Title: Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows #1)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Release Date: February 9, 2016
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
A world of darkness. A love that shines.
Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness, and in the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, the kingdom’s lost princess, has been locked away in a tower in the cursed Black Woods ever since. Luna’s survival depends entirely on the world believing she is dead...
But that doesn’t stop Luna from longing for a life beyond the stifling tower walls. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer who has braved the Black Woods in search of a land where the sun still shines, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk.
When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is far more treacherous than Luna ever realized. Hideous, flesh-hungry creatures lurk behind every corner and each stranger they encounter has frightening ulterior motives.
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.
Every now and then I will pick up a review book on the cover alone - without reading the description. They can sometimes be spoilery, and I like having a fresh take on a book, as long as I know the genre. Because of this, Reign of Shadows was a pleasant surprise for me. I went into the story completely blind (which was fitting), and I got to learn about the world along with Luna. She had never strayed far outside of her tower, and Relhok is an interesting and very dangerous place.
I feel like the purpose of Reign of Shadows was to get to know Luna and the world of the story. Yes, Fowler had his own POV, but Luna was very much the focus of the story. She has to learn how to navigate life outside of her tower, as well as how to handle people other than Sivo and Perla, who raised her.
The world in Reign of Shadows is like nothing I have ever read. Sophie Jordan could have easily made this a vampire book, but I am so glad that she didn't. Every eon (or whatever) or so, an eclipse comes and darkens the world for an extended period of time. The current eclipse has lasted for seventeen years, and there is only one hour of quasi-light each day. While it is dark, there are creatures called dwellers that wander the earth, killing and eating everything they find. Let's just say the description of them is unnerving. This is not a literary world that I would like to visit.
There is a bit of romance in the story. I mean, of course you can't have a girl locked in a tower her whole life with only her adoptive parents and meet a boy without something coming about. Then you have to remember that she's young and beautiful, and there aren't a lot of teenage girls running around a dark, desolate world. I didn't dig the romance in the other Sophie Jordan book that I read, but I was so on board for Luna and Fowler. Yes, I was swooning.
If you don't have Reign of Shadows on your TBR or pre-ordered, you need to take another look at it. It is a wonderful fantasy/romance novel, and I think it will be enjoyed by adults just as much as teens. You should do yourself a favor and get your hands on this book in February.
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.