For two years the mercenary Drangar Ralgon has kept his back to his dark past. Afraid to live, afraid to die, Drangar tried to ignore the abyss that lies behind him. Now, faced with a war he wants nothing to do with, he finally turns around and gazes back.
Complacency is the greatest foe of peace. Once the things our forbears have struggled and died for become as much a fixture in life as sleeping and waking, we take them for granted. Peace is something we have to strive for each and every day.
The first word that comes to mind when thinking of Shattered Dreams is "pragmatic". Ulff Lehmann pulls no punches when it comes to portraying a medieval world and its gritty realism, despite the fact that the fantastical elements play a vital role in the story. This is even harder to do when you have to deal with multiple POVs and therefore different perspectives, but Lehmann pulls it off nicely. The aforementioned POVs are from accurately portrayed and nicely crafted characters that grow and develop throughout the story. Finally, the magic system is carefully and methodically introduced, playing a vital role but not overshadowing the story Ulff Lehmann wanted to say.
I always try to point out both the negative and positive aspects of the books that I review. With Shattered Dreams, this is rather hard to do. For once, there are no obvious negative traits. I'm not saying that it is an infallible novel, but it is clear from the very start that Lehmann poured thousands of hours of work into grinding, honing and planishing this book into the best version he could possibly produce. Shattered Dreams', or rather Lehmann's, only fault, is that the book was written with a bigger perspective in mind; It feels more like the first episode in a series, than the first season. While this would be acceptable for a season writer, it's not the best start for a debut author.
All in all, Shattered Dreams is a quality book that I would recommend to fans of GRRM and/or those of Low Fantasy epics, although you may want to wait a little bit until the publication of the second installment.
You can buy Shattered Dreams HERE