Publication Date/Version: April 2010/Hardcover
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Age Group: Young Adult
Received From: Around The World Tours (Thanks!)
In a time of kings, queens, and conspiracy, it's impossible to know whom one can trust. . . .
In a kingdom far away and long ago, it was prophesied at her birth that the queen would die before her sixteenth birthday. So Shadow, an orphan girl the same age as the young queen, was given the duty to watch her every move. And as prophesies do tend to come true, the queen is poisoned days before her birthday. When the castle is thrown into chaos, Shadow escapes with a young knight, whom she believes was betrothed to the queen.
Unsure of why she is following Sir Kenway, but determined to escape as far as possible from the castle, her long-time prison, Shadow sets off on an adventure with the handsome knight who has been charged with protecting her. As mystery builds, and romantic tension does, too, Shadow begins to wonder what her role in the kingdom truly is. Soon, she learns, it is up to her to save her land.
Shadow has always been what her name implies. Seen by no one, following the queen around for her protection. But when the castle is invaded and the queen poisoned, Shadow must run away with Sir Kenway. She does not know where they are going, nor why, nor for what reason. She must trust him and those she meets. That's hard for a shadow with no feelings to do. How will she save her kingdom and those she loves?
Shadow was a good read. While I didn't find it to be unbelievably spectacular, it had a good plot and was a solid read. Older readers may find the writing too simple, but other elements propel the book along.
Shadow, the character, was easy to relate to. I find that I keep my emotions more guarded, as does she. Some may find her a bit too cold, however. Sir Kenway was both good and bad. His inability to see past class ranks was frustrating, but he showed his true kindness at other times. I would have appreciated more character development, as there were many interesting secondary characters. The plot pacing was a little off. There was a lot of traveling and searching, and then suddenly everything was revealed. I would have preferred things to be pieced together. It was, however, still an interesting story line.
I enjoyed the story as a whole, but individual parts were lacking. It was a good solid story, nothing wrong with it, but it wasn't a stunner. This is not a negative review. I enjoyed myself the entire time, but looking back it probably could have been better. I think slightly younger readers would enjoy this story, as it is simple and exciting.
Overall: Exciting plot. Simple writing. Good read.
My Advice: Borrow this from the library.
Cover: I believe that this cover appeals to a younger audience, as will the story. It fits well, in that case. I'm happy that the girl looks just as Shadow was described in the book.
*This was read as a part of the 100+ Reading Challenge