Book Talk: The Shadow Reader/ Sandy Williams

I did not want to put down this fast-paced urban fantasy once I started reading. It has the right amount of fantasy, romance and adventure to keep me interested.

McKenzie is a shadow reader. She can pinpoint the location a fae can transport/ “fissure” to by seeing the shadows of their locations. This special skill makes her a valuable asset in tracking down enemies to the fae king and his court. Helping the Court is not the only reason why she is involved with the fae; his name is Kyol and he is the king’s sword-master.

When McKenzie gets kidnapped by Aren, who is part of the rebels, Kyol and the kings guards actively try to find her. The rebels want to overthrow the king, and they need McKenzie’s help. She refuses to give in, but slowly she begins to see that the Court for what it really is and realize to whom her loyalty lies.

Thoughts and sentiments
I was surprised that this was the first book. I felt there was so much more to the backstory of McKenzie and Kyol. I really wanted to know how they met. There seems to be a history there, because why else would McKenzie pine away ten years for him?

There is nonstop action. There is never a moment throughout the whole book that I felt McKenzie can take a breather. And wow, the scenes with McKenzie and Aren crackle with electricity or should I say edarratae? 😉 They really had amazing chemistry, and I can see a future for them.

Despite my rooting for Aren and McKenzie, I could not overlook these two things about Aren:

1. He did not keep his promise. Earlier on, he made a bet with McKenzie, and in all fairness, she won. If he couldn’t follow through, he shouldn’t be making promises to begin with. Since she was such an asset to the Court, I knew that there was no way he was going to let her go.

2. What really bothered me was that he was the one who held a sword to her throat. First of all, in that given situation, he was forcing McKenzie to shadow read for him. I understand the situation was dire, but shadow reading was something she was not willing to do, and in her last moment, she was still strong enough to rip up what she had drawn. Secondly, did Aren have to be the one to hold that sword? I would have preferred if he stood by while she was threatened. It would have made an equal frightening impact on McKenzie without making it as twisted as it seems (her ending up with the guy who is not afraid to kill her).

I was satisfied with the ending. Sure, I felt there were unspoken words between Kyol and McKenzie, but he still gave her up. I’m left hopeful for the future of Aren & McKenzie and the reorganization of the Court’s wartime forces.

Finally, imagine my surprise when I looked up the author’s page and found out the sequel came out on October 30! I know what’s next on my reading list.

The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

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