The Outstretched Shadow by Mercedes Lackey

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Book Information  
AuthorMercedes Lackey
TitleThe Outstretched Shadow
SeriesThe Obsidian Trilogy
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by Vincent Valdez 
(Apr 12, 2010)

I think that this book was positively captivating it had action, mystery. After a few a few chapters of the book I was sucked in. It has perfect descriptions that arenít to heavy on the deatails. This show mages of High Magick wand magick with not much more than personal energy, Wild Magic with Mageprices and heavy personal costs, And even the cultivating Demon Magic that uses blood and pain for the price. All and all I loved this book and I would recommend it to anyone.

5 STARS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Submitted by Annie 
(Aug 09, 2006)

I'm a fairly recent Mercedes Lackey fan, I look for her books everytime I go bookshopping. This book, however, struck me as harder to enjoy than others. The plot is thick, which is good, and kept me guessing for most of the book (her ability to plot twist is fantastic).
But the darkness in this series has made me put it down as often as I picked it up. It's not just the tone or the villains (which are quite successfully foul), but in her heroes! As I read the story, I was continually having to remind myself that the hero was a good guy.
Now that may be my preference, I like the good guys to have good qualities, and to have distinct differences from the bad guys. It may be a childish desire, but Mercedes Lackey has proven to give both childish and adult demeanors something to read in previous (or later, if you want to get technical) books. It's one of the reasons I love reading her work. But this book, this series, has not followed that line, and was harder for me to sink my teeth into--and enjoy.
Overall? The book IS an interesting and gripping story, but not because it has a fascinating plot or inspiring characters...but because it's so...disturbing, you keep reading in the hopes of a happy ending, only to find out there are two more books in the series, and even if there is an ending, it's hours of more disturbing literature before you get there.
HOWEVER, if you like more darkness than light in your literature, then pick it up. As much as it scared me, I did like this book, and recommend it. Mercedes Lackey did put a healthy, magical plot into the book, and the characters are worth cheering on. My problem was the lack of hope, not the quality. Besides, as hard is it may have been for an "sunshine and flowers" person like myself enjoy, who doesn't want to check out the darker side of life once in awhile?

Submitted by EbynSlippery 
(Mar 27, 2006)

Well, I must say that it was a pleasant relief and surprise to find a book that was a fast and enjoyable read - the kind where it was a genuine pleasure to move through the pages. Too often these days I find writers of modern "epic" fantasy are bogged down in detail and back-story that it becomes a drudging experience just to turn the pages. Reading should not be work!

The beginnings of the Obsidian Trilogy are proving quite positive. Not since I was first captivated by the Dragonlance Saga when I was a young boy have I had such pleasure in reading a fantasy book. Is "The Outstretched Shadow" a "pixie-shit' novel? Absolutely. Michael Moorcock coined the term 'pixie-shit' when referring to books filled with unicorns and dragons and elves and beer-guzzling dwarves. This book is full of that stuff BUT the authors have put an enjoyable spin on these old archetypes - different magic system, a protagonist that is genuinely LIKABLE and a slew of villains that are clever and nasty (the way bad guys should be, after all). The description of the hero's home city was thrilling and, personally, Lackey and Mallory had me under their spell the moment we stepped into our hero's home, his father's estate. And, although I don't particularly like unicorns, the character of Shalkan is turning out to be surprisingly full of wit and 'human' personality quirks, including a biting sense of humour and sarcasm.

Overall, well done. And now, I must brew another cup of tea and start working on the sequel. 5 STARS.

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