Book Review: Shattered Walls by Ulff Lehmann

I hold a great fondness for epic fantasy. It was one of the first books I read (Tolkien) and has persisted to this day. However, there are some epic fantasy authors that just capture the imagination above and beyond what others have done, and Ulff Lehmann is one of them. Thank goodness for the latest book!

1. Thoughts on the plot

Shattered Walls is the fourth book in the series, and it begins right in the middle of, well, battle. This book takes places over a relatively short period of time (a few days to a week, if I am counting correctly), but the amount of action that appears in this book is staggering. Drangar is fighting with the Eye of Traksor against the demon Turuuk and his ageless hordes, only the Eye is walled in and with very little in the way of resources against a demonic army. There are other forces in the mix, but can they hold out against the siege, or is all lost for Drangar?

The plot of this book is just…wow. Normally, I don’t really like battle-based epic fantasy because it can get bogged down in the details very quickly and become boring. Here, there is no boredom. There is only strategy and detail that grabs the mind and pulls you in. And that ending! 

2. Thoughts on the character

This book, I think, is where we really get to see Drangar shine. He has finally started to unravel some of the threads that have brought him to where he is. This realisation, as well as facing the past, the future, and some really, really bad monsters, lets him solidify into a badass character in a very short amount of time. Also, that ending!

The other characters, Bathne in particular, also get some very involved point of view sections, which help to flesh out both the other characters and the situation in which they find themselves. I really like how the overlapping points of view emphasise the different personalities in the mix, as well as driving the action in very specific ways. Also, Bathne is just cool.

3. Favourite part

The ending. I mean, my goodness! 

4. Critique

My only real critique for this book isn’t really a critique at all, but just a warning. Compared to the other books, this one is dark. Not that the first three weren’t dark, but this one delves just a bit into horror more than pure epic fantasy (even of the grimdark variety). I found it fascinating, but it can also be disturbing if you’re not prepared for it.

Overall, I would say that Shattered Walls is probably my favourite of the series so far, and I really, really want to read the next book. Ulff Lehmann remains one of the few authors who can write a battle scene that isn’t boring to me, and I highly recommend this whole series.