Author: Kristen Martin
Series: Shadow Crown (Book 1)
Paperback: 434 pages
Publisher: Black Falcon Press; I edition (October 3, 2017)
For most people, the act of killing is intangible. Unfathomable.
But not for seventeen-year-old Arden Eliri.
Having been involved in Cruex assassination attempts as a mere child, killing is a natural disposition for her. Growing up without parents, in a castle ruled by an iron-fisted king, is the furthest thing from a fairy tale, as is being forced into the Cruex, the king’s group of hand-selected assassins. But with each passing year, she comes to enjoy the act of killing more and more.
Kill or be killed—she chooses the former.
A decade ago, King Darius Tymond banished The Caldari—those who practice illusié, or old magick—from Trendalath Kingdom, ensuring that no Caldari will ever step foot in his kingdom again. But Arden discovers otherwise after a dual-assigned mission goes horribly awry. Even more startling, she discovers that she may have more in common with the Caldari than she’s been led to believe.
Arden wants to trust that King Tymond’s intentions are pure, but as their pasts collide in unexpected ways, the quicker she realizes the consequences and dangers of his reign. But Arden is also hiding something—something that threatens her very existence—and she’ll have to face her inner darkness and conquer it before it destroys her . . . and the kingdom she’s come to call her home.
What I thought: It took some getting used to having Arden’s POV be in first person while the others in third, but she was consistent. What I liked was the way each of the characters’ story lines intertwined. I am a sucker for moments like these (which is probably why I devoured Once Upon a Time for as long as I did). There were a lot of plot twists that left me surprised as well as hinting at more things to come, which is literally why I am looking forward to the next book. I really liked Arden’s internal struggle – it’s the biggest question I am left with and why I want to continue reading to see what happens next. I like that Kristen’s heroine is not a typical one. I know plenty of people complain that Arden is not likeable – I honestly didn’t care if she was. I found her interesting so I want know more about her journey. Personally I am hoping for more of a romantic subplot down the road, but the characters’ paths need to lead them there organically and I feel like that’s going to take some time.
The Quote: How am I going to read all of these? There simply isn’t enough time.
Why I chose it: I mean – I am pretty sure every reader has felt the weight of this thought at least once, or twice, or a million times. Or just every time you see a pretty, shiny new book.
About the Author: