Review: Shadow’s Bane by Karen Chance

Posted August 9, 2018 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 27 Comments

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Shadow’s Bane by Karen Chance
Shadow's Bane

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three-flames

Series: Midnight’s Daughter #4
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Berkley
Released on July 31, 2018
Pages: 624
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley

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The Delight

As one of the series that started me along the Urban Fantasy path, I definitely have a soft spot for the Dorina Basarab (or Midnight’s Daughter) as the series is sometimes called.  The action, twists, and tougher than anything heroine in the fabulous world the author created once again pulled me in and had me utterly riveted so many times.

Review

Shadow’s Bane is the fourth book in a companion series to the author’s Cassie Palmer series.  Each of these books must be read in order.  They can be read without picking up the other series, but they also work even better when read alongside the other series.  Definitely not standalones.

And, now, I must confess that this one took a while to wholly grab me.  Part of the reason is that I didn’t do a re-read of the series leading into this one even though its been a few years since the last books release causing me to be hazy on where we last left things.  I remembered enough not to be terribly lost, but yes, I should have done a refresher.

Secondly, the book seemed to be wandering at first and this was a huginormous chunk of a story.  It felt loose for a long while as I wondered how all the colorful scenes with Dory and the gang around her was going to fit together.  And, besides the shifting present day scenes and prodigious amount of characters, scenes from the past were slipped between the present storyline along with a secondary storyline told by another lead character.

So, it took me a while to get things sorted and figure out what was going one, but then it really got rolling and I was left gasping with amazement and excitement as the plot tightened up and delivered an amazing story.  The grand finale had so many twists that I’m still reeling from them.

The heroine has always been a tough gal and something of an island to herself even with the romance with Louis-Cesare, but this book finally plumbed the depths of her and provided delicate introspective moments, explained her history completely, and left her somewhat raw and exposed as she went about her usual try to save the world while nearly getting killed or outclassed in power and strength.  Dory’s vulnerability was palpable and it made her no less strong than before.  I loved how she was written in this one.

Louis-Cesare was as swoon-worthy sexy and incredibly perfect for Dory as ever.  He weathered a lot from her and with her in this one.  Meanwhile, best bud Claire has her own storm to ride out and she and Dory have each other’s backs as always.

The big fun surprise came not from the vamps or the fey- though they were always a fun addition- but from the trolls.  I am now officially on team troll.  Quirky personalities and just the group you want when you need to go up against a powerful enemy.

And, yes, the villain is amazingly powerful and a more than worthy opponent that is a true and worthy enemy for Dory and the others.

So, while the beginning took me a bit to get into and took a bit to get rolling, the rest more than made up for it in a flash of stunning Urban Fantasy storytelling.  I can heartily recommend this series to all who love action packed, twisting plots, colorful characters, and a vivid landscape.

My thanks to Berkley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges

Romance Roundabout #246 UF
New Release #118
COYER Summer #41

Recommendations

  

Preview

 
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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • Ah, it has been so long since I read this series. I think I would need to revisit from book one. I have been reading Cassie’s books. Great review.

    Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

    • It had been a while for me and I definitely struggled at first as a result. I loved the earlier ones in the Cassie series, but some of the latest ones made me impatient. The last one ended up better and got the plot moving forward again. Hopefully, there won’t be so much time between releases going forward as she put the last Cassie and this Dory out a year apart.

      • I feel the same way about Cassie. I’m kinda hoping that the series ends soon. It seems to be have been going on forever without any real movement. And yes, the time between books hurts it too.

        Melanie @ Hot Listens & Books of My Heart

        • Exactly! This war with fairie and with the black circle just sits churning in the distance while Cassie runs to and fro in time and around Vegas. And, in the Dory series, the war is closer and the book installments aren’t so many as to be annoying, but still not much further on the war. At least Dory’s love life isn’t so up in the air like Cassie’s. Yeah, I’m ready for a finale. 😉

  • Debbie Haupt

    Sophia Rose this is a new author/series to me. It does look good. So you think a refresher would have amped up the enjoyment level?

    • Yay, glad to introduce you. I was captivated from the first Dory book, Midnight’s Daughter.

      Yes, my struggle was definitely mostly due to remembering what had been happening earlier in the series. It’s been 2-3 years since the last book and I only remembered some aspects of the plot.

  • I’m glad you enjoyed this one, Sophia. This is an author I have been wanting to try. Especially with the Kate Daniels series wrapping up, I am looking for a comparable UF series. Any suggestions you have would be welcome!

    Great review. I’m glad the ball eventually got rolling for you. 🙂

    • Sure! Happy to, Angie! I think this series would definitely be comparable to Kate Daniels with the tough heroine and all the paranormal races. I actually did it backward when I started out. I read Midnight’s Daughter first and didn’t realize this was a spin-off companion series and there was an important novella, Buying Trouble that should have been read first. Here’s the GoodReads Link with all the short stories, novellas, and books in the best order to read them: https://www.goodreads.com/series/95117-cassandra-palmer-world

  • Vamps, fey and trolls. This sounds like a series I might like. I do love a good twist.

  • This is a new one for me. It sounds like a great series to dive into.

    • It’s a lot of action and fun. One of my fav UF.

  • Sounds like a good book!

    • These are a blast, Nasreen! Hope you get the chance.

  • I need to read this one. I used to really enjoy this series

    • It is so easy to be distracted b/c of the time between release dates. They are still a lot of fun when you get the chance, Melliane.

  • I don’t know why these series haven’t been on my radar much. I know I have read reviews(probably yours!) but just never tried them. I might even own one. I do like a good, tough UF heroine! Sorry the beginning was so slow though.

    • For some reason – and I suspect it is the distance between releases- both series go below the radar. Both share the same world and some crossover characters, but I confess to being a bigger Dory fan than Cassie’s. I think you’d enjoy the early part of the series for sure though things bog down a bit in the later books (Cassie’s).

  • I’ve got this series on my TBR. It looks awesome. Thank’s for the review.

    • Definitely something for you to look forward to, Angela. 🙂

  • I haven’t read many books with trolls. You have me curious to see what role they play in this story!

    • Yeah, I haven’t either, Crystal. These are not the under the bridge sort of trolls, but more like the JRR Tolkien sort. Loads of fun. 🙂

  • Awwwe love kickass strong girls!

  • I have a few series like that where I’ll definitely need a refresher before I carry on. These do sound good. Thanks for the read in order heads up 🙂

    • Yeah, I learned my lesson about thinking I’d do alright if I just dove in. Too many little details that were slightly important. LOL
      Fun series and worth the re-read, too.
      You bet. If you do end up wanting to try, follow the reading order on GR for ‘The Cassie Palmer World’ so you get how both series work together best. There is a little novella ‘Buying Trouble’ that definitely goes best for the Dory series.