Review: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan (Reign of Shadows #1)


Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan // VBC ReviewReign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows #1)
Sophie Jordan
Published: Feb. 9, 2016 (Harper Teen)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: purchased

Reviewed by: Amy

Rating (out of 5): 3 stars

Luna was born to the King and Queen of Relhok seventeen years ago. The exact same day, the same moment, that the darkness took over and the Dwellers emerged. Consequently a very enterprising (i.e. evil) chancellor decided that moment would be the best time to kill the King and Queen and usurp the throne for himself. Luna, being newly born and all, was spirited away by one of her nurses and a guard to live protected in a tower far away in the Black Woods.

Now, seventeen years later, despite the perpetual night that hovers over the kingdom, Luna longs for so much more than what the walls of her tower can offer, and this feeling only intensifies when she (literally) runs into Fowler; an archer who was out in the Woods and got into a skirmish with some Dwellers.

When the Tower is discovered by the King’s guards, Luna is no longer safe, and she’s forced to leave with Fowler, who is none too happy about the addition of an untrained, unskilled person on his journey. Because Fowler is looking for the mythical Isle of Allu. A haven that is said to be isolated enough that it’s free of Dwellers. Nothing will stand in the way of his goal. But the world they live in is an unforgiving place, and Fowler and Luna end up relying on each other more than expected. With that reliance comes an attraction that neither are ready to deny, but also not ready to explore.

The beginning of Reign of Shadows just pulled me in so quickly. The premise is quite interesting with the world cloaked in night plagued by these strange antennae sprouting creatures that leave nothing behind once they’ve got you in their grasp.

Then there’s Luna, who has an almost odd intuition regarding the darkness. Being a restless teenager she, of course, sneaks out of the tower to explore/hunt when she comes across three people in need of help. I felt like the standard was set pretty high when she helps Fowler fight off a group of Dwellers.

Unfortunately, I don’t feel like the overall story lives up to the picture we’re initially painted. First off, Luna doesn’t really turn out to be the capable, sword-wielding girl I thought she was going to be. I can’t fault her character too much, I mean being guarded away in a tower your whole life and only being able to know the area around said tower doesn’t really prepare you for what’s outside in the wide world. Then, it was at I’d say about the halfway mark where things started to digress for me and the love story started to really get on my nerves. Since this is a series, I feel like a slow development of feelings would have been a better route to take with Luna and Fowler.

With the romance taking up most of the story, I felt like the progression of the arc was not able to be developed enough. Added to this the fact that the story started to branch off in too many directions towards the end, and you wind up with none other than the dreaded cliffhanger.

Despite all of this, however, I’d still give the second book a chance based on the fact that I’d like to see what the characters do with everything started here, I’d like to see where the story takes them.

Sexual content: kissing, references to sex

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