Bestselling Russian author Pehov translates easily in his English fantasy debut. With a self-deprecating thief as a hero who doesn't believe he is the chosen one, Perhov's epic is jam-packed with fantasy staples and their variants, including a quest for magical artifact, prophetic poetry, cryptic oracles, fanged elves, clean-shaven dwarves, gnomes, goblins, and orcs. The first in a trilogy, protagonist Shadow Harold proves modest and witty enough a narrator to carry the series. Combining Russian translation and the vocabulary of an invented world, the prose can feel conflicted, but is helped along by a glossary of terms. Overall, the gentle language of the story befits a main character happy to be ""wolf-single,"" even as he glances repeatedly at the mysterious and lovely Lady Miralissa.