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Shadow of the Conqueror

Chronicles of Everfall, Book 1
Written by: Shad Brooks
Length: 18 hrs and 30 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Who better to fight back the darkness of the world than the one responsible for most of it?

Daylen, once known as the Great Bastard, the Scourge of Nations, Dayless the Conqueror, has lived in hiding since his presumed death. Burdened by age and tremendous guilt, he thinks his life is coming to an end. Unbeknownst to him he’s about to embark on a journey towards redemption where his ruthless abilities might save the world. Many battles await with friends to be made and a past filled with countless crimes to confront, all the while trying to keep his true identity a secret.

Indeed, it might be too much if not for the fabled power awaiting him.

Everfall is a world of perpetual day where the continents float in an endless sky. If one jumps from the continent they will fall for many hours before returning to the same place from which they fell. Skyships rule the air powered by shining sunstone and industrial darkstone. A legendary order of knights bears mystical powers which they use to hunt out the dreaded shade, monsters that regular people turn into if trapped in darkness for the length of a fall.

It is a world of enchanted swords, merciless monsters, mystical knights, and hard magic, filled with tales of wonder and adventure.

©2019 Shad Brooks (P)2019 Shad Brooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Guilty Pleasure Fantasy

The book's okay. The performance is good, as you'd expect. Specifically, the magic system and world are well explored, even if there are some noticeable parallels between this and other famous works. The characters aren't half bad either.

I'd rate this book better if characters were not used as a mouthpiece to espouse unchallenged highschool-grade criticisms of socialism and authoritarianism, or shallow economic theory.

Perhaps Shad thought it would be okay if he stuck to making non-controversial positions, since the main cast's overton window on policies is very narrow. But that's part of the problem. There is no nuance to the positions they espouse.

As an aside, there is a lot of gratuitous violence for its own sake, rather than for world or character building. I'm pretty sure a lot of this could be cleaned up by a good editor, so scenes were more succinct.

I've seen some comments saying this book wouldn't be published by a major printing house, and I see why they'd say that. Shad has some areas of strength of course, but he needed someone to tell him when certain scenes or details were unnecessary, and when a character needed more depth, and when the politics was too heavy-handed.

I think most professional authors need this, so this isn't a criticism of his writing skills so much as it is simply an observation.

Like I said Shad is good enough where the flaws weren't overpowering for me, and I DID enjoy my time with the book. And I don't get the sense he was lazy. Still he does go overboard a lot of the time.

He'll probably improve immensely if he keeps publishing books.
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[ Some Spoilers ]

One of my biggest problems with the book while reading is the protagonist is pretty cringe when he says 'life is the worst torture i can think of' over and over while guilting people into letting him live, and no one calls him out on being a coward; but at least in the end there is some redemption.

There are certain arcs in the story which are clearly better than the rest, though. The end conflict, if brief was emotionally powerful (even though I knew what was going to happen).

And I'll end this post with a little more praise. I think ultimately the protagonist is a pretty realistic antihero, aside from the cringe guilttrips. Which is not to say it couldn't have been written with more subtlety but, his back story and personality are believable.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling and riveting.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book; the fantastic world, in which the story takes place, is as creative and fulfilling as the characters populating it. The story rapidly grabs, you navigate a twisted and tormented life throughout the book. I felt compelled and riveted to learn what happened next. Sometimes funny, sometimes dark but never boring. I pick up the audiobook and read the whole 18 hours and 30 minutes in two days… Now I wait for the Book 2! Good work Shad and thank you!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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AMAZING!

I found this book via the author and his YouTube channel, being that I found it this way I went in thinking 'I probably won't hate it' and 'I'll give it a try'.
I was RIGHT i didn't hate it, in fact I absolutely LOVED it!
The world he built is amazing and so creatively conveyed, that it is in itself a character of the book. The actual characters are so engaging you want to be in the story with them; even if it is to smack one of them (protagonist till about 1/4 of the way in). The worst part of the book was the end, because it ended and I want more. Till the next book by Shad comes out I will have to make due by rereading this one many more times!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • PJ
  • 2019-07-13

Amazing first book Shad!!!

Watching your videos about the book did some to prepare me for how ingenious this story would be but HOLY CROW I did not expect to be this enthralled!!! The magic system is amazing, the descriptions of the swordplay are just awesome and the characters are deep, well written and incredibly funny!! I’m shaking waiting for the next one and hope you have as much fun and enjoyment writing it as all of your fans will have when they read it. Thank you so much!!!!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D.B. Cooper
  • 2019-07-11

You can judge a audio book by it's narrators.

I had to check if this was someone writing under a pseudonym, Best new fantasy series of 2019 Imo. This will soon be a bestseller, it really is that good. I'm horrible at writing reviews but I am sure there will be hundreds to come.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Stephan
  • 2019-07-13

Good first book

I’m a fan of Shad, love his youtube vids but I’m going to look at this book with a critical eye still.

I enjoyed the story a lot. The interactions and dialogue between the characters were amazing. Easily the best part of the book was the humor and how everyone talked to each other. I just couldn’t get enough of it. Masterfully done, I couldn’t get enough of it.

I found the world to be interesting and I do want to see more it be explored to a greater depth. I hope for more books in this world as I have many questions about the lore and world.

Now first I want to say, I think Daylen’s personality was pretty good, however as a character he is pretty over powered with his abilities and in some parts of the book makes him almost a Gary Stue in places, or like Superman when he just suddenly gets a new power right at the correct time. I just didn’t feel like he was in any real danger at time. He also seemed to have pretty much invented everything in the world. Like literally everything, he pretty much knew how everything worked even though he was hermit for over two decades. There should have been some inventions or progress that left him at least a little dumbfounded or a challenge to his knowledge. Not to mention he seemed to be the best at well everything that mattered in the book. Cooking and gardening were never critical to the plot. He just doesn’t have any real flaws besides being a real bad guy in his past. Overall it’s like Daylen created the world instead of him being a product of the world he is in. In my opinion that made the plot weaker as the only real obstacle he has is his past in this case.

While I’m a fan of quick and brief fight scenes, I think having a little more detail of what they’re doing would be of a better benefit or more use of metaphors to describe the struggle than just block, parry, counter strike, etc. The big climatic duel at the end of the book was well done however in my opinion. I also believe the characters could use more description but that’s more or less my own bias as I’m used to novels graphically describing gore, nudity and such in higher detail.

I really enjoyed this book and I think Shad put in his best effort and I really want to see more. I rated the story 3 stars mostly because of what I stated about Daylen, even though I really enjoyed his personality, especially old grumpy Daylen.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH, United States
  • 2019-07-13

Better as an audiobook

Michael Kramer and Kate Reading do a wonderful job narrating this book. Despite a few rookie flaws (excessive dialogue attributions, too much info dumping, etc.), I would rank this book up there with Brandon's Mistborn series. If you're a fan of Mistborn or Brandon Sanderson in general, then you'll love the Chronicles of Everfall by Shad Brooks. I anticipate this series to be a slow burn, but I have no doubt it'll hit the best-seller list in due time. Shad does an amazing job with his world-building and thinking about how certain magic systems interact with the world in a way that I haven't seen other authors do before. It's obvious that Shad did his research, and he did it well.

Some people complain about the main protagonist being a Gary Stue, and under normal circumstances I'd have to agree. While I do think having a talking head would have been a better route in terms of Dayless knowing everything, the main thing keeping him from being a Gary Stue is his character flaws. His flaws are enough to offset the amount of power he's been given, and you'll often times see that they lead him to great misfortune. I think it's disingenuous when people say things like "I never felt like the main character was ever in any real danger," when the fact is that you can say that about any book, regardless of their Mary Sue status or the lack thereof. It's expected by the end of the book that the main character will generally be alive, or some part of their existence will persist through a good chunk of the story, otherwise there wouldn't be a story in the first place.

That said, there's a couple major flaws with the story. For one, it feels like the main character is just doing random stuff for a good portion of the book. For another good portion of the book, time is spent lecturing to the audience about how the world or magic systems work. It's really quite a bit of overkill. I didn't feel like the book really started going anywhere significant until about the 2/3rds mark.

I also felt like character's reactions to things were unbelievable, especially when it came to the main character's cold-hearted slaughter of random people. I'm sorry but, some of those incidents you wouldn't just shrug off and say, "Yeah, you're right. You were justified."

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Adam Miller
  • 2019-07-15

An enjoyable book with a problematic protagonist

On the whole I liked this book, though there are certain aspects that didn't quite work for me. The world building is in depth and interesting. There were a few times I found the exposition laying out the magic system and the world to be a bit heavy handed and dragged the book down a bit. That said I generally enjoyed the bits where the protagonist explored his powers.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the supporting characters. Lyra and Kuseg (not sure on the name spelling as this is an audio book to me) were particularly interesting and I enjoyed Arek's terrible humor immensely.

The main issue with the book for me is the protagonist, Daylen. I get that he's supposed to be a former bad guy trying to be good, but I can't help but feel that Shad, the author, went a little too far in making him a monster in his former life and didn't do quite enough leg work to justify him as the protagonist through most the book. The simple fact is that Daylen commits too many brutal and barbaric acts in his new life for me to ever truly root for him. It doesn't matter that he feels bad about them or that he did them to terrible people. It just feels like there's a disconnect, if he is a despicable person who has seen the error of his ways and is seeking redemption, then he shouldn't be so quick to deal death to others. The first time it happened I understood as he is reverting to his old ways, but each time it happens after that it is harder and harder to empathize

All that said, I found there to be some legitimately touching moments between him and the supporting characters toward the end and found his over all fate and conclusion to the novel to be satisfying.

I would definitely like to see more from this world now that so much of it has been explained and the story can just get moving. I also have hope that I may like Daylen more in another installment.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazons fav customer
  • 2019-07-12

A whimsical mesh of a medieval world with fun fantasy elements

More of an adult adventure than I expected, but not in a bad way. The story was captivating and I was tempted to fight sleep to finish it. The performance was fantastic and the characters and world were remarkable. It’s definitely worth the read and listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-07-12

Absolutely phenomenal Novel!

In every sense of the word this book is phenomenal! definitely one of my top 3 Fantasy novels ever--I listened to it all in one sitting xD The world building, characters, and story is engaging and felt real as I listened to it. Anyone who enjoys fantasy should 100% read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Austin Gutierrez
  • 2019-07-12

Shad's best piece yet

Definitely can see and feel all the hard work that has gone into the book, and am glad to say that it does an amazing job getting your interest and invested in the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-07-12

Simply fantastic

I really enjoyed the story, the characters are really well written and fleshed out. I love the sci-fi fantasy mix, and the magic system is great i can picture it all happening when the narrator reads it out. Also the narration is perfection.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Julie A.
  • 2019-07-11

For you Shads

You got me interested in the book may as well see if it becomes a series. Keep up your good work!

7 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • T.S. Clyde Park, MT
  • 2019-07-12

Well done Shad & Michael and Kate-brilliant choice

You have entered the field strong and congrats on bringing your story to the world!

As expected the narration is superb adding another dimension to the work.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful