Shattered Hopes by Ulff Lehmann

Series: Light in the Dark #2 Rating: 4.5/5
Date of Publishing: August 25th 2018 Genre: fantasy, dark fantasy, epic fantasy
Format: Kindle Available: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Number of pages: N/A Author’s website: https://www.facebook.com/Ralchanh/

Quote of the Book

“Sometimes the world as one knows it comes to an end. On occasion the change is gradual, but mostly it is thrust upon the unsuspecting soul. There is hardly a moment in life where one’s choices don’t come back to haunt.”

Blurb

Drangar Ralgon survived death… twice!

He has no idea how, nor is he any closer to unearthing why his beloved had to die.

Drowning in questions, Drangar receives aid from the unlikeliest of sources. The Chosen Kildanor, immortal warrior of a shunned god, has taken a liking to the mercenary. With his path to answers blocked by a besieging army, Drangar must do his part in defeating the enemy.

Reluctantly, Drangar once more prepares for war.

Personal notes

I’ve received an ARC from the author in exchange of an honest review. I’d like to thank Ulff Lehmann for providing me a copy 🙂

A friendly advice: reread the last two chapters of Shattered Dreams before you get into Hopes. Also, this review may contain spoilers for those who didn’t read Shattered Dreams of which my review can be found here.

Song of the Book

If it weren’t for me listening to Papa Roach the last few days, this one would have escaped me and I probably would’ve spent much more time thinking about which song to choose. This however, is perfect to be the theme song for Drangar.

Review

Shattered Hopes takes up the story right where Shattered Dreams dropped it. The room of the Cahill house is in ruins and Drangar is in no shape to provide help for Kildanor and Ealisaid who try to put together the picture about what took place. Meanwhile Mireynh and the troops of Chanastardh are still camping outside of the walls of Dunthiocagh, trying to figure out how to get the city under their rule. The General also has to deal with the bickering, incompetent, sometimes cruel lords who cause more problems than they are helpful.

As in Shattered Dreams, here we also follow the events through several point of views. First of all Drangar, who at the end of Dreams finally learns who is out to get him and intends to get to the end of things. But Dunthiocagh is under attack, and until the Chanastardhian army remains he has not much chance to get south where the answers are. Besides, he owns his service to Sir Cahill and his family based on guest rights and the fact that Cahill paid for his freedom. Not having much choice in the matter, Drangar focuses on trying to be helpful: he teaches the ladies how to defend themselves in case of an attack, makes friends with Kildanor, Lesganagh’s Chosen and discovers part of him he didn’t really know about. We also learn a bit more about his past through Coinharrim the Upholder of Lliania’s law and Rhea, one of the riders of Nerran as well as his own actions and the Lightbringer’s visions. While trying to be helpful, Drangar also keeps fighting with his demons, his guilt, his fear, despite Cahill’s and Kildanor’s support and encouragement. While I could understand his feelings, and the battle he fought with himself, toward the end he started to wear me down with his self tormenting. Sometimes I felt the urge to throw his big boy pants at him so he could snap out of it. Even so, I’m not sure that Kildanor’s and Cahill’s solution was the best one out there, despite it being a necessity. Nonetheless, Drangar Ralgon’s past is quite intriguing and I can’t wait to find out more.

Kildanor plays the role of a contact person in this book kind of. He builds a relationship with Drangar during their training sessions, but he also gets closer to Ealisaid – whom I still can’t seem to like, but it’s maybe because of her affair with Culain – setting his prejudice aside, realising how rewarding it can be if they work together. The same goes for his and Braigh’s relationship, which continues after their comradeship developed in Dreams.

There are several other side characters in Shattered Hopes I could write several more paragrahps about. Let’s just say, I particularly liked Rhea for her fiercness and wittiness, and Jasgar, because with his character Lehmann breaks away from the trope and has a spy who becomes one not because he choses so and is quite reluctant to learn the profession. I wish there were more scenes about him taking lessons to develop his character a bit more.

As for the Chanastardhian side, the most important characters are Mireynh and Anne accompanied by Gwen. Mireynh is an interesting character. He has strong ideals and once he gets something in his head, he won’t let it go. It’s hard to change his mind and punishes brutally those who cross him. He doesn’t really care who will die as long as he can reach his goal. But of course his personality is more layered than that. There are some driving forces behind his actions. Anne and Gwen make a good pair and I’m looking forward to read more about their adventures.

Another plotline takes us to the Eye. We only get glimpses but things aren’t looking good. They are in need of a strong leader more than ever, but Darlontor is anything but. This is where Lloreanthoran heads after learning as much about the world as he can.

Well, as you can tell, Shattered Hopes is no less intricate than Shattered Dreams was. Curiously, while I wouldn’t say it is fast paced, it’s still a damn interesting read, which makes you turn the pages. Especially if you take the time to think about the little info crumbs Lehmann lays down for you. This book has a few more layers than you can see at first glance. Ultimately everything is linked with everything, and my statement about this story being a treasure hunt still stands. And once you figure out some connections between the different terminologies the races use, you’ll start to put together the pieces. Even though there are several more waiting along the way. Until then, be prepared for your mind to be blown every once in a while.

Shattered Hopes is a cleverly written second book, which not only grew up to the first one, but managed to surpass it. Aside from Drangar starting to wear me down by the end, and the fact that I have to wait to find out some answers, I can’t really complain. Maybe that some things happened too fast, and there wasn’t enough time to develop – like Jasgar’s training or Ealisaid’s experiments. Although under the circumstances… This book had a lot to cover and it did well, but we are left with more questions than answers. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. If you have the patience to wait for the next book to be released.

Shattered Hopes is a character driven, intriguing and multi layered epic fantasy novel, which you don’t want to miss.

 

 

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