The story, however, was compelling enough to make me want to continue reading on, despite at times feeling frustrated and I was glad I did. Sword of Shadows is a powerful, soaring tale of love, brotherhood, freedom and dignity. I absolutely loved the story and also found plenty of food for thought in some of the conundrums the two half-brothers Arthur and Kai were faced with at various points in the tale. Without giving too much away of the story, one underlying theme that came through to me was that humanity tinkers with God's design at its own peril. I felt Lesley was brilliant at subtly weaving some of man's biggest moral issues into this story and doing so at no expense to the tale, merely enhancing it. This is the sign of a superb writer to me.
Although I hadn't read the initial book in the series, Cloud Over Avalon, I had read one previous book by this Author and I am now a fan. Fantasy has never been my genre of choice, but reading Lesley's works has swayed me in that respect. I oscillated between four and five stars for this because of my difficulty in getting into it, but ultimately the towering, exciting story won through and I gave it the full five stars - happily. I honestly cannot wait for the third book, which was clearly set up at the end of Sword of Shadows and I am motivated to go back now and read Book One, just for sheer enjoyment, now that the characters are so ingrained in my memory. A fantastic effort. Well done!