A Shade of Madness (The Ashes of Avarin #2), by Thiago Abdalla

8 May 2023

The Book

A Shade of Madness
Series: The Ashes of Avarin
Pages: 496
Age Group: Adult
Published on 24 Jan 2023
Publisher: Self-Published
Epic Fantasy
Available on:


Avarin tumbles into madness through the shattered ruin of a centuries-old peace.

As griffin riders clash against airships above and hordes of madmen below, Lynn finds herself surrounded by enemies. Ones that will test the limits of her faith. To defeat them, she must risk everything… including her sanity.

Adrian has lost the Legion, but new magics on foreign shores might be the answer he needs to rebuild his army. His return to the Domain will bring vengeance, and the hope that he will finally prove himself to his father.

Nasha’s curse has taken on a new, terrifying shape. She dreads it could be just what the dead goddess needs to escape from Her prison within the Silent Earth. Will she be strong enough to resist, or will Nasha’s curse give rise to the monster she fears to become?

Madness is spreading and it cares not for the borders of men.

A Shade of Madness is the second book in the Ashes of Avarin series, picking up straight after the exciting conclusion of A Touch of Light.  

My Review

A Shade of Madness is the second installment in the epic fantasy series The Ashes of Avarin, written by the SPFBO8 finalist Thiago Abdalla. After how the first book finished, this second was one of my most awaited titles, and I can say it hasn't disappointed, adding more to what was an excellent story; even an additional POV that has become my favourite one.

Madness is spreading across Avarin, and war is menacing to worsen everything. As an immediate follow-up to A Touch of Light, we pick directly after the conclusion, in a situation that threatens to bring Avarin to dust.

Prince Adrian lost the Legion, but thanks to magic from other countries, he's ready to bring vengeance against the Domain, without forgetting the promise to his father.
Lynn finds herself in a complicated situation, having to fight airships with griffins. Surrounded by enemies, accepting her condition might be the key for all, even if it means succumbing to Madness.
Nasha's curse is threatening to take the best of her. The situation among the tribes is extremely unstable, and without resisting her curse, she would not be able to fulfill her upper proposal.

A fourth POV is added, Kadmus, and honestly, I think it was an absolute success. A sort of doctor, who is desperate, needing to find a cure for Madness, as her daughter is affected; this investigation will attract the attention of people from the highest powers, trying to use this kind of knowledge for war.

Characters are extremely well developed, being most of the POV really intimate, going over their deepest thoughts and ideas. We are able to experience their struggles and their insecurities, getting a better comprehension of why some decisions are taken.

And honestly, if the first book was epic, this one is a step up over what made A Touch of Light an excellent novel. As we dived into a world that we knew previously, the pacing picks up much sooner, leading to spectacular battles and scenes; and even in those POVs that are less action focused, the previous set-up helps to improve them.

A Shade of Madness is an excellent sequel to A Touch of Light. If some people were fearing second-book syndrome, I can assure you that Abdalla has made an excellent job writing another epic book, using the first as the foundation for it.

The Author/s

Thiago Abdalla

Thiago Abdalla

Thiago was born in Brazil but grew up in the fantasy worlds from the stories he kept in his mind. He has inhabited everywhere from Middle-Earth and Azeroth to the planes of Dominaria, Ravnica and Tarkir. No matter the medium, what kept him coming back was always his love for story.

He could never wait for the next world to dive into, so, after being (indirectly) urged on by the (printed) words of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, Patrick Rothfuss, N. K. Jemisin, and many, many others, decided to create his own.

That smile on his face is the look he gets when in the presence of his lovely wife.