Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Series: Reign of Shadows #1
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.
With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadowsis Sophie Jordan at her best.
He was naked.
I inhaled his scent and it was stronger, proof that not a stitch of clothing covered his body. The salt and musk of his skin hit me sharper than before—and something else. Another scent that was indecipherable to me. I felt it as much as I smelled it. It was raw and deep and visceral. My skin almost ached from the presence of it, pulling tight and breaking out into gooseflesh. My stomach knotted like a thousand butterflies were rioting inside me.
This book is a retelling of Rapunzel, the difference being that the MC is TSTL (too stupid to live) and succumbs to insta-love despite the fact that she’s blind. Truly an amazing feat.
I wanted to hear more about him. I wanted him to talk about his life. I wanted to know about where he came from, what he’d seen, the people, including the girls who had or had not seen him naked.
Sophie Jordan has written historical romances before, and I’m beginning to think she should stick to that genre and not YA fantasy. A book entirely filled with lurve is completely acceptable (and even appreciated) in an HR, not so much in a fantasy.
This book – I don’t even know where to start. First of all, it’s your standard girl-wants-more-than-her-provincial-life Disney tale meets Bad Boy whom she immediate falls for. There’s nothing notable in that. Furthermore, it just plain old doesn’t make sense. Within the first page, I was going “wtf,” I mean, tell me, does this make any sense to you?
My hearing had long adapted to the darkness.
Like, what does that even mean? Unless there’s some special sense in this fantasy world, light doesn’t make an appreciable effect on one’s ability to hear. That’s just sloppy.
Then there’s the blindness. Having a main character with such an impairment presents an opportunity to describe how she uses her other senses to survive. This book did not partake of that advantage. Luna is so fucking competent at doing everything. Chopping food. Cooking. She can even sense when she swings a knife.
I reacted without thought. My hand snatched the knife that I used to cut the bread. My fingers circled the hilt unerringly, fitting it perfectly within my grip. It hissed as I swung it, stopping the serrated blade before his throat.
She can walk through a forest perfectly and more competently than one with sight, which would have been perfectly acceptable considering this world is shrouded in darkness, but then there’s the fact that she’s barely been outside of a stone’s throw from the tower where she lives.
She followed close behind me, moving noiselessly. “You walk like you’re part of the night.” The words escaped me like an accusation. It didn’t make sense to me. How could a sightless girl be so proficient at maneuvering this terrain?
I don’t mean to question the abilities of the blind. I know that they are capable of many things, but the way this blind character is portrayed in this book is completely unrealistic.
And the romance. Good god, the romance was awful. Luna couldn’t stop thinking about Fowler from the moment she met him, and trust me, she has way more important things to think about than how he looks.
“And what of him?” I asked before good sense came over me. “What is he like? I already know he’s tall and strong of form—”
“Aye, his face is fine enough to draw the female eye. Not that there are too many your age left to admire him.”
At that sobering reminder, I pressed my mouth shut. How could I worry about such trivial things when the world was what it was?
Luna just never stops. For someone who’s never even seen his face, she thinks about him constantly. Gratingly. If romance were an odor, this book could suffocate the reader with it.
My awareness of him burned a path through me. I brushed a stray strand of hair back from my cheek and tried to pretend I didn’t feel his stare. And yet, like an animal aware of something else in its orbit, I knew he was there, watching me, thinking about our last encounter and the truth of my existence.
And it doesn’t stop with Luna. Her love interest, Fowler, is yet another lineup in the list of FICTIONAL MALES WHOSE THOUGHT PROCESSES ARE OBVIOUSLY THAT OF A TEENAGED GIRL.
Again, I’m not saying that guys can’t feel things. That they can’t wonder about their love, that they are incapable of floral words.I’m just saying that this shit is too much, yo.
She reminded me of a flower that used to bloom in Relhok. The scarlet buds once dotted the hills outside Relhok City. They were wrapped up in my earliest recollections, tangled amid memories of sunshine on my skin. The flower had faded from existence a few years after the eclipse, like so many things since then.
*rolls eyes* Pass on this book.