Reviewed by: Jannelle
Rating (out of 5): 4 stars
Note: While review will be spoiler free, it does make reference to previous books. If you haven’t started this series yet, check out VBC’s review of book 1, Dragon Bound.
Beluvial and Graydon have been avoiding each other for centuries after a life-altering night 200 years ago, including a reluctant deal with a pariah djinn named Malphas that placed Graydon, Belueviel, and her stepson’s lives in danger. Now, Graydon thinks he’s figured out a way to save them. In order to remove the deal from themselves unscathed, Gray needs the help of old—and new—friends without alerting Malphas to his plans. This means continuing to fight the urges Gray and Bel have been fighting for centuries.
I’m a long-time fan of the Elder Races series and that means that I get positively gleeful at the mention and visits of previous protagonists of the series. Shadow’s End involved plenty of interaction between key players in inter-demesne politics that introduced new characters and reunited us with older ones like my faves Rune and Carling. While books in the Elder Races series normally read well as standalones, it may be prudent for readers to catch up with the series before picking this one up. Harrison fills in any gaps from novellas and books you may have skipped but there’s a reason why so many characters’ stories lead them here and it helps you appreciate the weaving storyline more after playing catch-up.
The only part of the story that felt lacking for me was the romance/connection between Beluvial and Graydon. For a couple that has had to wait 200 years to be reunited, I would have imagined the passion and sex to be off the charts. While the moments they shared were extremely passionate and swoon-worthy, I sometimes felt like they were more worried about the time they spent apart than joyful at the time they were spending together. Gray and Bel spent a long time working on their game-faces and controlling their needs that I guess I was hoping for a lot more loss of self-control than what really happened.
As always, no spoilers will be shared here, but I need to make a quick and vague mention at the jaw-dropping and heart-wrenching incident(s) in Shadow’s End. Harrison took a big leap here and created plot twists that we will feel the consequences of for future books. I am interested to see what role the events of this installment will play in the stories to come.
There is no doubt in my mind that Shadow’s End is a complete series-changer in the most dramatic of ways. Shadow’s End was the culmination of many (if not all) of the previous storylines cleverly woven to merge together at just the right time. While that would normally mean that several storylines have come to a graceful close, it also raises a whole new set of questions and creates a dynamic new storyline that will be woven through the next installment(s) in the series.
With an action-packed and steadily paced plot, Shadow’s End was a fantastic read full of surprising and game-changing plot twists. This is a book that you cannot go without reading.
Sexual graphic: sex