Title: A Tale of Stars and Shadow
Author: Lisa Cassidy
Published: June 2019
Amount Read: 100%
Rating: 7 out of 10
Blurb: Dumnorix princess and born warrior, Talyn Dynan was the finest fighter of her generation. With her Callanan partner at her side, she was invincible, reckless, a death-knell to their enemies. But after her partner is torn away from her, Talyn is left broken, wracked with guilt and unable to regain the confidence she once had. Could an unexpected mission to the mysterious country of Mithranar, home of the magical winged folk, be the thing that saves her? Or will the danger and secrets she finds there finally break her completely?
The Shadowhawk lives a life in the shadows. Constantly hunted for his criminal exploits, yet desperate to help the human folk of Mithranar who are oppressed by their winged folk rulers, he haunts the streets of Dock City. The arrival of a foreign warrior threatens to upset the carefully balanced life he leads, but when she begins to offer a hope for the humans he’s only ever dreamed of, can he risk trusting her?
And unbeknownst to both, a mysterious foe stalks the dark corners of Dock City. One that answers to a single purpose…
I’m going to try a little bit of a different review style this time around, just to see if I like this style better. So thanks for bearing with me as I try a more, list-like approach!
Overall, I really enjoyed A Tale of Stars of Shadow. It was a book that was easy to read and I found myself enjoying the experience. Did I fall completely in love with it? Unfortunately, no. But did I enjoy it enough to be glad I read it and look forward to picking up the sequel, one day? Yes, I did.
I just got really invested in all of the characters, but especially the Wolves. Talyn was really interesting and the way she saw the world and the way she interacted with it was enjoyable to read. But watching the Wolves come together and grow together? That was awesome. Fantastic character growth in this narrative.
I thought the world was really interesting (though I wouldn’t have minded a little bit more worldbuilding, personally). The dynamic between the humans and the winged folk was hard to read sometimes, but I thought it was really well portrayed and added a lot of dynamic and depth to the story.
I mean, I just really loved the Wolves and the they were written. People know I’m a sucker for the Found Family and Befriended Misfits tropes and their group definitely fits that bill.
I thought the pacing could have been a little better. It felt a little slow at the beginning and then really fast towards the ending, making the ending feel rushed, which robbed from the impact meant to happen at the epilogue’s reveal.
I think the plot got a little muddled in what it was meant to focus in on. I mean, I understood it, but what I thought was supposed to happen didn’t really happen, as we kept getting sidetracked by all of these other side quests, it felt like, when I really wanted to get to the meat and heart of the main conflict.
Though I think this was a side-effect of Talyn’s guilt and PTSD, with how much this was brought up, the repetition did get a little annoying, especially when I read the novel in larger chunks.
In sum, I thought A Tale of Stars and Shadows was an enjoyable read, despite it not being a perfect one. It gets a 3 out of 5 gems rating from me, with a 7 out of 10 in the SPFBO contest.