The Shadow Casket by Chris Wooding: Book Review

Spoiler-Free The Shadow Casket Book Review

I loved The Ember Blade by Chris Wooding, and was so excited to received an advanced copy of the sequel, The Shadow Casket from Gollancz for an honest review.

This book will be released on 16th February 2023.

The Shadow Casket Book Review

Strong Character Work

The Shadow Casket picks up where The Ember Blade left off with its great character work! There is a three-year gap between the events in this book and the first one, and Chris Wooding shows this well through how the characters have adapted to their new situation. 

The individual characters feel so distinct, with their own complexities, desires and motivations, likes and dislikes. It can be easy to allow your characters to all feel similar to each other and to remain stagnant in development over time, but this is certainly not the case in The Shadow Casket.

The Plot & World

Once again, I struggled to put this book down! Why oh why am I never allowed to sleep when in the midst of reading one of these books?!

The twists and turns, the climaxes and even when we’re just travelling, I feel compelled to read the next page. I think it is to do with the excellent pacing of the novel, with familiar story beats to follow.

I love the worldbuilding in this series! I think book 1 is definitely due a reread sometime so I can soak it all in again from the beginning. The scope of the sprawling landscapes, the diverse cultures and characters throughout… so much to soak up and enjoy!

Final Thoughts

The Shadow Casket is a breathtaking sequel to The Ember Blade and a must-read for all fantasy fans.

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Owner and Editor of The Fantasy Review. Loves all fantasy and science fiction books, graphic novels, TV and Films. Having completed a BA and MA in English Literature and Creative writing, they would like to go on to do a PhD. Favourite authors are Trudi Canavan, Steven Erikson, George R. R. Martin and Brandon Sanderson.

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