Enveloping Shadows, by Lauren D.M. Smith

enveloping-shadows
Image belongs to Carina Press.

Lauren D.M. Smith is the author of The Emperor’s Arrow, winner of Harlequin’s 2015 So You think You Can Write contest. Her newest novel is Enveloping Shadows.

Terrwyn is a knight and the chief bodyguard of the princess. Her sword skills are all she needs. Until a stranger cloaked in darkness snatches the princess right in front of Terrwyn before she can even move. Now Terrwyn can no longer ignore the rumors of monsters and dark monsters as she sets out to rescue the princess.

All alone and in an unfamiliar land, Terrwyn cannot afford to refuse help from the mysterious stranger who steps from the shadows. Zelek, full of secrets and after the same man who kidnapped the princess, is a shadow-whisperer intent on avenging his family. Together, he and Terrwyn must face Zelek’s old enemy and a sorceress with a demon at her side if they are to save the princess and repay a debt from Zelek’s past,

I loved the premise of this book, and Zelek’s power was intriguing—he can talk to shadows! I also loved the idea of Terrwyn being a female knight, and that being no big deal at all in this world, even if slightly unusual. Zelek on the whole was a far more interesting character than Terrwyn, whom I found to be somewhat inconsistent:  experienced with men yet super shy with Zelek (this was more on the “Ah, how cute!” level than anything.), a stellar warrior who runs into situations without thought, super focused yet oblivious to the obvious at times. I liked the world itself a lot, and would be interested in reading more set in it, but the character inconsistencies and the caricature villains were troublesome for me.

(Galley provided by Carina Press.)

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