• Master of Shadows

  • By: Neil Oliver
  • Narrated by: Neil Oliver
  • Length: 13 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 09-10-15
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Group
  • 2 out of 5 stars 2.0 (1 rating)

Regular price: $26.64

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Publisher's Summary

From the rough highlands of Scotland to the crumbling majesty of Constantinople, a gripping historical novel written and read by TV historian and broadcaster Neil Oliver.
In 15th-century Constantinople, young Prince Constantine, heir to the Byzantine throne, is left permanently crippled when he saves the beautiful Princess Yaminah from falling to her death in the Hagia Sofia. Meanwhile in Scotland, John Grant, a young man with unusual abilities, is rescued from certain death by a formidable Moorish warrior whose own life was once saved by John's father.
Unbeknown to them, John Grant and Prince Constantine share a unique connection - a connection that lies at the very centre of their beings.
When fate orchestrates that their paths should cross, the repercussions will be felt across the continents.
©2015 Neil Oliver (P)2015 Orion Publishing Group
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Critic Reviews

"Impeccably researched - of course! - and deeply enjoyable. Goes down in a big, delicious gulp of action and mystery, with a taste of romance." (Diana Gabaldon)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jane Shepherd on 08-04-16


I loved this novel which reminded me a little of Dorothy Dunnett's wonderful books. However I did struggle with it in audio form and feel, with its jumping in time, it would be easier to follow in book form. I enjoyed Neil Oliver's use of language and really liked his voice but there was no pause between chapters and slight pauses, especially when a new chapter takes you to a different time or place in the story, do help when listening rather than reading what is a fairly complex narrative. Personally I love the blend of history and the supernatural and the author's version of Jeanne d'Arc's life. His writing let me "see" all the action (though some of the bloodiest scenes made my stomach clench!) and I think this would make a great film. I would certainly be keen to listen to another book by Mr Oliver.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Matthew Lewis on 01-16-16

A stunning, sweeping epic

I absolutely loved this book. It's a sweeping epic of a story spanning a continent and several lives. It is woven together by a beautifully crafted narrative and made all the more appealing by Neil Oliver's performance.

This is the best book I've listened to in a long time.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Amelia on 12-19-16

Excited by the idea, let down by the reality

What was most disappointing about Neil Oliver’s story?

Neil Oliver is one of my all time favourite historians. Generally, I love his work! have read all of his non-fiction books, and, of course, seen all of his documentaries. I would consider myself a bit of a history nut.
Unfortunately, in a historians need to include all relevant, or even simply interesting, information about a particular era, Mr Oliver included a bit much. In writing a fiction book, I feel he was distracted by the facts.

The book covers a reasonably large time period (about 20-30 years) and mentions the major events taking place in Europe/ Middle East at the time. Which is A LOT to cover in such a short book, and as such the character development, political, religious setting and even the physical settings are bushed over rather broadly.

The book should have been broken up into more books or perhaps only more detailed sections. For example, a book/section covering the main character in more detail; growing up, learning to fight, to hunt and to be a general all round bad ass, the relationship with the man who becomes his substitute father, the factors that led his to join the crusades, struggles ect. You know, character development. Let us love the character, and really get to known him.

What character would you cut from Master of Shadows?

90% of the character should go. The book covers too much.

Any additional comments?

I was so exited for a fiction book by Mr Oliver, but I was let down by what I got. It is more a creative recitation of fact, than an actual story. He has the bones, but this one needs more flesh.

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4 out of 5 stars
By Swarup on 11-02-16

A long winding tale through history

Written by a historian with just enough beautiful fiction, its a tale that wants to be heard. It weaves in your imagination and takes you to ancient places that can be seen without having been there.

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