Series: Reign of Shadows #1
Published by HarperCollins on February 9th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy & Magic, Love & Romance, Royalty
eARC provided by HarperTeen
Destiny and darkness collide in this romantic, sweeping new fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan.
Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok's lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna's survival depends on the world believing she is dead.
But that doesn't stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.
With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.
This was a lot darker then I thought it would be. The protagonist is sheltered and lives in a tower. After an eclipse came and altered the dark and light of earth, Luna was born. Luna was a princess, but her parents were killed off quickly by the bloodthirsty king. A couple who worked for her parents rescued her and stole her away to live in relative safety with them. At first, I didn’t understand why she was trapped there and I wanted her to venture out. When Fowler shows up running for his life with a fatally injured companion, the world begins to come into focus. There is no safety in this place. People die everywhere you go. Enemies in this world include people and “dwellers” (hideous creatures who kill everything) during the 23 hours of darkness. In the light people are still a huge threat. Starvation is an issue and people eat things like kelp to fend off hunger. When the king’s men show up at the tower searching for the girl who may have lived, Fowler and Luna head off to a place they hope actually exists.
What I liked: Luna is blind. The author uses great descriptive details to explain how she “sees’ the world. Dark is not an issue for her, her senses work well in the dark. Luna is a pretty head strong girl. She doesn’t see herself as disabled and is able to defend herself in most situations. There was a lot of action in this story because the protagonist(s) are constantly in danger. I enjoyed most of the world building. The dark and the forests, and the dwellers were pretty scary. I liked imagining the tree house city. The dangerous world and treacherous people seemed right on with the things that Fowler tried to describe before Luna and him even set off. I liked how Fowler and Luna developed into a relationship. I think Luna and Fowler were really good together.
What I didn’t like: The world building was a bit fuzzy. I didn’t get the descriptive details I craved to really imagine the scenes. Part of it may be that one protagonist was blind, but some of it could of been clarified with Fowler’s POV. I didn’t buy Fowler’s character traits. He is very stubborn and then he just does what people ask him. He is a complete loner, but then he falls so hard for Luna. Maybe that was part of his character growth, but I know some readers will have an issue with it. I was really buying into the world building and enjoying where the story was going until View Spoiler » the injury that Fowler sustained on the lake. It isn’t even address later when he chases Luna and that really bothered me. Also, Luna is such a do-gooder that she is just gonna turn herself in without even telling Fowler. Luna is so good there is no way she would wound her love even further by abandoning him. I call BS.
Then the thing with the wolf. You can’t just introduce a wolf that is suppose to be a human killer who then pledges loyalty to a human girl, without first introducing us to that creature. It happened much too fast to be believed. Please don’t do that with wolves, it pulls my heart strings.
Oh and can we talk about the ending! What the absolute hell? I have not been so left of a cliff since Hunger Games. If you haven’t read the book, be warned! « Hide Spoiler
I really loved the premise and the fact that our heroine was blind. I loved it when she got all bad-ass and cut dwellers down with her sword. I needed Fowler and Luna to have a happy ending. I wanted to love this book, but I am really torn. Reign of Shadows had a lot of potential, and it had a unique setting. I can’t say I won’t read the sequel, because I have to know what happens next. I would only recommend this with a warning that it has some major flaws.