This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Berkley
Released on July 31, 2018
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.
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.
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