The Shades of Time and Memory – Storm Constantine

The Shades of Time and Memory: The Second Book of the Wraeththu Histories
Storm Constantine
Tor Books, 2005
448 pages

The second book of a trilogy has the toughest job, I think. The first book is the one that gets to introduce the setting and characters, while the third is the one to wrap it all up. The second book, though, has the task of fitting it all together. Shades accomplishes this quite nicely.

New characters as well as old are brought in to flesh out the world of Wraeththu. A leftover group of Uigenna, the Freyhallans who are descended from Norse humans, and others are brought in to join Pellaz, Cal, Caeru and other better-known main characters. Once again we’re treated to seeing how the various har develop as the story continues–there are no flat, emotionless beings here.

At first, some of the threads of story may seem to have no connection whatsoever. However, Constantine is skilled at taking these and weaving them together, so that by the end of the book we’re curious to see just what happens next and how it’ll all turn out.

Shades is an excellent bridge, neither being too long and boring, nor too hastily sketched out. It thrives in the role of second book, and is a wonderful addition to any sci-fi/fantasy fan’s shelf.

Five pawprints out of five.

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