Killing the dragon was only the beginning...
Muireann spent six months planning to kill the dragon that killed her family. Now the dragon is dead, and she's realized that it was actually the lesser threat guarding a devastating weapon that, if it falls into almost anyone's hands, will bring war and destruction to her world. It can't be left where it is. It can't be hidden. It can't be trusted in the hands of anyone in power or who seeks power. Muireann's only option becomes a reluctant quest with the elf she rescued from the dragon, a would-be knight, a selkie, and an elven mage to find out as much as she can about the weapon and seek a way to understand the magic that created it. Pursued by a dragon-worshipping cult bent on revenge and a hidden enemy that will do anything to remake the world, the five friends must try to find answers before all is lost.
Muireann thought that killing a dragon was going to be impossible.
Saving the world is going to be much harder.
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This book is for everyone who ever dreams of being a hero/ine but doesn’t quite fit the pattern. Full of clever plot twists, the story also logs the struggles of those who devote themselves to study. Muireann’s scholarly search for information decelerates the story from the more typical high-octane rush, but a sense of impending doom keeps tension high. A sympathetic, entertaining reimagination of traditional high fantasy. AUREALIS #166 ~ AUREALIS, Review
What a fabulous book. A must read for lovers of the genre. An overweight, middle aged farmer's widow, kills the Dragon that destroyed her family, rescues an elf and discovers and powerful ancient magical weapon, rescues a selkie who marries her and with a trainee knight and another elf start a journey to keep the weapon safe and discover how to destroy it. It's a book I could not put down. Wonderful strong well described characters, great world building, entertaining dialogue, action and intrigue. I cannot praise this book enough. 5 stars doesn't seem enough. I received a complimentary copy from Voracious and am leaving a honest voluntary review. ~ Fred Jones, Voracious Readers Only via amazon.uk
'Into Shadow' by Morgan Daimler is a must-read for any fans of fantasy reading. This book helped me rediscover my love for the genre thanks to the author's engaging writing style and incredible character development. The characters were multi-dimensional, truly coming to life on the page. I found myself becoming deeply invested in their stories and rooting for them throughout the book. The plot was also exceptional, keeping me on the edge of my seat and hoping for more. Overall, 'Into Shadow' is a fantastic read that I would highly recommend to anyone looking for an immersive and exciting fantasy novel. I can't wait to see what Daimler has in store for us next!' ~ Amy C, Goodreads
"I was lucky enough to be given an advanced copy at Octocon 2022, and then didn't read it – because my mother in law borrowed my copy and forgot to tell me! (She loved it, by the way.) I just found it a few days ago on her bookshelf! A friend of mine who also had an advanced copy loaned me theirs, so I was able to still read it even without my own. Anyway, now to the story itself. This is the representation that I desperately wanted and needed and would have killed for as Baby Kat trying to navigate the world and find where I fit since I didn't seem to fit most people's molds. You want a plus-sized character that still kicks ass? She's here. You want age rep? It's here. You want disability rep? Also here! It's full of people finding their truths and living their lives to be true to themselves, regardless of what's expected of them. It's also super queer, poly, and very Found Family in the best ways, and as someone that's struggled with my family of origin and creating a family for myself, this resonates deeply. This is definitely going into my Comfort Reading pile, and I anticipate re-reading it many times to come. The stakes are too high for it to be cosy fiction, but it still elicits those same feelings for me." ~ Kat Dodd, Goodreads
Teamwork, lessons learned, and dangers encountered as author Morgan Daimler introduces characters with flaws, good traits, heroes not perfect, and friendships with more power than the slaying of a dragon. Issues of gender identity and uniquely defining a hero bring different classes of people together as one. Friendship comes when you least expect it and Morgan Daimler keeps the reader on edge. ~ Just Reviews, Review
Muireann wants revenge. Her husband and children are dead. Her home is destroyed. And the red dragon is responsible. For months, she hones her archery skills while scouring rare texts for clues on how to kill the dragon. Miraculously, she succeeds. But she comes away from the encounter … changed. Now she must rely on friends old and new — and some who become more than friends — to fully understand what has happened to her, what her place is in the world now, and why people are trying to kill her. Oh, and then there’s the matter of the ancient artifact of evil magic that she picked up in the dragon’s cave …. I’ve been a fan of Daimler’s nonfiction for years, and I make a point of following them on social media. When they announced that they were participating in NaNoWriMo, and that they had completed a novel that would later be published, I was thrilled. When the book finally became available, I immediately moved it to the top of my To Read list. Happily, I was not disappointed. Into Shadow is a terrific epic fantasy filled with well-rounded and sympathetic character, solid world-building, found family, exciting action sequences, and meditations on the nature of grief and faith. Not only does it feature a middle-aged, curvaceous protagonist, but it is also explicitly, deliberately polytheistic and polyamorous. While the former is fairly common in fantasy, the latter is not. Polyamory is presented as the norm in Muireann’s world; marriages tend to be between two people, but relationships outside of the marriage are acceptable. In Muireann’s case, she had several female lovers during her first marriage. Her second marriage is to a selkie woman, who has no objection to Muireann taking a male elven lover. Into Shadow is a fun and entertaining. I had a blast reading it, and I look forward to the next book in the series. Highly recommended to fans of Cursed Cocktails by SL Rowland, the Kindred Kingdoms anthology, The Elf Tangent by Lindsay Buroker, and The Riven Kingdoms series by Shari L. Tapscott. ~ Rebecca Buchanan , Ev0ke magazine
A deftly crafted and epic fantasy saga, "Into Shadow: The Tallan Chronicles" by Morgan Daimler is a swiftly paced action adventure that showcases the author's genuine flair for originality and the kind of narrative driven storytelling style that keeps the reader's rapt attention from first page to last. While available for the personal reading lists of all dedicated fantasy fiction fans in a digital book format (Kindle, $6.99), "Into Shadow: The Tallan Chronicles" is a highly recommended addition to highschool and community library Science Fiction & Fantasy collections. ~ , http://www.midwestbookreview.com/wbw/jun_23.htm
Harnessing the power of high fantasy and interweaving it with her prose in a way to highlight awareness of pressing issues that humanity must, and will confront, here in Into Shadow: The Tallan Chronicles, author Morgan Daimler brings forth a really fascinating, truly delightful, and wholeheartedly entertaining, and cleverly educationally-veined new book. Chock full of dramatic situations, traditional elements of life, vibrantly complex, and yet full-grounded, fully-rounded characters, along with a highly uncertain hero, loyal companions, and a mightily magical item that puts the world at risk, Daimler’s richly created world of fantasy is one that comes to the turn of the final page; you will wish you could dutifully step into. It’s just that engrossing. It’s just That tantalizing. It’s just that good! ~ Exclusive Magazine, Review
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This is one of the most unique and interesting fantasy books I’ve read in a long time. It turns classic tropes on its head, and has created a wonderful world full of elves, selkies, dragons, and magic. All of the characters had such lovely, complex personalities and stories, and I loved the main character’s arc and journey. I seriously recommend this book to anyone who loves traditional fantasy but is looking for an unique take. ~ Siobhan Mostyn-Waldron (Reviewer), NetGalley
I read the non fiction books by Morgan Daimler and was curious about this fantasy one. I enjoyed it as it well plotted and entertaining. Can't wait to read the next one Highly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine ~ Anna Maria G (Reviewer) , Netgalley
What makes a hero? Is it someone who fights for glory or someone who fights for those they love? Is it someone who believes in enforcing the status quo or someone who believes in defending free will? Is it someone who hits the gym or someone who hits the library. Morgan Daimler’s protagonist, Muireannm, must answer this question for herself, as she suddenly becomes a hero to those around her, while remaining skeptical of her authenticity in such a role. And it doesn’t help that there are those in the world that remain doubtful as well. “I don’t believe you. You can’t seriously expect anyone to believe that a fat old woman killed a dragon. What’d she do, bore it to death.” If you enjoy fantasies, have given up on ever being the hero of one, are a D&D fan, or just exhausted by traditional characters, this book is for you. You might even realize that you are already a hero, but like Muireannm haven’t accepted it yet. In short, this book is endorsed by a fat old woman who needs glasses to see, and hasn’t yet given up the idea of adventure. ~ Victoria Bennsion, https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/111800922-into-shadow?ref=nav_sb_ss_1_19
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This was a great entry in the Tallan Chronicles series, it has a great story going on and the characters worked well with the fantasy setting. I enjoyed getting to know this world and the way it worked overall. It does everything that I was expecting and I'm so glad I got to read this. "‘Perhaps,’ Calla agreed, waiting her turn in the aisle. ‘But you can tell a lot about a person by how they dress and comport themselves.’‘Perhaps,’ Muireann agreed, smiling as she slipped the new second-hand dress on, pulling it into place. It wasn’t ideal but would work well enough for the time being. ‘But look at us, for example." ~ Kathryn McLeer (Reviewer), NetGalley
"Into Shadow" is Morgan Daimler's first foray into high fantasy, but from the way they write, it's clear they've been dreaming the high fantastical for a long time. The world they have created is both alien and familiar, a home to many different kinds of beings, each with their own customs and histories. The story begins with Muireann, an unlikely hero-in-the-making intent on killing a dragon or dying in the attempt. From there, Muireann's life quickly fills with friendship, love, travel, and adventure, as she and her chosen family work to get to the bottom of an age-old mystery. With well-written characters and a richly detailed world that stays with you long after you bid your farewell to the last page, "Into Shadow" is the kind of book that lures you in and keeps you hooked. There are so many things I loved about this book, but the thing that stood out for me the most, was the way the main protagonists communicated with each other. This book is suitable for adults and younger readers alike, but the relationships within provide wonderful, non-toxic examples for all. ' ~ Catherine Heath, author of Elves, Witches, & Gods
With well-written characters and a richly detailed world that stays with you long after you bid your farewell to the last page, "Into Shadow" is the kind of book that lures you in and keeps you hooked. ~ Catherine Heath, author of Elves, Witches, & Gods
'Into Shadow' is a refreshing look at the outsider's experience of grief and sheer determination towards life. So many of us have dragons to slay, but in the process, we must fight not to lose ourselves also. Muireann's experiences really spoke to me, and I was absorbed into her colourful world just like the many wonderful characters who cross her path. ~ Tara D. W. Tine, author of Flight of Fire
Morgan Daimler is something rare, an author without comparison. I always feel when reading my work that it's easy to see which authors influenced my work, but their writing is so unique, so fresh, that I cannot think of another author to compare them to. They present normal flawed people in a fantasy setting in a way that I never knew I needed. This book is for everyone who thought they were too old, too weak, too impaired to be a hero. It shows us that all we need to be heroic is the love of others and the determination not to let evil stand. I finished this book with a tinge of sadness that the tale was over, but I will take with me so much joy, and the memory of the phrase "Don’t try to lessen yourself to keep me comfortable." A lesson I think we could all learn. ~ Ian Power, author of The Other series
What a delightful adventure! A rich, well-crafted world, intriguing adventure that kept me guessing throughout, and great action to keep me riveted to the page. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants to escape into another world. ~ Christy Nicholas, author of The Druid's Brooch Series
Not your traditional high fantasy. Has all the traditional elements - an uncertain hero, loyal companions, a magical item that puts the world at risk, a perilous quest, a powerful adversary - and Morgan Daimler turns these elements all on their heads. And it works. Beautifully. Into Shadow is an adventure that will surprise and delight you. ~ Catherine Kane, author of The Land That Lies Between and Swans of War
Morgan Daimler leaves an indelible mark in modern literature, using the power of high fantasy as a means of raising awareness of pressing issues that humanity must confront. “Into Shadows” revolutionizes the genre by redefining the hero archetype and the social norms surrounding marriage and gender identity. Daimler masterfully brings together vibrant and complex characters. Dramatic situations lend themselves to subtle humor, and the suspense continues, until the very last page. “Into Shadows” stands out as an excellent book, equally entertaining and educational. ~ Daniela Simina, Where Fairies Meet: Parallels between Irish and Romanian Fairy Traditions