The Tyranny of Shadows * By Timothy S Currey

Ardent Momaenta

The Principle of Good

Choose always the greater good, no matter the cost, no matter your doubt; for in the killing of four guilty men to save one innocent, the greater good surely prevails.


The Mordenari assassin’s guild don’t take kindly to those who interfere with their contracts— even one of their own. So when Amelia, a master assassin with a skilled poisoner by her side, lets a personal grudge get in the way of her official assignment, she knows she’s putting her life on the line.

And now her neck might be the next one to meet a blade’s edge in the dead of night…

Marked for death, Amelia flees into the shadows. In the Mordenari underworld, no one can be trusted. Nowhere is safe. But as she runs for her life, Amelia reaches out to her last ally. He’s the only man alive who can help her.

But this mysterious assassin has a mission of his own—one that could destroy their tenuous alliance before it even begins…

Timothy S Currey is an Australian Fantasy author. Whether he’s writing sprawling, epic fantasies with kings and dragons, or thrilling stories of assassins and intrigue, he can always count on his cat, Hermione, to get in the way of the keyboard.

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This was an OK story to read but double-spaced and at 230 pages it read more like a fan-fiction than an actual good thing to read.

It starts well off with a murder but then it fizzles out..

Beldas made a strangled cry as he spun to face Gillis, and threw his arms up to meet Gillis’ plunging dagger. The tip of the blade dragged across Beldas’ forearm, Beldas smacked Gillis across the jaw with his other elbow, then suddenly they fell as one and writhed on the road. Gillis still had the dagger in hand, but could not see clearly—could not find the space he needed to bring the blade home. The struggle grazed the blade against Gillis’ own arm, and blood poured from the wounds of both men. Gillis felt no pain, only the numb pressure of the steel’s hardness when Beldas’ struggles brought the blade to his skin.

Our main character is an assassin who lives and kills by the rules set in their assassin handbook:

The Five Laws

There are five offenses that I shall not suffer; these are my Five Laws. We, the righteous Mordenari, exist to purge the sinful that there might be justice.

None but we Mordenari may take a life.

None may torture or maim the helpless. 

None may keep, or profit from, slaves.

None may use Blood Magic, and none who are not among the Mordenari may use Momaentum.

No Mordenari may disobey the sacred writs.

Clunky dialogue, weird character relationships, somewhat nonsensical magic system. I found much of the writing at least slightly off-putting and it kept me from being invested in any of the characters or their respective missions. Friendships formed rather awkwardly and incredible perception blindness by otherwise hyper-competent assassins/agents advanced the story. There is certainly some potential, but overall this felt like the self-published debut it is.

“I thought you came all this way to prove yourself ready to be chief?”

“You won’t understand. It is our way. My father died, so I now am chief, though I am chief of nothing but a burned village. I am not worthy, not yet. I came this way to prove myself. My father’s spirit walks with me, and with him I can be brave, be strong.”

I’ll see if the next releases bring more depth to the characters and are actually decent enough. So far, no.

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