Review by: Amanda Wilcox
Circle of Shadows is a book that I thought sounded interesting, but not like anything too special. Oh, was I wrong. This fantasy tale was far more captivating than I had imagined. The world building, plot and characters were all done really well, which is rare. I found this to be a pretty fun read, although a bit slow paced.
Circle of Shadows followed a group of 4 friends as they tried to protect the Empress Aki and their home Kichona from a magical attack stronger than anything they knew to exist. I loved the way it was written. A third person omniscient narrator worked really well for this novel. While the point of view switched between the main characters, sometimes it would include a POV from someone else, like Empress Aki, which helped give a rounded view of the entire story. We got to know each character, but it also kept me reading as I kept wanting to return to certain character’s chapters.
The fantasy world built was done well. The way magic was used in the story was fascinating. There were parts of it that were horrifying, like a ball of insects used to attack people, and other parts that were much more fun, like invisibility or characters chanting a mantra to have their senses heightened like a certain animal’s. As the traditional magic of the taigas came against the much more powerful and new magic of the ryuu, it seemed like an impossible task to defend Empress Aki and Kichona.
The characters were a lot of fun to read about. I loved how the band of four friends acted. They were a bit rebellious, but it was all in good fun. They would pull off elaborate pranks and were not super uptight heroes. They were unlikely charactrs for the center of a story, but that is what made them so great to read about. They were not super deep, multi-layered characters, but it worked because this story was more plot driven. The interesting relationships between the characters made for an interesting sub-plot, and the way the book ended there is clearly going to be more in the next book about their relationships.
Overall, Circle of Shadows was a surprisingly good fantasy read. I did not expect much from this for some reason, but I was happily surprised. The characters, plot and fantasy world were all good. The writing was good and everything was described so well that I could easily visualize the entire story. I want to continue with this series, but the author has other books that I really want to check out. After reading this book I can’t wait to check out Evelyn Skye’s other fantasy series The Crown’s Game. This was my introduction to Evelyn Skye’s work and I am very impressed.
About the Author
Amanda Wilcox is a voracious reader and loves writing in all forms. She has written reviews of various books for the past four years. She also runs her own book review blog where she creates content related to the book community and publishes her reviews. She lives in Rochester, NY and is often found with a book in her hand and her dog on her lap. You can follow her blog connect with her on Twitter: @mankaa23