Night Shadow’s Son

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Night Shadow's Son

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...The story starts well, but loses traction half way through becoming an unsatisfying read....

Syeira, a Romani fortune teller, falls in love with a British Officer, who is then called away to serve in the Atlantic. When she finds out she is pregnant she moves in with her sister and then travels across Europe to rejoin the circus. Before she reaches her goal, she finds herself working for a businessman who provides for her and her daughter. Taking care of them, Britannia is schooled in many things to bring her up as a lady. Many years later when World War II starts, Britannia leaves to join the French Resistance and carry out vital missions behind enemy lines, using everything she has been taught. In one mission, she rescues a small baby that she names Lan and raises him. After the war she joins the circus, as her mother had before and she raises Lan on everything she has learned. As Lan grows up, he discovers all the skills of the circus performers before becoming an aide to a Professor, who used to work in British Intelligence. While being provided with a further education at Oxford, Lan finds himself taking on a mission of vital importance for the government. A mission that must succeed if the world is not to destroy itself.

This is historical fiction set through several of the wars in Europe and following the family through the decades they live through. Split into three parts, the plot takes it’s time to introduce each of the protagonists and then follows them through their life and the challenges they face. The book only has one of the missions in much detail, they rest of the them are written around giving snippets of the action instead of describing things in full. More detail is given to the lives they lead outside of war, where they grow, learn, and you see them develop into the people they are.

However, there are several flaws with this book. The writing is descriptive and gives a wonderful feel for the times and places, but jumps from viewpoint to viewpoint switching from one paragraph to the next and it happens throughout the book. Unable to keep a single point of view for, it settles on trying to give as much information to the readers at each point in time. There is also no feeling of danger or any tension within the story, due to the characters. As they are introduced, each one comes across as not just highly resourceful and skilled, but superhuman at everything they turn their hand to. They are masters at everything, even if it is something they have never tried before. No feat is too impossible for them to achieve and the story loses a sense of realism, the longer it goes on.

This is a book that I feel should have been split into two or three parts as there are enough interesting stories to fill it out, even if the majority of book follows Lan. While Syeira’s and Britannia’s stories seem to have a purpose, several of Lan’s chapters seem to be there just to show how wonderful Lan is without adding anything.

Overall, I was disappointed as the story starts well, but loses traction half way through to ultimately become an unsatisfying read.

Rating: 2
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sliara (5 September 2021)
Well, I also couldn't understand the story based on the description. The book was given a bad review.

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