The Phantom Castle (The Way of the Shaman: Book #4)

What can a game clan accomplish without a castle? The answer is obvious: nothing. Therefore, the main objective of any leader in a game world is to acquire a base of operations. Finding himself in exactly this position, High Shaman Mahan, leader of the Legends of Barliona, accepts an offer from the Emperor and the Dark Lord to vanquish the army of Phantoms that has inhabited Altameda, the phantom castle.

However, this seemingly ordinary quest sets in motion such a momentous chain of events that the Shaman can do nothing but resort to his intuition and act on instinct. After all, a player who is being hunted by the three top clans of the continent at once, can do little else...

My Opinion:  409 pages. $5.99, not available on Kindle Unlimited.

Mahan, our shaman hero, has faced a prison work camp, werewolves, dark spirits, a dark shaman, and even vampires. However the biggest danger to him and his newly formed clan are the other players. Book 4 pushes Mahan and his clan into the wild unknowns looking to establish a base of operations, away from all the player run clans looking to squash him and his upstart group.

The novel has 26 reviews on Amazon so far and an average rating of 3.6 out of 5. This is a distinct shift from previous books. Book 1 has 4.7, book 2 has 4.8, and book 3 has 4.6 rating. Some of the more common complaints about the story include: the story pacing feels rushed, the romance in the story feels forced, the plot is erratic in places, and the ending is disappointing.

One of the things I’ve always been impressed by is Vasily Mahanenko’s ability to reset the epic-ness in each book. Every time I finish one of these books, it feels like it reaches the peak of what’s possible in this game world. Yet, the next book always seems to be able to reset the characters so that they feel like they’re still plenty of challenges for them to face. I realized that the author is sort of mimicking a chain quest. They start out slow, simple even, but ramp up the pace and epicness of the quest. Then you turn in the quest and reset the pace of your game play.


The Phantom Castle (The Way of the Shaman: Book #4)



The Way of the Shaman Books 1-4