Journey of Shadows is the first book in The Immortalis Trilogy and marks the first book by fantasy writer Dee Sutter. When asked about the reasons for self publishing, Mr. Sutter shared her view, “I decided to go with self-publishing after two years of researching the market and trends in publishing. I don't want to be someone that jumps on the bandwagon. I'd rather be someone that took a chance on the upswing. So, with much conversation between my editor and my publicist, we decided the best route was self-publishing for now while still pursuing traditional publishing.”
It has all the elements you would expect to find in a fantasy novel: the ultimate quest, the epic adventure, the travel, the odd creatures, the trials and tribulations of the characters. The hero Dani has no idea where she comes from or who her family was or that she has tremendous magical potential. She is spirited away from the only home she has known and advised that she is the key to saving a great many peoples’ lives. There is a prophecy in which Dani is featured. Those who raised her and protected her were aware of this prophecy but she did not find out until just before she was taken from her home. It is inevitable, at least according to the prophecy, that she had to leave her home, and there is some turmoil that she was not told sooner. As with most epic fantasy tales, Dani travels and has various quests and gains companions along the way. Perhaps the most endearing of those are the faeries. After the shock of leaving her home, Dani must then contend with the mysterious identity of her most vigilant protector. The ultimate quest is to reach her true biological family. The journey is long and involves much peril. She meets faeries, dwarves, dragons, shape shifters, elementals, and other mythical beings in her travels, a few of which join her.
Dani is supposed to be the hero in the story, but she just kind of drifts along being the damsel in distress. Things are always happening to her, she doesn’t really make things happen for herself. She is in constant need of protection and is always the one being saved. Perhaps this passivity on Dani’s part is merely a literary tool used to illustrate how her young life began and how her life has been so far. She had no power over what happened to her. But perhaps as she progresses and becomes more self aware her strength will grow and readers will see the hero that is under the surface. Surely Dani has endured much and will no doubt endure more as the trilogy progresses. There is hope that through all of this a strong woman will emerge and triumph.
The pace of the novel was fairly even until the last part of the story, it ended rather abruptly. While the pace could have been more even near the end, it did end in a way that leaves the reader wanting to know what happens next. Luckily the author is working on the sequel and is aiming for a spring 2013 release. Hopefully it will be sooner. In the next novel, it would be nice to see the blurb about the author longer than the blurb about the editor. While editors are often the unsung heroes of the literary world and certainly deserve to be appreciated and praised, the star of a novel is always the writer of that novel. An editor works backstage to make the stars look good for their close ups, so to speak.
Journey of Shadows is a recommended read for any fantasy fan or even those who are wanting to explore the genre. It is reasonably priced at 2.99, which is a steal. It would also make an affordable gift for any bookworm. So check out Journey of Shadows and be encouraged to hound the author to finish the next book so that we may find out what further adventures are in store for Dani and her companions.
You can follow author Dee Sutter on Twitter: @DeeDeclares . You can find her blog at: http://deedeclares.blogspot.ca/