Book Review: Shaman’s Drum

England in the near future. Mainstream religions have been outlawed, and the old gods rule again. Iamo has been a priest of the Great Mother and is sworn to celibacy, but his love for Riga, a Black Shaman, a magical assassin, caused him to break his vows. After being imprisoned apart from each other for three years, Iamo accepts an offer to earn them both a pardon and the possibility of marriage. If they survive. Iamo and Riga must discover why demons are breaking through from the other side. Which of the cults are renegades who allow the demons through? Who can they trust? Combining their powers, they face the ordeal with the help of a band of eclectic pagans, spirit creatures, Riga’s Black Shaman brothers, an undercover Christian granny, and three unusually energetic Goths. It’s a tough assignment, but the hope of a life together keeps them fighting.

Ailsa Abraham is definitely a new (to me) author I am gong to look forward to seeing grow on my shelves.  Shaman’s Drum picks up where Alchemy leaves off without much of a slowdown.  There’s a few unexpected twists, though you know the central characters are not going to have an easy time.  If they did, then where would the story be?  However, the trouble they are in this time just never seems to get any better.  Each time they find out there’s a road block in their way to happiness, they find out it’s not just one, but an entire maze.  And, if the maze isn’t solved soon, then everything they are juggling will come crashing down on their heads.  And they are juggling quite a bit – they make a professional juggler seem like an amateur.

Definitely fast paced action.  From the first pages, the ride through this story is one you’ll not easily forget.  Though the pace is fast, there is so much going on, I wondered on several occasions if things were going to be left as a cliffhanger at the end, or if they would wrap up.  They did wrap up into a self contained installment, yet there are references to events in Alchemy, and hints at what the next installment might be about.

The central main cast remains the same two you get to know in Alchemy.  The support cast ebbs and flows, though it does center around two important parts of Riga and Iamo’s past.  There’s a new bunch brought in, and I’d be interested to see what part they play as the series progresses.

The character development definitely continues.  Both as a couple, and as individuals for Riga and Iamo.  A few of the spots I had to outright laugh at, having been in similar situations.  Both of the characters are independent, strong willed, and strong minded, which does bring them into conflict now and again.  Definitely a believable pair – not a sugar coated, everything’s perfect couple.  And, it’s not just what’s going on between the two, but also what’s going on around the two that leads to these issues.

The world building continues, though at a slower pace from Alchemy.  Now, more of the political maneuverings are brought out for evaluation, rather than the physical landscaping.  There’s enough here, I think, to have several more books set against similar backdrops.  However, for the peace of mind for Riga and Iamo, it’d be interesting to see someone else spotlighted.  There’s a few who might be, or this could turn into a generational series, which would be fun in itself.

Overall?  Yup, a solid 5 out of 5 star effort for Ailsa, and a wonderful addition to her growing series.  Now, where’s the next one?

 

If you enjoyed this review, and wish me to review your own work, please stop by the Offered Services page, and send me a submission.  I’ll be glad to consider almost any book.

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3 thoughts on “Book Review: Shaman’s Drum

    1. Thanks so much for this. Books 3 and 4 are in the pipeline and yes, you guessed right, Iamo and Riga will get to take a back seat for some of the time. One character from Books 1 and 2 has kicked me into giving him a book of his own, all I need now is to get them finalised xx

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