Title: The Shadow Reader
I haven’t read anything Fae-related since finishing the Fever series. It was pretty much my only experience with these supes and well, let’s be honest, it’s a tough act to follow. Sandy Williams makes her presence known with roaring fierceness in The Shadow Reader, her debut book. The excellent pacing, captivating Fae Court politics and poignant love story will have you burning through the pages faster than a brush fire.
McKenzie’s love life is a mess (understatement of the year!). She’s torn between her 10 year childhood crush on the “good guy”, Kyol and her kidnapper, Aren, the rebel leader. She spends a big chunk of the book being held against her will by the Court’s opposition where she’s bombarded with information that contradicts everything that she’s ever been told about the Fae. Lewis finds herself inexplicably drawn to her kidnapper and at first she chalks it up to a bad case of Stockholm Syndrome. I could definitely understand the attraction and her dilemma because Aren is a I-feel-weak-in-the-knees kind of sexy. The back and forth between these two is hysterical. They both have balls the size of coconuts and refuse to give an inch to the other’s will. In spite of McKenzie’s growing feelings towards the rebel and his convincing arguments that she’s been lied to for years; she refuses to waiver in her dedication to the king’s sword-master. That is until she learns to speak Fae and finds herself back at Court after her release. The truth hurts!
I adored McKenzie’s character in this novel! She’s a prized human among the Fae because her skills are nearly unmatched. Both sides want her as a ally or at least to use her as a weapon in their war. They’re prepared to offer her anything and everything in exchange for her allegiance. Lewis isn’t swayed by their generous bribes; she just wants to return to her world and lead a normal human life. She wants to finish her degree, get a job, settle down and have kids. You know, “normal” stuff. McKenzie’s fighting skills are sub-par but her fierceness of spirit and relentlessness to do the right thing is awe inspiring. She didn’t ask for any of this and doesn’t want it but as usual, fate has other plans. Such bravery too! McKenzie Lewis is a very appropriate name for this series.
The inner working of the Fae Court including the divisions of land and power were well thought out and engaging. This element added an extra level of depth to the story line. The Shadow Reader isn’t just a moving love story but also a thought provoking, politically laden tale of growth and change. This book will make your blood pressure rise, your eyes water and satisfy your need for gruesome battle scenes.
Sandy Williams may be a newcomer to the author scene but The Shadow Reader is not a clumsy, awkward first attempt at writing. The McKenzie Lewis tale is hers and hers alone to tell and she does it finesse and obvious talent. Don’t believe the hype surrounding this book because it’s better than just good it’s great.
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About the Blogger
I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada