I already know Sophie Jordan from her Firelight-trilogy and even though I don´t like that cover of Reign of Shadows that much (it´s not that it would be kitschy, no, but it´s just not my thing) I like the way she writes. There is always something about the real world to find in her stories, she gives the reader enough space for its own fantasy and still leaves enough room for her own. Luna grew up and lived all of her young life in a tower. Not as a prisoner but for her own good and safety. Because the King of Relhok may never know that she survived his blistering betrayal of her parents – the former king and queen of a once flourishing and wonderful kingdom. 

Reign Of Shadows
by Sophie Jordan
Reign Of Shadows #1
Publisher Harper Teen on February 9, 2016
Genre Fantasy
Pages 292
Format Hardcover
Source Purchased

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness, and in the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, the kingdom´s lost princess, has been locked away in a tower in the cursed Black Woods ever since. Luna´s survival depends entirely on the world believing she is dead. But that doesn´t stop Luna from longing for a life beyond the stifling tower walls. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer who has braved the Black Woods in search of a land where the sun still shines, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is far more treacherous than Luna ever realized. Hideous, flesh-hungry creatures lurk behind every corner and each stranger they encounter has frightening ulterior motives. 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.
Seventeen years after the King of Relhoks blistering betrayal, Luna feels the awakening need to bring more into her life. More of everything. She wants to experience how life outside the tower is, outside its natural borders that the Black Woods around them provide. To her and her two companions Sivo and Perla – the ones who raised her and taught her all she knows, life is quiet (Luna would describe it as dreary and maybe boring). And although she knows that they only want her best, she wants a change. The tiny bit of taste another life could give. And when one day Fowler steps into their lives, she feels that she´s about to discover something new; new but very fascinating and so promising.

Sophie Jordan has a wonderful way to describe scenes, landscapes, and figures. She has a diversified treasury of words and her fantasy is beautiful. I already know her from her Firelight-trilogy and even though I don´t like that cover of Reign of Shadows that much, I like her writing style. This time she goes back into a world and time long before our present day. A cruel and obviously mad king is listening to an Oracle, strange creatures thread the people during most of the day and night and only the old ones can remember how life used to be in bright sunlight and with blooming flowers and fields all around.

The story is told in the first-person perspective by Luna in some chapters and by Fowler in others. That gives the reader a wonderful chance to get to know what they both feel and think about various things. For the novel, it means, that there is a special note to it. Something I really like. The writing style of the author is simple, clear and Sophie Jordan uses some very interesting comparisons to things that are used in this plot. I could literally see the woods or the place where the tower stood in which Luna grew up.

Dwellers are, besides the king, the biggest enemy the people of Relhok have to fear. From the way Fowler and Luna describe them, I pictured them as huge insects, some kind of upright walking bug with a very nasty behavior and an even nastier and huge hunger for almost everything. How Luna, Fowler, and others keep themselves protected from them is part of this fantasy novel and one place reminded me of those little folks from one Star Wars movie – those who lived in the trees.

The characters in Reign of Shadows are very different and reflect the time they live in. Some of them know what life back in the old days looked like and the younger ones listen to their stories like they were some kind of fairy tales. That sunlight could last more than an hour a day and that that would change the colors of everything seems to them as strange and unreal as anything else.

Luna and Fowler are two great and completely different characters. Not only because of their gender but also of what their parents were or are. What that means, you have to read and discover yourself in the book *smile* - but I promise, you won´t be disappointed. And wait till you get to meet Digger – he is one heck of a young tree wolf. Yes, you read that right *smirk*.

Luna has a secret or better said: two. Both mean danger to her, and both of them are the reason why she spent all her life in that tower. But every seventeen-year-old girl wants to explore her surroundings, wants to see what else the world has to offer. And so does Luna too. And thanks to the old man Sivo she is able to not only see the world with different eyes no she also is trained to fight, to handle daggers and swords with great skills. Her way of thinking, how she looks at problems, at others and her will to be helpful is something, Fowler has to come to terms with. She is very strong-minded, doesn´t want to be overprotected and when it´s needed she fights others off like a lioness her cub. And she´s smart – wow! Unlike those who grew up in the outside world (outside the Black Woods and the tower that means), she knows books and developed some very unique skills.

This new Sophie Jordan novel is a wonderful read that you shouldn´t miss. I enjoyed every word of it. Reign of Shadows shows you a world full of darkness, danger, and beauty. So if you´re already a fan of the author, read this. If not, this book gives you a great opportunity to become one.

Happy reading

Sophie Jordan
©Country Park Portraits

Sophie Jordan grew up on a pecan farm in the Texas hill country, where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she´s also the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Avon historical romances and the Firelight series. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she´s not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows. Sophie also writes paranormal romances under the name Sharie Kohler.


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