Thursday 12 January 2012

The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams (Shadow Reader #1)

Genres: New Adult, Fantasy/Paranormal, Adventure, Romance
Smut-O-Meter: 2 out of 10
My Rating: 4 out of 5


There can only be one allegiance.
It’s her time to choose.

Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.

A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.


Wow, I really didn't expect to like this so much! My confidence in my book choices was wavering lately, after reading a few disappointing books in a row. But this was awesome.

I was a little put off at first when I realized the story starts out with McKenzie already having worked for the Fae king for 10 years. And already being in love with Kyol for the past 10 years. And even though they are not together due to Fae laws, he is in love with her too. I found that very disappointing. Most of the appeal in paranormal romance, is seeing the couple meet and fall in love. I was a little worried where this was going to lead. But then, right in the first chapter, McKenzie is abducted by a Fae rebel leader, Aren. He is cocky and attractive and McKenzie cant help but notice. And then suddenly I see where things are headed. 

The first half of the book McKenzie is with the rebels and they are trying to convince McKenzie that their cause is just. That the Fae king and Kyol have been hiding things from her. McKenzie's thoughts and memories of Kyol give us a glimpse of the person she sees him as, and I didn't know who to believe. Our only real glimpse of Kyol was in the first chapter before she was abducted, so I couldn't help but sympathize with Aren. But as time goes by McKenzie does not waver in her devotion to Kyol, and even Aren is impressed. I was beginning to doubt as well. How could Kyol hide such things from her for so long?

About half way through, she is reunited with Kyol and I now know to pay close attention, to analyse his actions. But I couldn't find anything to hold against him, and neither does McKenzie. But she still cant stop thinking about Aren. She berates herself. Telling herself that she does not want to become one of those girls. A girl who cant decided between two men. Because if you cant choose one, you don't love either enough. I was sooo proud of her for that. Because I hate those girls too. After much tension and confusion and nail biting, all is revealed, and in the end McKenzie made her choice clear. And I think she made the right one. Now hopefully this love triangle can join the ranks of my favourite healthy love triangles, where the losing man bows out gracefully, but continues to protect the woman he loves with his life. Like Puck.

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