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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

REVIEW: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan

At the opening of Reign of Shadows, readers learn that a perpetual eclipse has left the kingdom of Relhok in near darkness for some seventeen years. During the chaos, a corrupt chancellor murdered the king and queen, usurping the throne. Luna is Relhok's lost princess, raised in secret in a fortefied tower and her very existence hinges on the world believing she's dead. Luna longs for a more fulfilling life than being locked in a tower waiting until she might reclaim the throne.  Trained as royalty and to defend herself, her situation is unique given that she is blind.

Enter Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the trecherous woods outside the tower. Luna is immediately drawn to him despite all the risks.  When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape and embark on a dangerous journey toward safety. Over time they find solace in each other, especially when they learn that each harbors some enlightening secrets. When Luna discovers that the new king is executing young girls, hoping to snuff out rumors of a remaining heir, she is determined to turn herself in despite Fowler's protests.

The cover is gorgeous and the story is pretty entertaining.  I enjoyed the chemistry and building relationship between Luna and Fowler. There were a few tiny missteps for me.  I wanted the world building to be a smidge more realized.  I felt like there could have been more development here. I want to know the whys!  Luna is the typical feisty female protagonist with a huge destiny but has been so sheltered her entire life that she is bursting at the seams for adventure and a greater sense of purpose.  I was thrilled that Jordan wrote Luna with a bit of diversity. There aren't many blind leading ladies.  That said, even with Luna's "enhanced senses" much of her behavior isn't plausible despite the novel's fantasy connections.

I'm intrigued enough by that surprise cliffhanger ending to want to read the next book. Overall, this is a good middle school to older teen read. It's probably going to skew toward female readers but there is appeal for boys since their are alternating point of view.

Final rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Follow the author on Twitter: @SoVerySophie

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