Woah...I don't know where to start. Perhaps with the cover...I'm usually not someody who gets overly exited about covers, but I simply love this one. It looks as if it was done by the same artist who did the Raven-covers, or at least it is made in a very similar style: also only two colours (OK, three: the red is fading to orange), but it says so much, and there just couldn't be a more fitting image for the book than the remains of a battlefield with the setting sun in the background.I could never really understand people who read the last pages or the last chapter of a book I never had the idea of doing that myself, and was quite stunned when I learned that there are people who would do something like this...but with Shout for the Dead I had to fight the urge to skip to the last chapter very very hard. Because I just wanted to know if everything would turn out somehow not too bad in the end (yeah, after about 100 pages you could already be quite sure that there was probably no 'turning out good' at the end), because I had grown so attached to some of the characters that I really wanted to know if they'd survive it, and wasn't sure if I could wait the whole 628 pages to find out.In the end I resisted, and got rewarded with a very emotional reading-experience. Gorian is now officially my most hated literary character ever. I spent every single scene with him, wishing he would suffer a very very slow and very very painful, agonizing death (did I mention slow? and painful...oh right I did). For many other characters, I just felt the need to yell at them 'Noooo, don't do that!'...well at least for the first half of the book, after that basically everybody had managed to land in a situation where it didn't really matter what he or she did, or didn't do, everything would simply get worse.I also think the book deserves special praise for the way religion is treated there. Many fantasy-novels are set in a world somehow resembling our own in the middle-ages, and often the author certainly did very much research about living, fighting and everything in the middle-ages, but religion gets either not mentioned at all or there are just some vague references to gods...very unlike the middle-ages. Here it is very different, Estor has a very strong and influencial church, and it is vital to the plot (and makes things worse...a lot. But everybody does that).After so much prase some complaints: towards the end I thought that the story got dragged out a bit. From about page 400 there are perhaps 100-150 pages where I felt that there wasn't much happening, exept more villages getting raided by Gorian's soldiers and various people telling each other that thing are looking really bad now. Thank you but I got that before. I think all that could have probably been told in half as much pages. But as that still leaves over 400 pages of awesome I couldn't deduct a whole star for it. This book rates about 4.5.And one last complaint: unrealistic ages. For once that does not mean that 14 year olds are leading armiesbut rather the opposite: Jhered is in his 60is, Herine over 80 and Hester even in her 90is . Yes I'm all for Fantasy-novels where the average age of the main characters is over 25, but you would expect that they feel there age at some point, but Jhered cheerfully travels through the country without resting very much, Herine does complain about her age at one point but then continues to kick ass for anoter 350 pages (and when she stops it's not so much to do with her age than witha variety of other things) and Hester is quite ageless and could also be only in her 40is.