Hello Humans! As it was promised so it shall be! I finished reading Abhorsen and the TBR tea-cup chose Circle of Shadows, a book I received in the January Fairyloot box as my next read. I will say, I’ve seen a couple of fairly negative reviews for this one, and I’m not 100% sold on the concept, so I’m going in with pretty low expectations – which could mean it goes up in my estimation (always a problem with preconceived notions of any kind). We shall see! Join me as I read this gorgeous lavender stained pages edition.
Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied behind his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.
As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging to the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark. So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group.Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.
Chapter One – Fifteen
Ok, so, I’m around 100 pages in (in an unfamiliar move I actually started reading this in the bath as opposed to finishing it!). First impressions – not terrible. My lasting impression has been that this author likes to describe outfits, it did start to feel like I was reading a full outfit description every other page at one point. I’m not totally averse to that but it didn’t really feel as though it added much to the plot – but that’s just me.
No, the characters seem interesting enough – this is the second book I’ve read today where the main character is dealing with the death of a close relative who was a young girl – a reading coincidence. But I like them both.
I will say, I think this book would have benefited from naming the POVs at the start of each chapter as sometimes it can take a paragraph or so to work out who is talking.
Still, I’m interested to see where this goes!
Chapter Sixteen – Thirty
Alright, things are heating up, we’ve got a rogue prince on our hands and he’s amassing an army of magical warriors some of whom have very specific magical powers, not unlike superpowers. Yes.
I mean it’s still not revolutionary writing, and there was one offhand mention of ‘women wearing too much makeup’ that put me off a little bit, but there are some very cool little worldbuilding details in there, there’s a whole bit with the Empress and the Goddess that I thought was pretty cool – yeah I’m having a pretty good time!
Chapter Thirty-One – Forty-Five
Ooooh, no spoilers but there has been a reveal. Not the most shocking reveal I’ve come across (I audibly gasped at one in The Last Namsara) but pretty good all the same.
I think it’s the ‘discovering how to use magic’ kind of vibe that’s going on, but this book has something of a Peter Pan essence about it, not a huge amount but just that small resonance – at least for me. I quite often get those weird little connections between books that make very little sense, but I wasn’t expecting that for this one!
I’m almost 300 pages into a 450-page hardback and I’m guessing this will be one of those experiences where the first book in a series is primarily set up – with the majority of the plot coming in later books. I’m anticipating a cliffhanger ending with every fibre of my being – but I won’t look it up until afterwards – I want to see if I’m right!
Chapter Forty-Six – Sixty-One
Alright, I meant to stop at chapter sixty but I guess I’m hooked now. I don’t know guys – I don’t dislike this, in fact, I’m having a pretty good time. Is it pretty generic at times? Yeah, I guess. But it’s a fun story, a fun adventure and I quite like the characters. I’m around 70 pages from the end and I’m actually excited to see what happens! Especially now that the ‘romance’ has taken a step back from the main plot – because that was kind of annoying…
TO THE END!
Chapter Sixty-Two – End
Ok, as ever no spoilers but things did pan out, in general, like I suspected. The actual way it panned out is pretty cool but I’ll leave that up to you to read. The romance popped up again and not in a great way – I just don’t think it added to the plot at all and I would have maybe preferred to not have it in this book and bring it into book two? But I did actually enjoy this ending – which is not something I thought would happen when I first started reading!
Going in with low expectations always makes things hard to judge – would I have had quite such a good time reading this if I went in expecting a five-star read? Possibly not. But I have to go with what I experienced reading and I think this book is really fun. I liked the plot, I liked the characters – it’s a nice quick YA fantasy read for those who like fights and magic. I wouldn’t say it’s doing anything earth-shattering for the genre – but I don’t think we have to expect that from every book we read, sometimes it’s nice to just escape into another world for a little bit.
But yes, creative worldbuilding elements and some characters I definitely want to read more from in future books – I think getting a little more from the villain’s perspective would also be amazing – I have high hopes for this series!
My rating: 3/5 (more of a 3.5) stars
I got this book in a Fairyloot box, all opinions are my own.
What will the TBR tea-cup pick next?
Ooooh it’s a book that has absolutely been on my TBR for too long. Nothing but Sky is a historical romance (?) that I picked up in a Kindle sale AGES ago – it’ll be great to finally get this off my list!
What say you? Have you read Circle of Shadows? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!