Prince Shade: A Zion Chronicle – An Enthusiastic Recommendation

Prince Shade and Finally Finding A New Fantasy Book I Loved

Because I read the same fantasy series every year, my friend Josh Crowe is ever begging me to expand my horizons. In the past few years, I have done so, and more often than not I have read things that were either just decent or utterly forgettable. In a couple of cases, I didn’t even finish the first book.

Gladly, that was not the case with this new novel by Maredith Ryan. Prince Shade was entertaining from the very first page, and it kept me captivated to the very end. And there are several reasons why I recommend it to anyone who enjoys good fantasy.

Prince Shade: A Zion Chronicle cover image

First, it hits all the marks for what you want in this genre of writing–world-building, plot and character development, dialogue. The scenery is well described. Adjectives used to illustrate things from how the characters dressed and did their hair at a ball, to quirks in personality were phenomenal. You can tell Ryan sees all of this in her head and has plenty of life experience to draw from.

And I found the plot to be novel and even quite unpredictable. It’s a real page-turner in that regard. Nothing about this book is trite or bland.

Additionally, each character (and there were many) is interesting in their own unique way, and all of the main characters resonated with me. And they all had such personalities! In just one installment I’d already put Baron on a list of funniest characters in a book like this one. I laughed out loud several times at his antics. Both in dialogue and subtle gestures. Halfway through the book, I could see and hear him clearly in my mind’s eye. That’s what you want in a fiction book.

And beyond the comedy, there is romance, action, intrigue, and even mystery at times. The fight scenes are well done. The conflict is both realistic yet creative. There are pages that will make your head spin (notably in the last chapter) and pages that will melt your heart (many interactions that involve Shade and Erin especially).

Prince Shade, the main character, seems to have a simple enough goal and journey, to begin with. But by the end, there is so much nuance to that journey that I was reading every page very slowly so as not to miss anything. The book is over 400 pages and I was stunned at how much detail and how many layers there were to the story.

This book is very adult, and I mean that as a compliment. While I’m sure just about any age from elementary school on up could enjoy it, because it’s well written and not offensive at all, it’s not a “kids” book per se. And I like that about it. There are themes that are more grown-up, like death and betrayal, and the confusion of being infatuated with your best friend. And the conclusion is not some neatly-tied bow of happy endings.

This book is one I will definitely reread, and not just because I expect that there will be more in this series. There are plot twists in the back half of the book that will be fun to think of as you go back through it from the start.

I give Prince Shade as hearty an endorsement as I can. It’s a fantastic reading experience all the way around. Every day I was excited to get to my bed at night to get my 30 minutes of reading in. And I will be giving this book away for Christmas this year, perhaps even before then.

Find a link to purchase the book here.

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Gowdy Cannon

Gowdy Cannon

I am currently the pastor of Bear Point FWB Church in Sesser, IL. I previously served for 17 years as the associate bilingual pastor at Northwest Community Church in Chicago. My wife, Kayla, and I have been married over 8 years and have a 4-year-old son, Liam Erasmus, and a baby, Bo Tyndale. I have been a student at Welch College in Nashville and at Moody Theological Seminary in Chicago. I love The USC (the real one in SC, not the other one in CA), Seinfeld, John 3:30, Chick-fil-A, Dumb and Dumber, the book of Job, preaching and teaching, and arguing about sports.

One thought on “Prince Shade: A Zion Chronicle – An Enthusiastic Recommendation

  • September 21, 2022 at 10:56 am

    Definitely going to read this.


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