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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Review: Lord of Shadows by Alix Ricklof

Lord of ShadowsLord of Shadows 
Heirs of Kilronan Trilogy #2
by Alix Ricklof
Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
Expected publication: June 28th 2011 by Pocket
ISBN 1439170371
Courtesy of publisher
Who is working the demon arts . . .                                   Was it her murdered father? Her fugitive brother? It has been seven years since Lady Sabrina Douglas cloistered herself with the Sisters of High Danu, but the questions remain. She is Other—a mixture of Fey and mortal—quietly using her powers to heal. That is, until she saves a half-drowned man, his soldier’s body a roadmap of scars, his fathomless eyes filled with heartbreaking loneliness. The inexplicable connection overwhelms her defenses, touching her heart, mind . . . and body.                                               . . . and to what end?                                                            A man with no memory, Daigh MacLir seeks his past even as unknown threats fill him with monstrous rage and inhuman abilities. But as a desperate game of hunter and hunted is played out from ballrooms to bedrooms, what Daigh discovers is more chilling than anyone could possibly imagine. Defying death was only the first step in the task he has been given, and Sabrina is his last hope. But dare he risk involving her? Daigh has been summoned to find an ancient king, and even the powers of love may not be enough to win the battle against the powers of darkness.

My Thoughts:
In a regency world where others are ostracized and the Fae have fled this realm spurning their magical offspring, an evil force has plans to raise the dead and take back the world for the others.
Daigh MacLir, named by the High Priestess of Danu, washes ashore with no recollections of who he is or how he got there. When he awakes though to the beautiful Lady Sabrina Douglas administrations, he knows he has met her before and feels an instant connection with her. With her help maybe he can find the key to his past and the reason for the scars that riddle his body. But when he realizes that he is not truly alive and was sent on a chilling mission by a monster to uncover the location of an ancient king who could change the world as they know it, he cannot risk having Sabrina near. Will he loose her forever by pushing her away for her own safety? Or will he loose much more than the love of both his lives?

I really wanted to love Lord of Shadows but the story just didn’t capture my attention. I pretty much have the same opinion of it as I did the first novel, Earl of Darkness. You can check out my review of that *here*. As in the first novel, the author uses numerous new terms without providing a glossary or even explaining the meanings when used in the story. This makes it very hard to get into a story when you don’t understand half of what is going on or who/what characters are referring to.The story arc itself is good and had potential, the characters could have really been great but the author’s writing style just did not work for me. Besides the above issues, the writing was overly descriptive and dragged the plot down. There were also numerous sentence fragments keeping the story from flowing smoothly.  

I did like each of the main characters though; I was intrigued by Lazuarus/Daigh in the first novel and found his background and current situation fascinating. He was well developed with many dimensions, and I became invested in his plot to figure out his past and future. He is dark, sexy, protective, mysterious and scarred inside and out. Him and Sabrina were a good fit and they balanced each other very well. Their relationship developed at a good pace and it was rife with twists and turns, trust, betrayal and passion.
Sabrina herself was well written, as Aidan, the Lord of Kilronan’s younger sister though I never quite understood the animosity she had towards her eldest brother and her assumptions where him and his wife Cat were concerned. However, I did like her commitment to Daigh from the start, she didn’t fully trust Daigh but she stuck by him through thick and thin.
There were a few specific scenes where we saw glimpses of Daigh's past that confused me and I wasn’t happy with the explanation given for these occurrences. It just seemed thrown together and I was still left confused. 
Though Maelodor, the villain, finally confronts the characters and we see just how evil and twisted he is. He is a truly creepy character that made my skin crawl; or maybe it was the snake! 

Lord of Shadows can be read as a standalone but when Sabrina’s brothers’ show up a few scenes might confuse because they refer to incidents that happened in Earl of Darkness, I do recommend reading both novels in order if you would like the full story. Despite the number of faults I would still consider this a good book, if you have the patience for it. As in the first novel, this is a difficult read but the idea of the plot itself and the characters are creative and totally unique. And I do so love the cover, Paul Marron *dreamy sigh* That and the character of Daigh added the extra 1/2 for me making my rating a 3.5. 



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