Review: Shards: A Story of the Realm by Ben Galley

MY ⭐️ RATING: 4.25/5

Format: Kindle Whispersync


They say the Malar Dorah is unbreakable.

For five centuries, the Realm’s mightiest fortress has stood unconquered. Now it is the final bastion of a retreating northern army, and the culmination of the long-raging Diamond Wars. The warlord Belerod stands at the Dorah’s doorstep with a southern horde at his back, set on testing the meaning of unbreakable with his war-golems.
Fourteen of Belerod’s creations waded into the Diamond Wars. Only eight remain. Their second-youngest, Task, has seen every bloody battle; every crippling defeat and valiant push. The attack on Malar Dorah is supposed to be the dawn of peace. But now, at the end, the soldiers whisper of a wizard hiding behind the Dorah’s vast walls.

For the first and last time in the Diamond Wars, magic will fight magic.


I read this as I was doing laundry, dishes and wrapping presents. While doing all that I found myself pausing several times so that I could follow what was happening. For only being a 47 page prequel, short story for The Heart of Stone, this was very good!

“War was not a job for a golem, it was a life.”

I was generally shocked that I would like a story about a golem, but I guess I shouldn’t be too shocked since I already like the way Galley writes from reading his Chasing Graves series. Shards takes place several centuries before the events of The Heart of Stone, which I plan to read very soon. The action starts almost immediately, and it gets pretty dark and a little gruesome.

The other thing I want to mention is that this short story has Whispersync’d narration! Adam Stubbs does a great job with all the voices, especially the voices of the golems, who sound exactly the way I hoped they would sound. I would most definitely suggest going this route or just audio because Stubbs makes it that much better!

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