
The wishes of the Subverters themselves are immaterial. They weren’t there during the war. They didn’t see the horrors Tauscher spread.
So has the new ambassador from Zahavia who strides through the great doors of the feasting hall, bringing Verus face to face with nightmares from his past.
As the simple mission dissolves into confusion, Verus struggles to help those he’s plunged into danger, from a serving lad to the infuriating woman he’s taken to calling “Princess.” Fleeing will only make the enemy stronger. But staying…
Staying could doom them all.
The Stealthmaster’s Shadow is set in the same world as Hope Ann’s three other novellas: Rose of the Oath, Song of the Sword, and Rose of the Night. I personally have yet to read those, but if they’re anything like this one then I look forward to reading them.
For me this novella was an introduction to a deep fantasy world and engaging characters. The world is clearly well thought-out, with well-designed political tensions and an allegorical religious system.
Some of the characters were less engaging than others, as is the case with all stories, but overall I was able to really enjoy them. Verus’ skill and dark sense of humor made him fun to read.
I did think that some of the relationships were a little rushed and we didn’t get to see quite as much basis to them as I might have liked, but some of that may have been due to me not absorbing what I read as well on a computer as on a Kindle or print book. (It’s a really weird and annoying thing about me.)
Hope Ann’s descriptions were excellent, bringing out the key elements of the characters and settings so they were easy to visualize and immersing you in the action. I would have liked a bit more description of Verus, but his personality made him easy to visualize, for me.
Overall this was a lovely book and I definitely recommend it. :)
About the Author
Hope Ann uses chocolate to bribe a wide ring of spies, from the realm leapers of Aslaria to the double agents of Elkbend, for their stories. Based in Indiana, she is the self-published author of the Legends of Light series, personal writing coach, and the Communications Coordinator for Story Embers. You can find out more about her at authorhopeann.com.