Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Reign of Shadows Blog Tour (Review)

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About Reign of Shadows:

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.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.

About Sophie:

Sophie Jordan grew up 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. 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.

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a $50 Amazon GC and signed copies of REIGN OF SHADOWS, FIRLELIGHT, & UNINVITED, US Only

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Bel's Review:

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Step into a fantasy world that appears to begin somewhat peacefully but soon escalates into morbidity. The world has turned into a savage place that has been devoid of the sun for nearly two decades. People are forced to live in hiding, scrounging for what they can during the one hour of daylight, known as “midlight”. It’s miserable in this every-man-for-himself land where no one can be trusted lest you lose your food, your belongings or worse yet, your life.  

Luna lives in isolation in this bleak place with her two keepers. She’s being kept hidden from the tyrant who usurped the throne when he murdered her parents shortly after her birth. As the true heir to her kingdom, her heritage is kept a secret to protect her. But this quiet world they’ve carved out as a trio is interrupted when three strangers turn up needing help. Luna who has never met anyone else is fascinated by them, in particular Fowler, who’s not much older than she is. This gruff newcomer's priority is to get as far away from this terrible land as soon as possible, hopefully without any extra baggage. Unfortunately, his plans are thwarted. When Luna’s safety is under attack, they’re forced to escape together. The forest is a treacherous place because a fellow human is not the deadliest encounter out there.

Luna and Fowler are two opposites. She believes in kindness and helping people while he feels it’s a sure way to death. He refuses to trust anyone or get close, in part because he carries a heavy heart. Admittedly Luna is slightly naïve considering her sheltered upbringing but she’s hardly a weakling. She has been trained to be a skilled fighter and knows how to read her surroundings. Just when things seem grim, they arrive at a turning point.

This is some world that Jordan has created along with nightmarish creatures and desperate, skeptical humans doing anything they can just to stay alive.  I got a bit squeamish when she described these giant hellish bats. (Now I know what she was up to when she mentioned researching them in one of her Facebook posts. She did her research well, folks!) Jordan also elevated the risks by slipping in a vital detail at the beginning that I didn’t even catch until it was said out loud. Sneaky, sneaky! I love being surprised like that and it just made me that much more vested in the characters’ welfare. It also made me admire how Jordan raised the stakes.

Reign of Shadows is a rousing start to what looks to be a heart-pounding series set to a gruesome backdrop. I don’t think Luna and Fowler are going to get much rest. Their success in their quest depends on them remaining alert and quick-witted. It's been a while since I've read any fantasy. Reign of Shadows was a fun way back to it and with a doozy of a cliffhanger, I for one am beside myself to know what happens next!

~ Bel

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