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The Shadow of His Hand: Book One of the Markulian Prophecies

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For centuries the oft-forgotten Unseen God has seemed distant and uncaring, but when the Realm is threatened by the all-conquering armies from Jerika, an ancient oracle is triggered. Now this foretelling is the only hope of salvation and its fulfilment lies in the trembling hands of a reluctant soldier, a princess and an infant marked by prophecy. Set in a vivid medieval wo For centuries the oft-forgotten Unseen God has seemed distant and uncaring, but when the Realm is threatened by the all-conquering armies from Jerika, an ancient oracle is triggered. Now this foretelling is the only hope of salvation and its fulfilment lies in the trembling hands of a reluctant soldier, a princess and an infant marked by prophecy. Set in a vivid medieval world, The Shadow of His Hand begins an epic struggle between good and evil, full of danger, romance and despair. Those caught in the grip of destiny will be required to sacrifice all, but even that may not be enough.


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For centuries the oft-forgotten Unseen God has seemed distant and uncaring, but when the Realm is threatened by the all-conquering armies from Jerika, an ancient oracle is triggered. Now this foretelling is the only hope of salvation and its fulfilment lies in the trembling hands of a reluctant soldier, a princess and an infant marked by prophecy. Set in a vivid medieval wo For centuries the oft-forgotten Unseen God has seemed distant and uncaring, but when the Realm is threatened by the all-conquering armies from Jerika, an ancient oracle is triggered. Now this foretelling is the only hope of salvation and its fulfilment lies in the trembling hands of a reluctant soldier, a princess and an infant marked by prophecy. Set in a vivid medieval world, The Shadow of His Hand begins an epic struggle between good and evil, full of danger, romance and despair. Those caught in the grip of destiny will be required to sacrifice all, but even that may not be enough.

30 review for The Shadow of His Hand: Book One of the Markulian Prophecies

  1. 5 out of 5

    Marc Murkin

    The Shadow of His Hand is the debut book by Benjamin Patterson. Set in a low fantasy world, Book One moves at an excellent pace from start to finish, with a collection of memorable characters who are vivid and likable. Initially I was surprised by the amount of character POV's (point-of-views). Sometimes in a book you find yourself wanting to skip over a character you don't quite click with, so I was pleased not to want to do that here. Often stories set in a big new world have almost too much t The Shadow of His Hand is the debut book by Benjamin Patterson. Set in a low fantasy world, Book One moves at an excellent pace from start to finish, with a collection of memorable characters who are vivid and likable. Initially I was surprised by the amount of character POV's (point-of-views). Sometimes in a book you find yourself wanting to skip over a character you don't quite click with, so I was pleased not to want to do that here. Often stories set in a big new world have almost too much to offer, but the storylines in Book One are compact and satisfying, leaving enough of a thread to want to check on Book Two's progress. The author frequently asks questions of the characters and really puts them through the wringer, leaving the reader emotionally dragged along right beside them through their ups and downs, they truly are the heart of the story. After reading Book One I'm very excited to see where the series goes from here, and will be keeping tabs on the next release.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    Enthralling read! This book held me from start to finish. No lagging plotlines that keep you from enjoying the flow. Fleshed out characters you find yourself becoming attached to, eager to know more about them! Great read, cannot wait for the next one!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kay Cheung

    Reading ‘The Shadow of his Hand’ was an unexpected pleasure - it’s rare to find a first novel that can pull me into the story so capably. In this epic fantasy, the Jerikan armies are camped on the border of the allied kingdoms and war seems inevitable. When a baby is born with a prophesied mark, the young King Eldilin dares not defy the Unseen God but must send his sister and the babe on a dangerous quest. Fredrick is a directionless young man who enlisted as a soldier because it “seemed like the Reading ‘The Shadow of his Hand’ was an unexpected pleasure - it’s rare to find a first novel that can pull me into the story so capably. In this epic fantasy, the Jerikan armies are camped on the border of the allied kingdoms and war seems inevitable. When a baby is born with a prophesied mark, the young King Eldilin dares not defy the Unseen God but must send his sister and the babe on a dangerous quest. Fredrick is a directionless young man who enlisted as a soldier because it “seemed like the right thing to do”. With his uncanny ability to calm the screaming child, he’s an unlikely and reluctant addition to Princess Kathryn’s company. Can they beat the odds and complete the prophecy? For the genre, I thought the plot proceeded at a fast pace, with never a dull moment, and the world-building was quietly effective (if hazy on the geographical details). The stand-out for me, though, was the characters. There was something appealing in Fredrick’s assessment of himself as an ordinary man out of his depth, and honesty and humour in the way he coped as fate stretched him to his limits and beyond. Shifts of point of view from the main protagonists to other plot threads were also effectively managed, maintaining my attention. In particular, I became quite absorbed in the secondary plot revolving around the King and his unexpected bride, a meeting of singularly unusual personalities. Overall, this was a diverting read. I’m looking forward to reading the next installment, though less to see how the war will proceed than to be involved in the developing relationships between the characters.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    As much as I sincerely love reading, I rarely if ever give myself permission to put down all my obligations, curl up with a novel and get lost in a story. It’s a rare book that can part me from my constant need to justify my use of time. The Shadow of His Hand stole me and didn’t give me back to my family for days. It sneaks up on you when you first start reading, that somewhere, who knows how many pages back, you began to care deeply about these characters. You realise it right at the moment tha As much as I sincerely love reading, I rarely if ever give myself permission to put down all my obligations, curl up with a novel and get lost in a story. It’s a rare book that can part me from my constant need to justify my use of time. The Shadow of His Hand stole me and didn’t give me back to my family for days. It sneaks up on you when you first start reading, that somewhere, who knows how many pages back, you began to care deeply about these characters. You realise it right at the moment that something goes horribly wrong, but of course it’s too late then. If you were destined to be a character in a novel, you’d want to pray hard it wasn’t this one. If that prayer went unanswered, at every page turn you would feel like yelling at the author that things couldn’t possibly get any worse for you right now... But don’t, because he will take it as a challenge. Things will get far, far worse, and then some. This book toys with its readers with all the indolence of a cat who knows its prey can’t escape. Its plot is laced with something highly addictive, delivering a tantalising hit at just the right potency with every plot twist and change of scene. Each story thread is cut off and returned to at precisely the right moment, the pace never slackens for more than a breather, and every trap the characters run into feels inescapable even as they escape. Benjamin Patterson is a gifted storyteller, and his first novel carries itself with the confidence of a bestseller. You get the impression that the story found him and compelled him to tell it. I’m impatient already for the next instalment.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    The Shadow of His Hand has all the elements you would expect from your standard fantasy novel. We have the reluctant hero, the princess, the prophecy, the epic quest through enemy territory... etc etc. there are probably enough tropes in the blurb alone to make many people wary of picking up this book. OK, so this is not groundbreaking-turn-the-genre-on-its-head fantasy, this is (so far anyway, it's only book one after all) formula fantasy. It's also really, really good. The best way I can thin The Shadow of His Hand has all the elements you would expect from your standard fantasy novel. We have the reluctant hero, the princess, the prophecy, the epic quest through enemy territory... etc etc. there are probably enough tropes in the blurb alone to make many people wary of picking up this book. OK, so this is not groundbreaking-turn-the-genre-on-its-head fantasy, this is (so far anyway, it's only book one after all) formula fantasy. It's also really, really good. The best way I can think of to describe this book is with an analogy from the movie 'ratatouille' - you know the bit where the critic comes to the restaurant and the humans are all like 'oh no! What are we gonna feed him?!' And the rat wants to make him ratatouille but the humans are like 'but that's too simple!' But they make him the ratatouille and when the critic eats it he is overcome with warmth and emotion, so much so that he doesn't even care that it was made by a rat? Yeah, this book is like that. So if the blurb makes you wary, (or maybe it's just me) I urge you to give The Shadow of His Hand a chance anyhow. Trust me, it really does get better with every page. I went from 'meh' to 'holy! This book Sooooo good!' in the space of a few chapters. I do wish there had been more time to get to know some of the characters better but oh well I'll just have to wait for the next book!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nerida

    In The Shadow of His Hand, this new author (Benjamin Patterson) has taken a leap into the literary deep end with an impressive series opener. The main characters are an unlikely array, full of personality and vulnerabilities, ... and what is with that baby?! Together they must undertake an urgent mission against all odds. Their enemies are both natural and other-worldly and the perils are enormous. Failure spells doom for kingdoms and realms. I had to strap myself in for some edge-of-the-seat acti In The Shadow of His Hand, this new author (Benjamin Patterson) has taken a leap into the literary deep end with an impressive series opener. The main characters are an unlikely array, full of personality and vulnerabilities, ... and what is with that baby?! Together they must undertake an urgent mission against all odds. Their enemies are both natural and other-worldly and the perils are enormous. Failure spells doom for kingdoms and realms. I had to strap myself in for some edge-of-the-seat action, enjoying the evocative descriptions and almost flinching in pain on behalf of those suffering it at times. The narrative is compelling and the setting varied along the way. There is a satisfying finale to the tale, but with a twist that leaves me impatient to see where the next volume will take me. It is an ambitious effort for a first novel and Patterson has pulled it off in grand style.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Walter

    I don't claim to be a fantasy fan at all but I really enjoyed the story. Multiple different storylines to keep the interest but not so much I can't keep track, and keeps you waiting to see how they all link together. Frederick is a strangely likeable character, with just enough humour and sarcasm to keep it lighthearted - although his many adventures were enough to get the adrenaline pumping in places. His rather unusual predicament or mission tugs on the heartstrings. (Yes, I even cried). I would I don't claim to be a fantasy fan at all but I really enjoyed the story. Multiple different storylines to keep the interest but not so much I can't keep track, and keeps you waiting to see how they all link together. Frederick is a strangely likeable character, with just enough humour and sarcasm to keep it lighthearted - although his many adventures were enough to get the adrenaline pumping in places. His rather unusual predicament or mission tugs on the heartstrings. (Yes, I even cried). I wouldn't normally choose to read much of the political posturing and kingdoms fighting elements, but it's not too heavy. Just enough to set the scene and provide relevant context. Read it twice, now keen for book two.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Robert

    What a page turner. I was captivated from the first page and could not wait to see how each successive page unfolded. From Fredrick’s unheroic entrance and sometimes bumbling ways, the reader is drawn into the story, willing him on. Each page pulling at my emotions by the authors evocative writing as I shared in the adventure. The author effortlessly weaves multiple stories together gently revealing sub plots against the expanse of a much larger picture. It is with eager anticipation I wait for book What a page turner. I was captivated from the first page and could not wait to see how each successive page unfolded. From Fredrick’s unheroic entrance and sometimes bumbling ways, the reader is drawn into the story, willing him on. Each page pulling at my emotions by the authors evocative writing as I shared in the adventure. The author effortlessly weaves multiple stories together gently revealing sub plots against the expanse of a much larger picture. It is with eager anticipation I wait for book 2 to be published.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    A genuine 5-Star rating Its been a little while since I enjoyed a good read. In his book, The Shadow of His Hand, Benjamin takes you on a journey through various emotions, feels and paces. Every character has a specific role and is clearly defined allowing the plot to maintain its hidden nature but at the same time creating space to guess what could come next. I particularly enjoy that every scene makes you feel like youre in it, watching over the shoulder of the main character. I am very excited A genuine 5-Star rating Its been a little while since I enjoyed a good read. In his book, The Shadow of His Hand, Benjamin takes you on a journey through various emotions, feels and paces. Every character has a specific role and is clearly defined allowing the plot to maintain its hidden nature but at the same time creating space to guess what could come next. I particularly enjoy that every scene makes you feel like youre in it, watching over the shoulder of the main character. I am very excited for the next book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Ryan

    A story brimming with detail and a well thought out fantasy world. An unlikely soldier, a princess with something to prove, and a baby that draws the characters out into unknown and frightening territory. An enjoyable read and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book! P.S. My favourite characters weren't even the main protagonists - such a provoking relationship that the author slowly prods into something more than simple duty. This reader would be love to learn more in the next installm A story brimming with detail and a well thought out fantasy world. An unlikely soldier, a princess with something to prove, and a baby that draws the characters out into unknown and frightening territory. An enjoyable read and I can't wait to see what happens in the next book! P.S. My favourite characters weren't even the main protagonists - such a provoking relationship that the author slowly prods into something more than simple duty. This reader would be love to learn more in the next installment.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Simone

    This book is hard to put down. From start to finish I was taken on an epic adventure filled with many twists and turns. It had everything from romance to swords fights and was written with so much detail that I knew exactly what the characters were thinking and feeling and wanted them to succeed. Everyone loves an underdog and the main character Fredrick is such an unlikely hero and this makes the story so engaging. I can't wait to read the next book. This book is hard to put down. From start to finish I was taken on an epic adventure filled with many twists and turns. It had everything from romance to swords fights and was written with so much detail that I knew exactly what the characters were thinking and feeling and wanted them to succeed. Everyone loves an underdog and the main character Fredrick is such an unlikely hero and this makes the story so engaging. I can't wait to read the next book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Scott Fleming

    While this started as a easy to pick up, somewhat predictable book. It quickly turned into a twisting adventure I found myself buried in till 3 in the morning when I had a 6am alarm set. As a first novel in a set I'm eagerly awaiting the next instalment. There is a not so subtle humour across the whole book and a brilliant consistency of rhythm. The sad thing is that it was over to fast.. bring on the next book (or 12 ) While this started as a easy to pick up, somewhat predictable book. It quickly turned into a twisting adventure I found myself buried in till 3 in the morning when I had a 6am alarm set. As a first novel in a set I'm eagerly awaiting the next instalment. There is a not so subtle humour across the whole book and a brilliant consistency of rhythm. The sad thing is that it was over to fast.. bring on the next book (or 12 )

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jim Thorne

    Good read This is a solid first effort by the author. Good depth to the flawed characters, nearly the antithesis of heroic. The plot is different enough not to be familiar and the editing and pacing were good. The author admits, and it is obvious, the story lacks any world building from geography to back story. It suffers but not enough that I lost interest. I will read the next book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Peter Patterson

    I am not usually a reader of novels. However, I must say Benjamin's first book captured and held my attention for days, as I devoted all my spare time to complete the book. He is a craftsman with words, profoundly capturing the emotion, pain and experience of the characters in this incredible medieval story. I am not usually a reader of novels. However, I must say Benjamin's first book captured and held my attention for days, as I devoted all my spare time to complete the book. He is a craftsman with words, profoundly capturing the emotion, pain and experience of the characters in this incredible medieval story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessie

    I highly recommend this book. shadow of His Hand is a great read and I could not put it down. Loved the twist at the end and cannot wait for the next book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Strickland

    It grows on you Belonging to the same writing organisation I was happy to purchase this book and give an honest review. Though it lacked excitement at the start, in progressing with the reading of the story and adjusting to the characters and the complex shifting from one set of people to another, I got caught up in both characters and plot and my initial reaction began to grow into real fascination. I had already guessed the final outcome but still I wanted to read to get there. To me this is an It grows on you Belonging to the same writing organisation I was happy to purchase this book and give an honest review. Though it lacked excitement at the start, in progressing with the reading of the story and adjusting to the characters and the complex shifting from one set of people to another, I got caught up in both characters and plot and my initial reaction began to grow into real fascination. I had already guessed the final outcome but still I wanted to read to get there. To me this is an important aspect of any book - the wanting to continue even when it's not your normal read. Overall quite fresh and original in approach this series may prove more interesting with each coming book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Sands

    A book that has action, suspense, romance and humour, I don't know what more a guy could want. I really enjoyed reading this book because it has a good plot that slowly unravels and becomes more and more epic, and all of the characters are very relate-able and have depth. The dialogue is very interesting between the characters written with great emotional intelligent and detail. I won't write about the plot, because it is hard to say anything without spoiling it. I highly recommend this book anybo A book that has action, suspense, romance and humour, I don't know what more a guy could want. I really enjoyed reading this book because it has a good plot that slowly unravels and becomes more and more epic, and all of the characters are very relate-able and have depth. The dialogue is very interesting between the characters written with great emotional intelligent and detail. I won't write about the plot, because it is hard to say anything without spoiling it. I highly recommend this book anybody who loves action with a dash of romance and good doses of humour. I am looking forward to reading the sequel.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Robyn Patterson

  19. 4 out of 5

    Leah Wilcox

  20. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    Everything about this book seemed rich. It was rich is detail, rich in character, rich in meaning, and rich in simple acts of love and kindness. The Shadow of His Hand is an extraordinary read. It is beautifully written, a story of many adventures, and full of danger, excitement, and hope. Getting to know the characters and experience their world is one of the things I enjoy most about reading a book. In this book, with scenes and characters described so vividly, I often found myself wishing the Everything about this book seemed rich. It was rich is detail, rich in character, rich in meaning, and rich in simple acts of love and kindness. The Shadow of His Hand is an extraordinary read. It is beautifully written, a story of many adventures, and full of danger, excitement, and hope. Getting to know the characters and experience their world is one of the things I enjoy most about reading a book. In this book, with scenes and characters described so vividly, I often found myself wishing they were real, and that I was there on the adventure with them. The main character, Frederick, was my favourite. Struggling to find his place, and curious of life’s meaning, his perseverance and humility throughout the good and the bad was captivating. I experienced many emotions while reading. I laughed (quite a lot) and giggled, grieved and sighed, but no matter what chapter I was up to, and no matter how I was feeling about the scene or the characters, or even the story line, I just couldn’t stop turning the pages. Frederick was on a journey, and so was I! If you’re looking for intense adventure, beautiful fantasy, and a good laugh, I would HIGHLY recommend The Shadow of His Hand. This book is just the beginning of what I’m positive is going to be an epic series!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joelle Cronin

  22. 4 out of 5

    Katie Lloyd

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Hammond

  24. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Macey

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tan

    I really enjoyed this read! Likeable characters, unexpected plot twists, action, adventure...it's got it all! Look forward to the next installment � I really enjoyed this read! Likeable characters, unexpected plot twists, action, adventure...it's got it all! Look forward to the next installment �

  26. 5 out of 5

    Speedie84

  27. 5 out of 5

    Murray Jensen

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stuart Cox

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jesse Ferrus

    A fascinating first entry into a potentially epic fantasy series. The Shadow of His Hand is the perfect mix of world building, character development, mystery and action. Benjamin Patterson’s writing style and storytelling abilities are well developed considering this is his first published book. The story has surprising twists that kept me curious and interested. The range of characters are well developed and their actions feel realistic. Overall, I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone inte A fascinating first entry into a potentially epic fantasy series. The Shadow of His Hand is the perfect mix of world building, character development, mystery and action. Benjamin Patterson’s writing style and storytelling abilities are well developed considering this is his first published book. The story has surprising twists that kept me curious and interested. The range of characters are well developed and their actions feel realistic. Overall, I would thoroughly recommend this to anyone interested in fantasy and can’t wait for the next entry.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mike Pilkington

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