Shadow of the Son
An allegory in the "Shadow of the Son", expressed by one of its characters, revealed to me clearly and with eloquence the dynamics of the novel. The intricate and intense relationship of its characters resembles the bends and loops that form a knot. Each end, with its intersections and tensions, fulfills a different function and has an essential purpose; one part of the rope tightens and prevents movement in one part, while allowing it in another. This is how the story flows in the novel, with unexpected twists and turns that form an exciting plot and then lead to solutions that dazzle with their precision and force. "Shadow of the Son" allows us to continue being privileged spectators of the refined and complex world that we met in "Eye of the Moon", in which intense passions are stirred and resolved, and strong bonds of friendship and understanding are created.
I have spent over 40 years in leadership positions in organizations and teaching leadership at the university level. It is critical that people understand that relationships are the most critical element that people have to understand if the organization is going to be successful. Likewise, relationships within a family are as critical as relationships in an organization and Ivan Obolensky, in his most recent book, makes that obvious as the personal relationships, laid out, are what make this book thought-provoking.
I found this novel so captivating I couldn’t put it down. In this intricate and original plot, the reader is transported into a world of paranormal pursuits, high finance, and castle life, filled with colorful yet complex characters. The author skillfully combines a great sense of humor with insightful reflections on life and the human psyche, providing great entertainment as well as food for thought! A compelling sequel to “Eye of the Moon”.
There were so many parts of “Shadow of the Son” that I truly enjoyed, more than what I’m highlighting here, but I also don’t want to spoil the story by saying too much.
First of all, what a brilliant title, “Shadow of the Son”. The use of “son” implying its homonym “sun” was clever, making the title memorable, but beyond that it carried the theme of the story. In the first book, “Eye of the Moon”, while Percy told the story from his point of view and in that sense the story revealed a lot about him, the focus and mystery revolved around Johnny’s aunt Alice. She embodied the “eye of the moon.” In the sequel, narrated again in first person from Percy’s POV, the focal point of the story shifted. Once again the suspense builds as the reader waits to see what will happen.
I loved returning to Rhinebeck with Percy and Johnny. After the first book it felt like a reunion moment for characters and readers. Stanley and Dagmar still outshone the other characters as my favorites, true for me in the first novel and true in the sequel. However, in this story their character development dove deeper with interesting revelations about their past and new emerging attributes to admire. In a few words, the author artfully captured Percy’s relationship with Dagmar: “I could have been ten years old the way she spoke to me, but I didn’t mind. She was a source of affection and attention that grounded me even now.” Dagmar never minced words. Nothing escaped her discernment. She exuded a sagacious quality that made you wish she would mentor you. The story became emotionally moving through her character, and I also felt the same way about Stanley and enjoyed seeing Percy’s relationship with him rise to a whole new level.
Bruni, and Percy’s mother, Mary, were also characters that became favorites for me. They both bared their souls to Percy, confiding in him about the darkest moments of their lives, which created rich and meaningful character development along with a deeper connection.
The romance subplot and influence of the occult were once again in play, adding intrigue to the sequel.
I’m not a fan of cliffhangers (at all), and enjoy the denouement of a novel. The author did an excellent job of tying up loose ends. Even so, when a story that you’re enjoying ends, you rather wish it wouldn’t. I felt that way about “Shadow of the Son”.
The same cast of unforgettable characters who appeared in Ivan Obolensky's first novel, “Eye of the Moon”, reappear in his second novel, “Shadow of the Son”.
This new book has suspense, intrigue, rivalries and an always present and pervasively disquieting sense of the supernatural and occult, creating tension and a feeling of unease, which permeates the story.
His new novel is imaginative and beautifully written with some memorable scenes, including his resolution of the conflict between one of the main characters, Percy, and his father, which is dramatic writing at its best and really should be seen on the silver screen!
Once started, I couldn't put the book down. I highly recommend it.
"Shadow of the Son", which I loved, is a great complement and sequel to "Eye of the Moon", Ivan Obolensky’s debut novel. It has most of the same characters, shares the Rhinebeck on the Hudson setting, and resolves some of the key questions that dangled over the reader after reading "Eye of the Moon".
Key augmentations came in "Shadow of the Son" from filling in many personal histories and raising the profile of that inimitable couple Stanley, the butler, and Dagmar, the cook. In the sequel, each took on dimensions only hinted at in the first, and they became more a part of the cast of key players than the local color they were sometimes relegated to in "Eye of the Moon". Also, we finally got to meet our hero Percy’s father, a tantalizingly complex, and generally unlikable person, who seemed at times to hold forth the promise of suddenly revealing himself to be redeemable. I will leave it to the reader to determine whether this actually happened.
The other key figures, Johnny and his parents, Brunhilde and her parents, and Bonnie and Maw, are congruent with their personae in "Eye of the Moon", although if I had been Percy, I might have preferred Bonnie to Brunhilde as a life’s partner, but then, there’s no accounting for tastes. Cobb is a new character who is both a key player in the plot and somewhat a surprise, from beginning to end and from worse to better.
I admit to a weakness for Ivan’s prose, which I might just as well call envy. His prose flows as effortlessly as the brushstrokes of a great artist, no doubt product of a lifestyle that appears as enormously attractive as it is undoubtedly difficult to live. To wax hyperbolic, I am quite confident the Prince of Kiev, his thousand-year ancestor, while perhaps more powerful, could not have held a candle to Ivan as a writer. Or if he could, I would also envy Ivan’s ancestry. But wherever it comes from, it will have me reading anything he goes on to write.
Once again, Ivan Obolensky has managed to grab his audience in the continuing story of "Eye of the Moon", woven around the characters reunited at Rhinebeck.
In this sequel, "Shadow of the Son", surrounded by the magical culinary gifts of the wonderful Dagmar and the wisdom of Stanley, we explore loyalties, friendship and family ties that test the depths of character of our protagonists. Wonderfully written, it touches on different aspects of human nature in an intuitive manner one can immediately relate to. Very enjoyable.
A perfect sequel to "Eye of the Moon"!
I enjoyed this book much more than "Eye of the Moon", which I also thoroughly enjoyed! I found it difficult to put the sequel down, reading a handful of chapters whenever a quiet moment presented itself. It pairs well with a good cup of coffee.
The book flowed so well, and all the separate stories within were so easy to visualize--a testament to just good writing.
"Like Cristal... well beyond the ordinary." A worthy successor to "Eye of the Moon"--a must-add to your library!
As with "Eye of the Moon", "Shadow of the Son" transported me into a lifestyle of wealth and luxury, right down to the delectable meals. Its rich description of surroundings and elaborate tensions between characters created a perfect setting for intrigue and kept me hooked.
Ivan Obolensky’s novel “Shadow of the Son” should come with a warning label to let the reader know to not make any other plans once they open the book. I found it completely engaging and didn’t want to put it down—so, I didn’t. It absorbed me and I was delighted with my adventure page after page.
I felt like I was in some secret club by being privy to the private conversations between the characters. My favorite of those were with Johnny and Percy who have such an unbreakable bond between them, they could easily conquer the world together. I thoroughly enjoyed how they would discuss seemingly impossible situations and use their combined wits and resources to figure them out, or how they would make plans and intelligently carry them through as a trusted, dedicated team.
There is a lot of action in this story that occurs in a truly short period of time. Many things are going on at once, with nonstop interaction of the characters and lots of moving parts. Every action or counter action is dealt with adeptly and finalized. The characters are extremely vivid, and everyone’s personal story or secret is revealed.
“Shadow of the Son” can certainly stand on its own as a great story, but I’m very happy that I read Ivan’s first novel, “Eye of the Moon” beforehand as I was already familiar with the characters, so it made it even more entertaining. I’m looking forward to Mr. Obolensky’s next novel!
When reading "Shadow of the Son" I found that I felt present in each scene. The characters are so well described that my imagination led me to see their gestures, to feel their emotions, and to delve so deeply into the narrative, that at night I had to make a huge effort to leave such a beautifully written novel next to my bed.
When I was sure that I knew what was going to happen as a result of the rapid exchanges flowing with each scene, more than once I was surprised with how the author handled the twists of circumstances. And what I had expected turned out to be solved in a totally different way.
Percy, the main character, deftly manages the rapid changes that rush at him. Alice, the person who was not alive in either novel, has a force and life that only a writer like Ivan Obolensky can present.
As a reader, you could list each of the other participants and, it is true, describe them as if you know them: a skill that not many writers possess.
If you want to enjoy a book at a fast pace, with unexpected changes, with unimaginable results, this is your opportunity to do so. Do not let it pass. It’s not every day that books are written where you experience extraordinary events as if you were there.
And on this occasion, the author Ivan Obolensky, succeeded.
"Shadow of the Son" by Ivan Obolensky is a dynamic, intelligent, and beautiful novel that involves so many subjects, from Ancient Greece to gastrophysics, which I particularly love. Just like with "Eye of the Moon", there are elements such as the menu that are right on point with the times. Ivan manages to be precise and fluid in an enjoyable way, setting the tone perfectly for the sequel as the story picks up and the reader knows exactly where things are. It’s as if all I lived and read during these years since "Eye of the Moon" had not passed and he had me immediately back.
Since reading “Eye of the Moon” I have been looking forward to seeing more of Ivan’s writing. These stories could have adaptations and have further legs—it is very clear that this world has an appeal that goes in very different directions, with the historic aspects of the location, the culture, the manners—those wonderful western manners, and more.
"Shadow of the Son" has a lot of visual power for other mediums. I imagine it will make a perfect Netflix series. I hope the author is super busy writing! We want more!
I didn’t just like the book, I loved it! It is a page turner with interesting, clever characters and a story line that draws you in like a rare earth magnet. Ivan’s imagery, humor and fleshing out of characters make them come alive in my mind. I loved the twists and turns of the plot lines. It is a fabulous read and left me wanting to know more.