Thursday, February 25, 2016

#Thursday Review - Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan (Young Adult, Fantasy)

Series: Reign of Shadows # 1
Format: E-Galley, 304 pages
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Publisher
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

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

Reign of Shadows
, by Sophie Jordan, could be considered the retelling of Rapunzel, but with a twisted take on the main protagonist. It is a world where eternal darkness has been in effect for the last seventeen years thanks to an Eclipse. Coincidentally, that is also the age of Princess Luna, the surviving daughter of the former King of Relhok. Reign of Shadows has been compared to everything from Rapunzel, to Pitch Black, to Daredevil. The former two being because Luna is portrayed as being blind her whole life. 

Reign of Shadows is told in alternating first person narratives between Luna, and a boy named Fowler. More about him shortly. Luna's life hasn't been all that easy. From barely surviving the night of a thousand knives, to being spirited away by her caretakers Perla and Sivo, to living in a far off tower deep in the Black Woods that is famous for being cursed. Her guardians are extremely protective of Luna, and for good reason. If the secret of her survival ever got out, the fake King would waste every resource he has in order to kill her. 

So, Luna does what any overprotective teenager her age would do. She escapes into the night, and ends up saving the mysterious Fowler and two others from creatures called Dwellers who rule the night. Some of the most outspoken reviewers I know have complained about Luna being a special snow flake. I think we need to take 3 steps back and take a deep breath. Fine, Luna has some mad skills even though she is blind. But, what we are forgetting, is that she has been trained by Sivo from an early age to hunt, and to survive, and to use her remaining senses for all they're worth. 

So, when the author says she has keen senses, who are we to disagree? Did you bitch and moan about Daredevil? Why is it that female protagonists are expected to take the walk of shame back into the darkness because we haven't walked a mile in her shoes and don't believe this is possible? You do know this is fantasy, right? Alas, I am going to swallow my pride about insta-love situations this time around. Think about it. Luna has been pretty much isolated her entire life. So, finding friendship and them romance with Fowler isn't all that shocking, right?

Now, Fowler. Fowler isn't all that hard to review. He is the son of a powerful man. No spoilers! He's seen and done things that Luna can't hold a candle to. He's lost someone he loves, and had enough. So, finding him in the forest on a journey to a far off land is just plain coincidental. Accepting fate by taking Luna with him on that journey, is just good for the soul. Jordan does a decent job of keeping up the angst between Luna and Fowler for a large portion of the story. Then, events bring the two together. What more do I need to say? Oh, yeah, there is a helluva cliffhanger ending!  

1 comment:

  1. Nice! Hearing awesome things about this one! and that dreadful cliffhanger. And that's what's keeping me from picking this one up asap! Though I do love fairy tale retellings, so I'll read it eventually! Maybe binge it with it's next and final book! Very nice review!