Author: Sandy Williams
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Series: McKenzie Lewis #1
Where did I get the book: Won through a giveaway
Summary (via Amazon):
There can only be one allegiance.
It’s her time to choose.
It’s her time to choose.
Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.
A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.
But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.
My Thoughts: I first heard about this book while browsing book related social media sites. The cover and synopsis caught my eyes immediately. At the time I was reading a lot of fae-related books like Seanan McGuire’s October Daye series and KMM’s Fever series. So I knew instantly that this was a book I was looking forward to read in 2011. Than just last month I entered a contest to win this year’s most anticipated reads, and to my gleeful surprise, I won The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams!
I won’t recap the story this time, since I think the synopsis does a good job already. Mrs. Williams does an amazing job of creating realistic characters and a world to match it. The fairies in this book are different from any other fairies that I have ever read. For example, when a fae and human interact with one another you can see “chaos lusters’’, small blue electric current flow around the skin. There was a lot of information to take in, but once you continue reading, it builds on top on one another for a better understanding.
McKenzie was a very likeable heroine. When she is captured by the rebel Aren, she does everything possible to escape. You have to admire her determination in never giving up, and her loyalty to the king and Kyol. As you will come to see there is competition for Mckenzie, between the rebel Aren and the faithful King’s sword-master Kyol. She keeps going back and forth on who to trust and fights her feeling for both men. I usually don’t like love-triangle much but even I at some point don’t know which man she should choose. Yes, they are both that appealing! I also really love the secondary characters; they all have their own distinct personalities.
This is Mrs. William’s debut novel. Although her writing, the world and characters that she has created, you would have thought that she’s been doing it for a long time. I loved everything about this book. The first page will grab your attention, and you won’t be putting this book down till you finish it. The action starts immediately, there was never a dull moment in the book. Mrs. William is definitely going on my auto-buy list. If you’re looking for a strong-snarky heroine, a sexy sword-master and a hot rebel leader, look no further! I recommend this book to all urban fantasy fans, Run don’t walk to your nearest book store! This is by far my favorite book of 2011; I can’t wait for the next book!