cover image Shadow Chaser: Book Two of the Chronicles of Siala

Shadow Chaser: Book Two of the Chronicles of Siala

Alexey Pehov, trans. from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield. Tor, $24.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-2404-7

Pehov's Chronicles of Siala are bestsellers in his native Russia, but American readers may lose patience with this slow-moving sequel to 2010's Shadow Prowler. Shadow Harold is beginning to discover the secrets behind his destined role as the Dancer in the Shadows. The rag-tag adventurers who accompany him also gradually reveal their own pasts, though quite a few are eliminated before their stories are fully known. Meanwhile, not one but two dark lords (the Nameless One and the Master) send minions forth to steal the Key to the tomb complex of Hrad Spein. Tossing together daytime battles and nighttime thefts, duels to the death, the undead, ogre magic, vengeful elves, and a dwarf in a bowler hat, Pehov tries as hard as goblin jester Kli-Kli to amuse his audience with his juggling, but it does little to advance the plot. (Apr.)