Monday, January 25, 2016

ARC Review: Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows #1)

About the Book:

Title: Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows #1)
Author: Sophie Jordan
Pub. Date: February 9th, 2016
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 304
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings, Romance
Rating: 3/5 stars


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.


Reign of Shadows has both good and bad points. I was excited to get into this because it's a fairytale retelling. Even though i read the entire book, I wouldn't know it was a retelling of Rapunzel if someone didn't tell me. I actually thought it was sleeping beauty at first. Reign of Shadows could stand alone as a fantasy book instead of take on the connotation of "fairytale retelling". 

Characterization is great in Reign of Shadows. I really got an insight into Fowler's past, actions, and feelings. He was captivating to learn about and I was never bored when I was reading from his POV. He's calculating, downright sexy, and sometimes caring. Unfortunately, I didn't care much for Luna. I was bored when reading from her POV and she really bothered me. She was super clingy but then she wanted her independence, the entire time it was a huge push and pull for those things. I just wanted to shake her and say "MAKE UP YOUR MIND". There are also the secondary characters that also receive sufficient descriptions. I wasn't left with any questions regarding any of the characters so that was really impressive. 

The biggest problem I had with this book was the instant attraction (or should I say obsession). Almost immediately after Luna met Fowler she didn't want to leave his side. Literally, she was in emotional distress that he wanted to leave her tower to get back to his life. Another big problem, I'm not sure if this is a spoiler but since it happened in the beginning of the book, was the unrealistic disability of blindness that Luna possesses. Apparently, her caregivers didn't notice she was blind till she was older. How incompetent of a caregiver do you have to be to NOT notice that a child isn't focusing on your face or whatever you're feeding them? And yes, I believe that the blindness heightened her other senses, but running through a dangerous forest slicing things with her sword? Hmm, I don't think so. 

So while I did have some problems with Reign of Shadows, it was a decent story for the mere 304 pages. If you're looking for a quick romance read and maybe don't really care if everything doesn't add up, Reign of Shadows is for you! I feel like this book would have been a super fun read if I was on the beach and drinking wine, which is not necessarily a bad thing! I love reading books that I don't have to think too much into when I'm few glasses deep and I'm at the pool or the beach. I think this book is perfect for that. If you like to do that too, I'd hold out on reading this till summer ;). 

- Jocelyn 


  1. Nice! Seeing some mixed reviews for this one, but I am still excited for it! As I love a good fairytale retelling or what-have-you! I didn't really pinpoint it as a retelling either until I saw it mentioned, but it just made me even more excited for it! Glad to hear you were able to enjoy it on some level despite a few hangups! Very nice review!

    1. Yes! I've heard mostly pretty good things which is why I was pretty excited to pick it up. Yeah, if I wasn't told it was a retelling I don't think I ever would have even guessed ... I hope you really enjoy it though since you are excited for it! I'm excited to read your review on it when that time comes :)

  2. Great review! I'm really looking forward to this one, I'm glad you enjoyed it, even though it wasn't perfect.

    1. I did enjoy it! I hope you like it much better than me though since you're really looking forward to it.

  3. I do like romance but it sounds like the rest of it is pretty okay. I am so not looking for okay. Nice review, though!

    1. hahaha yes you need amazing right now!! thanks for reading :)

  4. Thank you for reviewing this book. I recently got the ARC myself and I've had to put off reading it as I'm trying to get my way through a seemingly endless pile of unread books on my shelves. I've really been looking forward to reading it myself, but I really liked hearing someone else thoughts on it beforehand :)

    1. I'm glad you took the time to read my review! I'm excited to read your thoughts on it as well whenever you get the chance to read it! :)