Book 2 of The Binding, Shadow Bound is a worthy sequel to Shadow Queen.
Matilde of the House of Savanaten may have regained her throne and managed to rid herself of Dieter, the husband who slaughtered her family, but it came at a terrible cost. The Empire, under brutal general and one time slave, Sidonius, has overrun her country and her power is limited to that of a vassal. Determined to free her country but a virtual prisoner, Matilde needs all her skill to stay alive and forge the new alliances she needs. Meanwhile Dieter continues to attack the Imperial forces, making her task ever more difficult. But one certainty is that no-one should underestimate Matilde.
This book is full of strong, well drawn characters. Matilde in particular, always under threat and often misunderstood, struggles to survive and do her best for her country. She makes mistakes but she learns from them and retains the reader's sympathy as a result. Even the villains have depth and believability, something that's not always the case but which elevates a book in my opinion.
The storyline is unpredictable and its twists and turns kept me guessing right up to the end. The author says on her website that The Binding was written as a duology but the unexpected ending leaves the way open for another instalment that I for one would love to read.
Published by Allen & Unwin in July 2010, Shadow Bound is still available in printed form while the e-book is available worldwide from the publisher and amazon.com.
Deborah Kalin's website is deborahkalin.com