The Shadow by Sylvain Reynard – BECKY’S REVIEW

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WHY I READ IT

I fell in love with Raven and her Prince after I received a copy of The Raven. I was also given an advanced reader’s copy of The Shadow.

WHAT I RATED IT

off the charts

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her. In the wake of their reunion, Raven is faced with a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand. But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart… 

A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery. And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy. 

As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness…

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BECKY’S REVIEW 

First, an apology: I’m sorry Sylvain Reynard for being so hesitant to read The Raven. I can’t believe how long it took me and now I feel ashamed.

If you read The Raven, then you fell in love with Raven Wood and her Prince. You willingly entered the supernatural and paranormal world that Sylvain Reynard created deep within Florence. The Shadow continues the magic that Sylvain Reynard created in The Raven. Florence becomes even more darker and more dangerous now that Raven and William are together. In The Shadow, William and Raven must deal with elements from their past. As a birthday gift, William presents Raven with the opportunity to confront the horrors inflicted upon her by her step-father. William’s “gift” is a shock for Raven and the way that she handles it is admirable. Raven could have easily allowed William to murder her step-father, but instead she wants him to atone for his sins. This leads her to try and reach out once more to her sister. It’s heartbreaking to see Raven’s past dismissed so cruelly by her sister. It is also equally heartbreaking to learn that Raven’s sister isn’t the only person in Raven’s life who betrays her. I want to say more about this plot twist but I won’t because I was so surprised when it happened.

Like Raven, William also has to deal with his past and with betrayal. Sylvain Reynard tells us more about William’s life as a human as well as how and why he became a vampyre. Raven is the first woman since he was turned for whom William has cared. This is dangerous because it sets a series of events in motion. The larger plot to overthrow William is hinted at in The Raven. In The Shadow, the plot is realized and involves some unexpected players. William must work harder to not only protect his throne and his kingdom, but also his love. As a reader, I appreciate all of these elements that Sylvain Reynard masterfully weaves together to create this battle for power. There are so many twists and turns that my head was spinning.

William and Raven are characters that I love and adore. Sylvain Reynard creates characters whose relationship build with each book. In The Raven, William and Raven’s relationship is in it’s infancy; they both have to learn what it is like to hope and to love. In The Shadow, their relationship only matures. Suddenly, they have something valuable and it’s being threatened in from different opponents. Now they must learn to not only love and hope, but to also trust and sacrifice. This is reminiscent of Julia and Gabriel’s relationship. The Shadow ends in a cliffhanger; there will be a third book. If there is anything to be learned from Julia and Gabriel’s relationship, it’s that William and Raven will fight until they are reunited.

This is a series, that if you have not read yet you need to! If you read the Gabriel’s Inferno series, then you will love this series. Sylvain Reynard gives readers the opportunity to not only stay connected to Gabriel and Julia’s story but to also connect with new characters. There are also bonus “outtakes” from the Gabriel’s Inferno series at the end of The Shadow that should not be missed.

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