The Dark Thorn

  • Title: The Dark Thorn
  • Author: Shawn Speakman
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 329
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • The Dark Thorn Beneath the streets of Seattle a long forgotten war is about to be renewedRichard McAllister a spiritually destitute homeless man and Knight of the Yn Saith protects one of seven portals linking hi
    Beneath the streets of Seattle, a long forgotten war is about to be renewedRichard McAllister, a spiritually destitute homeless man and Knight of the Yn Saith, protects one of seven portals linking his world to that of Annwn, where the fey Tuatha de Dannan of antiquity have been relegated by a long running religious war.Unknown to Richard though, powerful forces are aliBeneath the streets of Seattle, a long forgotten war is about to be renewedRichard McAllister, a spiritually destitute homeless man and Knight of the Yn Saith, protects one of seven portals linking his world to that of Annwn, where the fey Tuatha de Dannan of antiquity have been relegated by a long running religious war.Unknown to Richard though, powerful forces are aligning against him and all he stands to keep safe In the wilds of a discarded world, Philip Plantagenet, son of Henry II, moves to claim a birthright nine centuries in the making, one that drives him to eliminate the Tuatha de Dannan at any cost to both worlds.Haunted by a past he can t forget and a knightly responsibility he can t shun, Richard is drawn into levels of machinations and a world far darker than any he has ever encountered.

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      Posted by:Shawn Speakman
      Published :2019-03-04T07:35:55+00:00

    About Shawn Speakman


    1. Shawn Speakman grew up in the beautiful wilds of Washington State near a volcano and surrounded by old growth forests filled with magic After moving to Seattle to attend the University of Washington, he befriended New York Times best selling fantasy author Terry Brooks and became his webmaster, leading to an enchanted life surrounded by words.He was a manager at one of the largest Barnes Noble Booksellers in the country for many years and now owns the online bookstore The Signed Page, manages the websites for several authors, and is a freelance writer for Random House.He also contributed the annotations for The Annotated Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, published in 2012.Shawn is a cancer survivor, knows angel fire east, and lives in Seattle, Washington.


    286 Comments


    1. This book is traditional fantasy (which I still love) with a twist (not necessarily M. Night Shyamalan style). I highly enjoyed it and would definitely recommend. I keep saying I'm going to add more to these reviews and then leaving them be so I'll make no promises until that actually starts to happen.

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    2. I’ll be honest. I bought this book out of charity. Shawn Speakman is the webmaster/great guy who helps Terry Brooks maintain his web presence. When Shawn found out he had cancer he found himself in the unenviable position of being without health insurance. This book was released, in part, to help pay for his medical treatments and perhaps as a result I wasn’t expecting much when I started reading The Dark Thorn.Into the first or second chapter I found myself shaking my head and wondering if [...]

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    3. Full review originally over at Fantasy Book Critic [with review by Cindy] ANALYSIS: The Dark Thorn is Shawn Speakman’s debut vehicle. I was intrigued by it and thanks to Shawn who offered us a review copy. The blurb details an urban fantasy world with fantasy elements and makes for intriguing plotline. I was able to read an excerpt and that impressed me greatly. The whole book was another thing altogether.The plot of The Dark Thorn is a multivariate one and focuses on many characters; the firs [...]

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    4. NOTE: Back in 2011, Terry Brook’s webmaster, Shawn Speakman, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He fought the disease and survived. The problem now is that Speakman had no Health Insurance. So instead of declaring medical bankruptcy, Shawn decided to self-publish his fantasy novel The Dark Thorn and use the proceeds from the book to pay off his debts. (To learn more, follow this link.) I didn’t buy this book out of pity. I bought it because frankly the blurb grabbed my attention.Curren [...]

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    5. This book could have been so much better, the premise for the book is good and is what initially caught my attention, but I feel that the author tried to do too much with the subject and tried to include too many fantasy/historical elements. The writing is not very polished and doesn't flow very well. He tries to be very grandiose with the writing and language and it just comes off as cheap and awkward. There are also several instances in the book where the author will say something on one page [...]

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    6. Meh. Not for me. Started off well but soon became cliche ridden. I was hoping it would be a little more gritty. Instead it read like a young adult novel. Some great ideas and the plot was easy enough to follow, though there were numerous occasions where places/people were mentioned and I thought to myself " am I supposed to know who or what that is?" Richard the knight was rather annoying, I also found and I didn't really care if Bran was captured, eaten, whatever. In the end I gave up at 30%

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    7. Well, that was a rollercoaster. In fact, I'm still not sure of my rating. My heart says 4 stars but my head says 3.It started off so well. There was great world building and the whole book was well-written. I loved the premise and all the little nods towards Arthurian legend and got drawn into the story. I was totally prepared to give this five stars.But then I got to the middle and suddenly I was confused. So many types of fey were introduced and I'm still not sure how to pronounce their names. [...]

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    8. This book is about Richard, a knight who guards a portal between our world and the fey world. When trouble stirs in the other world Richard reluctantly investigates, but nothing is what it seems.The author, Shawn Speakman, has been the web druid for Terry Brooks for years, and you can see Terry's influence at the beginning of this book. The tone, especially early-on reminded me of Terry.Some people said they had trouble connecting with Richard's character. That wasn't the case for me, especially [...]

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    9. Good book, just a little ways away from being a better maybe even a great book. It felt like if the author Shawn Speakman had been slightly less ambitious about making so many plot elements and focused a little more on the characters, especially Bran, the book would have felt more complete. Also while it was interesting to not know the boundaries of the conflict for a while, a little more back story earlier in the book would have gotten me more involved. Finally a pet peeve of mine, giving someo [...]

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    10. In all honestly, I was a little wary of this book at first, but the author's plight and the interesting premise convinced me to purchase it. I have mixed feelings. Overall, it was good. I am not sure, however, if it is something I will read again. More than likely, not. The prose wasn't as sophisticated as I had expected, the characters not as well drawn out as they could have been. The book started out strong, kind of plateaued in the middle, but finished with a satisfying conclusion.

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    11. I read a short story set in the world in the anthology which Shawn edited and the proceeds of which were used so Shawn could pay his medical bills (he had cancer).I liked the world a lot; I liked the story. It was familiar enough to hook me quickly but he threw in some twists that I didn't see coming. I do hope he writes more in this world!

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    12. This is a very creative romp through modern Seattle, a faerie underground, and massive battle involving tons of Celtic and Christian lore and history. Shawn is a creative and talented writer, who has crafted a quality product. I look forward to future installments in this series. The only real downside is my lack of lore knowledge, which made me feel left out quite often as the book progressed.

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    13. Similarly to my review of unfettered, this book gets bonus points because of it's high quality publishing. Shawn must treat these books like they are his babies, because dust jacket, paper, and binding are all extremely high quality and it was sent in so much bubble wrap that it would have survived nuclear war. As a fledgling fantasy book collector, I cannot have appreciated this more. This could have been a bad book (which it most certainly was not) and I still would have appreciated it because [...]

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    14. The Dark Thorn by Shawn Speakman was an awesome book! The plot had a lot going on but everything worked. The characters, settings, and Speakman's story-telling ability really blew me away. One of my favorite passages in chapter 7 was: "The sweet smell of virgin nature coupled with air not of the sea intoxicated the knight, and he looked out over the day in silent thanks, the rippling water of the lake glimmering like sapphires under the sun." This is just a small example of the quality of the de [...]

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    15. I was introduced to Shawn Speakman and his Dark Thorn world via a book called Unfettered (see my book list). I was intrigued by the character of Richard and the idea that a parallel world existed where the magical beings of our stories and myths had gone to live apart from man.This book really delivered. For anyone interested in or already versed in Celtic, Irish and English mythologies and history, it's really a delight to read. For those more unfamiliar some of the language and names may stack [...]

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    16. I will preface my review by saying it only covers around the first half of the book. After six 1/2 years and 162 books as hard as I tried I just could not finish it and here is why. To all you authors out there please do not go to all the effort to create an in depth fantasy world that you fill with numerous characters, an alternate history, glorious artifacts,parallel universe, and imaginary beasts and NEVER EXPLAIN ANY OF IT! It creates a reader who doesn't give two shits about your story (I'v [...]

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    17. Richard McAllister is a knight of the Yn Saith, protecting a portal between Seattle and Annwn, the world of the Fey.Nice set up, and I'll do this with no spoiler other than the obvious - it goes badly. The story that builds from a slightly slow beginning is a work of fantasy in a great form. Taking elements of new age urban fantasy such as The Dresden Files and combining it with Tolkien-esque and Brooks' style fantasy worlds of magic and intrigue, Speakman creates a unique blend, pulling inspira [...]

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    18. I was very impressed with this book, the Dark Thorn. It is an urban fantasy but married with an epic fantasy style. The characters are developed to the point that I am hooked on them I want to know more about them and this world that Shawn has built. This book intrigues the reader, with the story lines, you think you see what is coming, but there is a twist here and there and all of a sudden the story goes in a different direction. The characters are flawed, but valiant. It will be fun and inter [...]

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    19. I actually have had to stop listening and will finish the book in print. The mispronunciation of Welsh words was driving me insane. And there's no way to avoid words like Annwn (closest to An-Noon in Welsh) or Llion (closest to Th-Eeyon) in this story. After spending all the time on accents, would you have thought they'd have spent a bit of time on the proper pronunciation of the Welsh?Ann-win? Really?Paging Mary Robinette! Help them!

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    20. Speakman is doing something right in this novel. There are no words wasted, every scene drives the plot forward and keeps the pages turning. He takes some familiar tropes and runs with them, while turning others on their heads. I look forward to another installment in this world, yet the book can be read as a standalone and leave the reader feeling satisfied.

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    21. The Arthurian Legends have morphed and changed over centuries clothing the quintessential myth in costumes recognizable by the current generation. Speakman's Dark Thorn is a lively interpretation for the 21st century. It's a great read and I had a hard time putting it down. It's one of those books where you turn the last page and find yourself asking "more?"

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    22. Chances are if you read the works of Terry Brooks, then you know of Shawn Speakman. I bought this book to support him in his endeavor to pay off medical bills. Upon reading The Dark Thorn, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I found the premise to be intriguing and well thought out. If you enjoy the Urban Fantasy genre, I recommend checking this book out.

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    23. This is one of those books that I've had sitting around and finally got toAnd loved it. I have no idea why I kept over looking this little gem. Just a great blend of everything. Catholicism, Paganism, the fae, Arthurian legend, Merlin the wizard and on and on. Rather unique in its style in my opinion. I greatly enjoyed it.

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    24. Pretty good story, imaginative. But Speakman's writing is such that he should never have been published. His language tries too hard to be grandiose (usually only succeeding at being awkward), there are plot holes everywhere, and his characters automatically know things that should be unknown The entire novel his writing kept jarring me out of a story that deserved a finer touch.

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    25. The plot is original, very good. It is a story of a Knights Templar, Richard who wants revenge and still want to do his job which is protecting the portal of the other world and his world. It has excitement and action which will keep you interested. One or two parts I would have written differently if I was a writer, about I’m not so I will end this here.

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    26. Excellent ReadI totally enjoyed this book. The characters were were well developed and thoroughly enjoyable. The editing on this book was e excellent. I cannot wait to read more of your work.

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    27. A great fast read. This is a great debut for Speakman, although it does suffer from some of the normal "first novel" complications. Fun characters, interesting ideas and big ambitions. I want to see what happens next though.

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    28. Took me a bit to get into this book, but once I did, I didn't want to leave. A great story, taking some familiar characters and giving them a whole new twist. I loved this book and am looking very forward to the next one!

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    29. See my review of this fantastic read hereottyneedle/2015

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    30. This was a book I was very excited to read. For one, Mr. Speakman is a man I respect tremendously. For everything he has been through in his life and still keeping his fans posted on the status of not only his personal work, but the updates on his Grim Oak publishing as well is something that I admire greatly. That all being said, I was worried as I began this book.From the start, this felt like it was truly a book by someone who has always loved fantasy, always wanted to write a novel, and just [...]

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