Review: Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan (spoiler-free)

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Synopsis:

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.

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was so excited to dive right into this book because I loved Sophie Jordan’s Firelight trilogy so much. Unfortunately, though, there were some things that fell a bit flat for me.

Don’t get me wrong, there were a lot of good parts to the story, but there were also parts that confused me and I thought needed more development. Let me give a brief intro first.

This is a Rapunzel retelling so naturally I was excited to read it. Our main character, Luna, lives in a world where light is only shown for an hour each day (they call it Midlight), leaving it dark the rest of the time. There are creatures called “dwellers” who roam the land and are dangerous predators to the humans. In the beginning, Luna is kept safe and hidden from the world in a tower but, like Rapunzel, she yearns to be outside and discover more about the world she lives in.

Then we meet Fowler who is on a journey to find a place where there is light and no dwellers. Personally, I loved it when Fowler was introduced and it was great to see his and Luna’s relationship grow throughout the book. There was no insta-love here and I really enjoyed the slow-burn romance during their adventure together.

Now onto some things that I didn’t like.

This book mainly focuses on Luna and Fowler’s journey together as they try to survive against the many dangers that await them. The book moves VERY slowly and not a lot happens throughout it. I was about 90% through the book when something actually happened, and just when I thought it was getting good, it ended. And on a cliff-hanger no less. Even though the sequel is already out, I found myself wanting more from the first book but unfortunately that didn’t happen.

Another big thing was the world building. I found the world that they lived in so interesting and I really wanted to know more about it!  Like, how did the eclipse come into place? How did dwellers plague the land? How are plants and trees surviving with only an hour of sun each day? I felt that these important points needed to be expanded on and I’m hoping they are explained more in the sequel!

Now, you’re probably wondering why I’ve given this book 4 stars but, in all honesty, I actually quite enjoyed it. I loved the concept and the relationship between the main characters, I’m excited to read the sequel and to see how it all ends for Luna and Fowler. I’m hoping the points above are explained in the sequel, so hopefully, that works out! I also can’t wait to see if they discover this other land that has no darkness or any lurking dangers and to hear more about Fowler’s past. Most importantly, I hope that Luna and Fowler can face what’s ahead of them and have their happily ever after.abbie

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