Review: The Shadow Saint (The Black Iron Legacy #2) by Gareth Hanrahan

Rating: 9.5/10


Thieves, dangerous magic, and a weapon built with the power to destroy a god clash in this second novel of Gareth Hanrahan’s acclaimed epic fantasy series, The Black Iron Legacy.

Enter a city of spires and shadows . . .

The Gutter Miracle changed the landscape of Guerdon forever. Six months after it was conjured into being, the labyrinthine New City has become a haven for criminals and refugees.

Rumors have spread of a devastating new weapon buried beneath the streets – a weapon with the power to destroy a god. As Guerdon strives to remain neutral, two of the most powerful factions in the godswar send agents into the city to find it.

As tensions escalate and armies gather at the borders, how long will Guerdon be able to keep its enemies at bay?

The Shadow Saint continues the gripping tale of dark gods and dangerous magic that began with Hanrahan’s acclaimed debut The Gutter Prayer.


Thanks to Hachette Audio,, the author, and the narrator for an advance listening copy of The Shadow Saint (The Black Iron Legacy #2) in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this ALC did not influence my thoughts or opinions.

The Gutter Prayer (The Black Legacy #1) was one of my favorite debuts of 2019. It was unlike any fantasy story I’d ever read before and felt like the beginning of something ground-breaking. It checked off all of the boxes of what I enjoy in a fantasy novel and left its hook deep inside me once the final page was turned. To say I utterly enjoyed it is an understatement.

But now we have The Shadow Saint, and if I utterly enjoyed the predecessor, I was absolutely enamored with the sequel. This is one of those sophomore novels you dream about reading; one that takes all of the components of the freshman hit and doubles down, shattering any preconceived notions about where the author was going to steer the adventure. I don’t know that I can say I have ever read a better second book in a series.

While Book 1 had a steady focus on three young thieves (Cari, Rat, and Spar), Book 2 shifts the perspectives to two (2) brand new characters (Terevant Erevesic and The Spy) and one (1) that we were introduced to the first time around (Eladora Duttin). While this may be a disappointment to some, and was to me prior to cracking open the book, that thought process changes rather quickly. The author did a fantastic job of instantaneously bringing said characters to the forefront, giving the reader ample opportunities to become emotionally involved with each, and maybe even one to find a new favorite character. On top of that, Hanrahan wastes zero time catching the reader up to speed with the state of things after “The Gutter Miracle” sprouted the New City and changed everything we knew about Guerdon, and the characters we became so familiar with the first time around.

The world-building that I found to be spectacular in The Gutter Prayer was nothing compared to the ever-expanding, miraculous landscapes Hanrahan poses in The Shadow Saint. If you can’t see his background in RPGs whilst reading this novel, you need to reassess what you know about the genre. From the buildings and sewers to the cobblestones that make up the streets, nothing is left boring or barren. Nothing is left to the imagination except for picturing yourself running alongside the protagonists.

I could go on and on all day about this novel, but you really just need to experience it for yourself. If you enjoyed The Gutter Prayer, I feel that you will fall in love with The Shadow Saint as I did. If you haven’t given this series a go, what are you waiting for?

I also want to give a much deserved shoutout to the narrator, John Banks. He became one of my favorite narrators while working my way through Josiah Bancroft’s The Books of Babel series, and even onto listening to Jon Hollins’ Fool’s Gold (The Dragon Lords #1). If you enjoy audiobooks at any level at all, definitely check out his library. He will always be a Top 5 for me, alongside the likes of Jim Dale, Joe Jameson, Tim Gerard Reynolds, and Roy Dotrice (RIP).

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Paul's Picks says:

    Excellent review!!! Cool shoutout to the audiobook narrator too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. David W says:

      Cheers! John is simply the best!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. So many love this series. I am going to have to find time to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s