ARC Review

A Fast Paced Interesting Start to a YA Fantasy Series that *JUST* Fell Short of Expectations | ARC Review: Circle of Shadows (Circle of Shadows #1) by Evelyn Skye

A thrilling new fantasy series full of magic and betrayal—from Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of the Crown’s Game series.

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.

So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart forever.

Disclaimer: I was provided with an ARC copy of the book by Harper Collins India in exchange for an honest review. However, all the thoughts, feelings and opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Okay.. This review will be a little jumbled up and a whole lot of ramblings – so please forgive me in advance.

Circle of Shadows had my attention, ever since I came across it on #bookstagram – it looked fun, adventurous and inspired by Asian traditions and at times even its culture (the magical aspect in the book took a lot from Indian traditional dance culture!) – so I was excited to dive into this book.

The book starts off with a bang – fast paced, interesting and fascinating as heck. I enjoyed getting to know the characters and their relationships/friendships with each other as well as the whole background or rather foundation building plotting style of the book + there were multiple PoVs in the book; and as ya’ll know it definitely hit the sweet spots for me!

Till the book hit the 50% mark and somehow it just.. pretty much all lost steam.

Don’t get me wrong, the plot was still interesting; but there were quite the few repetitive instances that played havoc with my attention – it was so easy to be distracted by other books – which is a shame because Circle of Shadows started off with a brilliant promise.

Another reason I somehow never connected with the second half of the book is the romance – it was chaotic, choppy and absolutely had unnecessary drama that I was left gobsmacked and definitely not in a good way. I would have honestly preferred the subtle way of handling the romance; rather throwing unnecessary drama of a third person in it.

It was the climax that somehow did make up for the lag in the second half of the book – picking up the plot pace right at the show down made sure that my heart was pounding and definitely caught my interest in a whole lot better way than the second half did.

I am not sure I would recommend this one or not – all I would say is that while Circle of Shadows didn’t exactly match up to my expectations; it certainly made a mark enough for me to keep a lookout for the sequel to this book –  Cloak of Night.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ .75



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