Shadow Of A Sword

Rated 5.00/5 based on 8 reviews
Christine D’Alessandro returns to Onteora County and is enmeshed in two deadly conflicts: one between security entrepreneur Kevin Conway and his competitor Ernest Lawrence; and one between presidential aspirant Stephen Sumner and President Walter Coleman. Behind them looms a third struggle, between two immortals, for the future of Mankind unto the limits of Time. Sequel to On Broken Wings. More

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Words: 101,660
Language: English
ISBN: 9781465706560
About Francis W. Porretto

Francis W. Porretto was born in 1952. Things went steadily downhill from there.

Fran is an engineer and fictioneer who lives on the east end of Long Island, New York. He's short, bald, homely, has bad acne and crooked teeth. His neighbors hold him personally responsible for the decline in local property values. His life is graced by one wife, two stepdaughters, two dogs, four cats, too many power tools to list, and an old ranch house furnished in Early Mesozoic style. His 13,000 volume (and growing) personal library is considered a major threat to the stability of the North American tectonic plate.

Publishing industry professionals describe Fran's novels as "Unpublishable. Horrible, but unpublishable all the same." (They don't think much of his short stories, either.) He's thought of trying bribery, but isn't sure he can afford the $3.95.

Fran's novels "Chosen One," "On Broken Wings," "Shadow Of A Sword," "The Sledgehammer Concerto," "Which Art In Hope," "Freedom's Scion," "Freedom's Fury," and "Priestesses" are also available as paperbacks, through Amazon. Check the specific pages for those books for details.

Wallow in his insane ranting on politics, culture, and faith at "Liberty's Torch:"

And of course, write to him, on whatever subject tickles your fancy, at


A few words about "Shadow Of A Sword"
A few words about "Shadow Of A Sword," the third and concluding volume in the "Realm Of Essences" fantasy trilogy.

Also in Series: Realm of Essences

Also by This Author

Readers of This Book Also Read


Review by: Duyen Ky on Nov. 26, 2011 :
I'm a friend of Fran's. I've known him for about twenty years. Until a few months ago, I had never read any of his fiction. He describes what he writes as supernatural fantasy, and I mostly read romance and mysteries.

OMG, what I've been missing!

Shadow of a Sword is a complex, many-textured book. We have Christine's ongoing investigation of what she is, her talks with young Father Ray -- damn that no-girlfriends rule! -- the war between Conway's Integral Security and the activities of the Lawrence brothers, Stephen Sumner's quest for the presidency, and the BIG conflict that Malcolm and Christine were created for. I've never read a book that had that many contrasting themes and plots woven into it before. But here's the punch line: it all works, and better yet, it all works TOGETHER!

For best results, a new reader should start with Chosen One, then read On Broken Wings, and only then tackle Shadow of a Sword. But even if you start with Shadow of a Sword, I guarantee you a mind-bender of a ride.

(Flashy, you fink, what else have you been hiding from me all these years? Oh, by the way, hope you had a happy Thanksgiving!)
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)

Review by: Tim Turner on Sep. 11, 2011 :
This *is* the third volume of Mr. Porretto's Realm of Essences trilogy, but is a very powerful novel in its own right. I highly recommend reading all three, but if you're strapped for cash, this is the book for you. It stands on its own and feels complete, even as it "wraps up" so many threads.

I heartily concur with the praise expressed by the other reviewers here. I want to add that this is a very satisfying book to read. I appreciate the craftwork of Mr. Porretto in melding so many themes and in doing it so well.

But I found equal satisfaction in many of his characters as well. We've gotten used to strong, silent heroes such as the cowboys played by Gary Cooper and Clint Eastwood. I got great pleasure from the passion and depth of several of the characters in this novel.

Finally, if you've read either or both of the other books in the trilogy, you absolutely *must* read Shadow of a Sword! You'll finally figure out what the heck is going on! :)
(reviewed 11 days after purchase)

Review by: Mark Butterworth on Aug. 22, 2011 :
I understand why Francis Porretto’s novels are considered “unpublishable” by ordinary publishers — they have so much in them. I have only read the third volume in his Realm of Essences Trilogy, but I was able to play catch up as the Shadow of a Sword progressed and see how the author had been able to weave a variety of genres effortlessly together into a whole that is deeply moving at the conclusion.

First off, this fiction is a kind of spiritual thriller, and although Porretto didn’t invent the genre, he might be the best practitioner of it today. It is a fantasy novel, a quest story, political thriller, and small town drama. He pulls these elements into a whole, which makes his work “unpublishable” because it can’t be pigeonholed, stereotyped, marketed as this or that thing.

For instance, he creates a dimension of beings or “essences” in a realm that seems separate from that of his Christian mythos, and yet must exist in that framework without impossibility. This creates tension that he is later able to happily resolve.

Shadow is a Sword is a remarkable achievement. Not because of its prose style, which is as good as anything Vince Flynn or Brad Thor use in their bestselling thrillers, but because it’s sincerity, earnestness, and desire to communicate more about this world than getting the bad guy after six hundred heated pages of plot reversals, setbacks, and just when you thought the cause was lost, we win.

Shadow of a Sword isn’t a potboiler. Instead, it simmers, and although you think you can put it down and walk away, you come back to it to see not just how things will work out, but if the author can pull off this attempted tour de force, this blending of so many features, ideas, plots, and themes.

If I would make one criticism, it would be to complain that too many of the characters are given to making speeches than simply exchanging dialogue. I also want to complain that Porretto has stolen my thunder, because I once had a fictional political character in mind who intended to make the exact same points as his presidential candidate, Stephen Sumner.

Sumner expostulates on his sole desire to return the Federal government to constitutional practice, which would mean that as chief executive, he would simply shut down every executive agency, department, office, etc that was not in accord with the 18 (I believe) enumerated powers of government in the supreme law of the land.

Shadow of a Sword is a deeply religious book, reflecting a powerful Catholic faith, yet does so while avoiding Manichean qualities that usually plague spiritual thriller and horror stories. Porretto avoids that by weaving a much more complex picture of souls, essences, principalities, and powers, you might say.

This is not simple escapist fiction, and many readers may be disappointed if that’s what they’re expecting, but it has a soulfulness, a quality that many more, I hope, will want to immerse themselves in.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)

Review by: Reg Thibodeau on Aug. 13, 2011 :
An excellent tale by a master storyteller. Don't be the least put off by the religious overtones to this book. As an atheist, I normally avoid stories involving faith, but Mr. Porretto's statements of faith and belief enrich the story, they do not detract. It would be a shame to miss the depth and richness of this tale simply because his faith establishes the underpinnings of the book. I will read it again and again over the years, as I have other stories he has written.

He sells them too cheaply for the wealth of enjoyment they provide.
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)

Review by: Flyover Pilgrim on Aug. 10, 2011 :
This is an exciting, and fitting, end to the "Realm of Essences" trilogy. It was all I hoped it to be, as the last of the stories. I did not want it to end.

Read all three, you will not be disappointed!
Highly recommended -- 5 stars!
(reviewed 21 days after purchase)

Review by: Haynes McFadden on Aug. 05, 2011 :
short version: The best US$.99 I have ever spent.
Longer version: Immaculately written, superbly thought out, completely consistent with the previous books, completes and fills in the missing info from the previous Realm of Essences books, doesn't appear to have left anything out. Everything I wished it would be; absolutely no disappointments. Just wish it was about 200 pageslonger!
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)

Review by: Matt Landry on July 25, 2011 :
Mr. Porretto's best work yet, by far...and that's saying something. Have you read his previous Realm of Essences books (if not, you definitely should!) and been left wondering...with questions unanswered, not just about the future but about the past?

They are answered here, alongside the continuing adventures of Christine, and the presidential campaign of the sort of man all decent Americans wish we had a chance to vote for in an election, but seldom encounter even outside of one.

I am prepared to promise that this will be the best dollar you ever spend on anything not imminently necessary to your literal survival...unless, of course, Mr. Porretto writes more novels in the future, in which case the possibility exists that they might be even better still.

Reccomended in terms so strong that I'm thinking of complaining that the smashwords rating system doesn't offer enough stars.
(reviewed 3 days after purchase)

Review by: Keith Tango on July 22, 2011 :
This is a wonderful book. Entertaining, absorbing and packed with quotable insights.
Mr. Porretto has expertly spun a tale from politics, ethics, religion and much else which holds the reader to last page and left this reader, at least, wanting more.
(reviewed 2 days after purchase)

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