Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows #1)
By: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: February 9th, 2016
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.
The problem with Reign of Shadows starts at the end. It finishes out at around 300 pages, which felt immensely short for a fantasy novel, or any novel with substance, and the cliff hanger felt more like the end of a chapter. If I hadn’t seen that the page numbers went from 292 to 293, I would have thought the end of my copy had been chopped off.
But let’s go back a little ways, to see what built up this, let’s call it interesting, ending. There is Luna, who is rather unoriginally named given that she was born when the eclipse started, and Fowler, who’s name makes me think of birds. They fall into the cliched relationship of the unassuming, naive, and sheltered young girl and the rough around the edges and emotionally numb, except where the chick is involved, bad boy. On top of this, Luna has the characteristic of being a self sacrificing dumb dumb and decides that turning herself into to a crazy man who likes killing would be a good idea because it might, but probably won’t, stop said murdering. This also plants her and Fowler in a more dangerous than usual situation. In addition, she has some magical extra-heightened senses because of her blindness, which go above and beyond the expected compensation of her other senses due to her disability.
As for the world, I felt that it wasn’t completely thought out. Yeah its a cool idea, having a girl trapped in a tower hidden in the woods in a world cast in darkness. However, if the eclipse has been going on as long as they say it has, then why are all the trees still growing? What do the little herbivore forest creatures eat? And how can grass be green if there is no sunlight? Also, people need vitamin D to survive and sunlight plays a major role your body’s production of it. So, its a cool concept, but only if you have the ability to suspend your belief in basic science.
However, the book still gets two stars because I finished it. I just wish that I had liked Fowler and Luna a little more. When looking at continuing the series, I can’t tell yet if the cliff hanger, the mystery of how Luna’s blindness is connected to the eclipse, or the resolution to the Chancellor’s reign of terror is compelling enough to pick up the next book.
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Disclaimer: The synopsis and cover picture were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. Neither belong to us. A review copy was provided through Around the World ARC Tours.