39938149Circle of Shadows (Circle of Shadows #1) by Evelyn Skye

ARC received via Edelweiss for a  fair review.
Publish date: January 22, 2019

DNF at 30% – No star rating due to incompletion of book.

Sora and Daemon, her gemina, or bonded warrior are about to graduate to be taiga warriors. But before they graduate the once thought to be dead Prince Gin is spotted by the pair.


The Story

This book sounded so good. I am not sure if it’s just me, but I just can’t read it anymore, maybe it gets better, maybe not. At 30% I was already starting to speed read and skim as I just didn’t even care anymore. Partly because there was so much repetition of the character’s thoughts, histories, and how their relationship was. On top of all that the writing was drowning in similes. As much as I like vast descriptive worlds, too much time was spent describing all the details of areas being passed through, or outfits being worn. Less time could have been spent describing buildings and floors that weren’t necessary as to moving the plot along. With that being said, the story also felt choppy. The chapters were very short and were split between at least 5 people so the story felt disjointed.

The World Building

I am a sucker for Japanese culture, and I love that this fantasy world was derived from Japanese inspiration. From the taiga’s seeming like a ninja/samurai combo with magic, to the names, and mannerisms. My favorite part was that the warriors were each in pairs that they were bonded too so they could feel their emotions and can help calm them, etc. I am not exactly sure if it’s all that beneficial to be honest, but I loved the companionship. Maybe there was more to the bonds, but I didn’t get far enough to see. But that was the only thing I did like in the world building. The magic itself was interesting, but was a little obscure. The taigas would simply place their thumb to their fourth finger and say something like “eyes like a hawk” two or three times and it would enhance their magic to see farther (or other animal like traits). However, there was at one point where the commander of the taiga’s didn’t even use the magic but asked for a spyglass. I thought that was a little strange.

The Characters

I hate all their nicknames. I just can’t. What is the purpose of them? Broomstick? Seriously? Even though he grows up to be a big teddy bear, to me that just encourages young kids to tease others. As someone who was really thin as a kid (no matter what I ate, though I was asked if I was fed at home a few times) I can tell you that it can be hurtful to call someone a stick or anything relating to that. I’m not going to go on a rant here, just thought the nicknames were unnecessary. Considering the characters are kids in a special warrior school they seemed rather immature at times, I guess I expected more from them. But not everyone can be Elias Veturious.


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