Ugh i hate writing a review when its been a while. I'll give it a go and hope for the best.
So All the Paths Of Shadow is an interesting book. Its set in a different world to what we live in but not by much, there are quite a few similarities, For one its kind of set in a relaxed Victorian era, you also have the Alon's who sound Scottish in dress and attitude. The Hang who sound Asian, possibly China or Japan. then there's the Tirlin, Eryans and the Vonats. Now I'm thinking Tirlin is more like England, Eryans may be kind of Turkish? though i may also be way off with that one and i have no clue about the Vonats. let just go with Russia.
So you have this massive group of interesting cultures all smooshed together into Tirlin for the Accords, which is where they get together every, i dono 20 years and make a piece treaty. Of course not everyone is interested in having piece across the lands, and the king enjoys making unreasonable demands, add some crazy mages, and that is where we start our adventure with Meralda and Mug.
Now as you guys are probably well aware, i adored the pants off of Mug, not that he wears any cause he's a plant..... but you get the point. this guy as just so incredible. funny, kind, selfless, you know, all the good stuff. also he's a talking plant! with many many eyes. he's what made this particular story stand out for me. My other two favorite characters where the two old Wizards, Shingvere and Fromarch. These's guy's where hilarious together, and really complimented each other in their extreme opposites. Then of course after that the next few characters who stood out where, Tower, Meralda, The Twins and the Captain oh and of course Donchen. for various reasons, i wont go into them otherwise we'll be here forever. Though i did like Donchen for his interesting Status as the Ghost.
Now i did feel like there where some holes in the story (obviously otherwise it would of had 5 stars) for one, i thought Meralda just made out the king was a pain to add in some extra tension, really as Kings go he was a pretty good dude, i dont see why she complained so much. also where is her family? she mentioned her childhood briefly once or twice and thats it, I'm fairly positive their still in Tirlin, so were where they? did she have a falling out with them? are they dead? whats the deal?
The magic could also be confusing at times, it was interesting and i still enjoyed it but in a vague way, without actually understanding most of what and how it was happening. apparently in this world unless your will/power is beyond incredible, there's a limit to magic, and how most mages get it to work is with maths. now im terrible at maths, also i think it could of been explained better. another thing lacking from the story was excellent descriptions. they where decent, but not so good as i could easily picture the characters or surroundings in my head while reading, actually i did a bit of a drawing with the information i have been given in an attempt to figure out what Mug looked liked (he was by far the most interesting looking) and i wasnt far off apparently. Grim was wonderful enough to actual find one already done on the net for me ^_^
Which so you know is this:
Isnt he just great?!
So yea overall i highly enjoyed this book and would recommend people give it a shot if mages are your thing. Its also slightly Steampunk-y which is a nice touch.
rating 4 stars. looking forward to the next book, and more Mug!