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Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows Series #1)

Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows Series #1)

4.5 11
by Sophie Jordan

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Destiny and darkness collide in this romantic, sweeping new fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan.

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok's lost princess, has been hiding in a tower


Destiny and darkness collide in this romantic, sweeping new fantasy series from New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan.

Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok's lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna's survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn't stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

Editorial Reviews

Praise for the Firelight series: “Jordan’s compelling addition to the supernatural star–crossed lovers theme is equal parts taut suspense and sensuous romance.”
RT Book Reviews
“Effortless fantasy with high romance, REIGN OF SHADOWS keeps you intrigued until the final sentence.”
Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“There’s more than blindness to Luna, and her sightlessness is authentically depicted as an advantage at times and a vulnerability at others. This will appeal to readers drawn to romance.”
Kerrelyn Sparks
Praise for the Firelight series: “Magnificent and masterful! A world so captivating, you’ll never want to leave!”
Carrie Ryan
Praise for UNINVITED: “UNINVITED asks the question: will you let the world define who you are or will you choose to define yourself? Put simply: I loved this book!”
Kiersten White
Praise for the Firelight series: “Firelight soars to dizzying heights, combining forbidden love, scorching romance, and thrilling danger.”
Jennifer L. Armentrout
“An exciting and unique fantasy, full of suspense and romance.”
Colleen Houck
Praise for the Firelight series: “The Firelight series is a rare sparkling gem. I delved into the mystical world and discovered a fast–paced, gripping story. …Anytime my readers ask for a book recommendation, I always say, ‘Read Sophie Jordan!’”
Rachel Vincent
Praise for UNINVITED: “A riveting, disconcerting vision of a near–future corrupted by genetic profiling. Thoroughly unputdownable.”
Sarah J Maas
“Set in a dark, petrifying world of nightmares, and chock full of harrowing action, swoon–worthy romance, and a compelling, formidable pair of protagonists, REIGN OF SHADOWS was a thrill ride from start to finish!”
Publishers Weekly
In a fantasy driven by romantic tension, a princess in hiding teams up with a mysterious archer to brave the eclipse that has kept their land in darkness for 17 years. Blind from birth, Luna is fearless, capable, and resourceful, while Fowler is gruff, independent, and reluctant to accept her as a traveling partner. When Luna's tower refuge is discovered by those looking to kill her, she must accompany Fowler on his quest for a mythical island. As they brave the terrifying Black Woods, where monstrous "dark dwellers" hunt human prey, and fight agents of the chancellor who usurped the throne and murdered Luna's parents, the two grow close, eventually falling for each other. Jordan's (Unleashed) somewhat implausible premise (the presumably mystical nature of the eclipse goes unexplained) is mitigated by the growing chemistry between her strong characters; Luna is a memorably competent protagonist whose inability to see barely slows her down. A clichéd late revelation significantly complicates the romance, while building to a cliffhanger ending. Ages 13–up. Agent: Maura Kye-Casella, Don Congdon Associates. (Feb.)
VOYA, February 2016 (Vol. 38, No. 6) - Lauren Straub
Princess of Relhok, Luna was born on the first day of the permanent eclipse and the kingdom never saw her again as she was mysteriously whisked away into hiding, presumed to be dead. The world of the eclipse cloaks Luna’s world in complete darkness, breeding creatures that thrive in the night, feeding on anything that is unlucky enough to cross their path. Luna’s guardians, Sivo and Perla, keep her in a tower in the middle of a forest to protect her royal lineage from the threats of the outside world. Luna’s headstrong and adventurous nature, however, lead her outdoors, where she eventually saves Fowler, an archer, brings him, along with two others, into her tower. She ends up working with Fowler when they are forced to leave the tower and trek through the dark woods to find safety. Luna and Fowler’s tale is presented in a first-person dual point-of-view format, allowing readers to see two sides of the same story told from two very different voices. These protagonists offer a comparative study of characterization within the classroom. Readers will be left with unanswered questions about the eclipsed world and Luna’s heritage, but there are hopes that these will be answered in the sequel to come as this first installment ends on a serious cliffhanger. Reviewer: Lauren Straub; Ages 11 to 14.
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—Luna, an orphaned princess, has been living in a tower with her rescuers since they saved her from an assassin on the day she was born. On that day, her kingdom and all its neighbors were plunged into seemingly eternal darkness thanks to a lunar eclipse. What's worse, enormous flesh-eating creatures (called "Dwellers") came scuttling out of the ground as the endless night fell hard on the land. Now, 17 years after the eclipse, Luna happens to rescue a rugged survivor named Fowler, who agrees to travel with the princess to a fabled island free of Dwellers. What begins as a fast-paced adventure quickly gets bogged down in the quagmire of Luna and Fowler tromping through the forest, fighting with each other, avoiding getting killed, and resisting the urge to fall in love. Luna, who is blind, has heightened senses and has been trained to fight, yet she falls into the damsel-in-distress role much too readily. There are some moments of true suspense, but Luna's characterization is inconsistent. The cliff-hanger ending guarantees more books to come, though readers might not feel compelled to stick around. VERDICT An additional purchase where apocalypse and fantasy novels tinged with tame romance are popular.—Abby Bussen, Cudahy Family Library, WI
Kirkus Reviews
Star-crossed romance smolders in a sunless fairy-tale kingdom of ugliness, horror, and grisly violence. Born on the eve of a now seemingly perpetual eclipse, Luna has spent her 17 years in darkness; alone with two loyal retainers in a remote tower, she hides from both the monstrous "dark dwellers" and the power-mad chancellor who murdered her royal parents. Everything changes after she rescues a few wanderers from Outside, including Fowler, a bitter youth particularly adept at survival. Once her sanctuary is discovered, Luna flees with Fowler, who longs to be rid of her while harboring sinister secrets of his own. Luna and Fowler alternate painfully florid narration of their journey through a far-fetched world where "everything is bleakness and death." Fowler is an archetypical brooding hero; his cynical, callous exterior merely shields a heart bruised by his traumatic past. Luna, while laudably confident and competent (despite the disability she's unaware of till he tells her about it), is also superspecial, flawlessly compassionate, and noble, with senses so implausibly acute that she almost totally compensates for it. Their inevitable romance is swoony, angst-y, and (discreetly) consummated, leading all too predictably to tedious misunderstandings, feckless self-sacrifices, and an abrupt, over-the-top cliffhanger that may inspire eye-rolls from even the most fervent devotees of the genre. All the standard tropes and clichés, only ever-so-much more so. (Dystopian fantasy. 14-18)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Reign of Shadows Series , #1
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Sophie Jordan grew up on a pecan farm in the Texas hill country, where she wove fantasies of dragons, warriors, and princesses. A former high school English teacher, she's also the New York Times bestselling author of Avon historical romances and the Firelight series. She now lives in Houston with her family. When she's not writing, she spends her time overloading on caffeine (lattes and Diet cherry Coke preferred), talking plotlines with anyone who will listen (including her kids), and cramming her DVR with true-crime and reality-TV shows.

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Reign of Shadows 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book because it just struck me as so unique and genuinely likeable. I liked both Fowler and Luna as characters although I felt that Fowler demonstrated himself to be a bit more complex and rational than Luna. But given how Luna grew up, I guess I can understand that. It was a great story, fast-paced with a killer cliffhanger at the end. I am so ready to read the sequel already! Fowler was my favorite character. He us an odd mix of a rational, unfeeling person who has to do what he has to do in order to survive and someone who at the same time feels everything personal to him on a deep level. Luna was pretty immature I thought, but again, cut her some slack. She was basically raised in isolation. Overall, I loved her will, her fire and anger at being looked at as weak, and her interesting...trait...that I will not say jusy because I think it is always better when you find out reading the story. Luna and Fowler arw both lovable. The story itself was full of danger, violence, hope, and bravery that made me tear through the story in record time. Read this!!
Anonymous 6 days ago
I tried to finish this book. I really did. I made it more than half through, but I can't. I just can't. Not good character development and author kept jumping between the two main characters. Glad I only paid 1.99 for this
BailsChris More than 1 year ago
I really liked the premise of the book. I’ve always been fascinated with the idea that night overcomes the day and casts the world into shadow. I liked the idea that it unleashes a new darkness, creatures who thrive on the dark and cause more fear than the dark ever could. I imagine that if darkness were ever to overcome the day, people would long for the sunlight and the hope of a brighter future. I also think some people will thrive in the darkness and this book also shows that. It shows the hope of some people and the power others found in it. I think if it weren’t for the dark dwellers, the full scope of humanity’s darkness (and light) would’ve been out for display. The novel was written in a way that drives readers through the narrative and maintains their attention. Although it seems like a lot doesn’t occur in the beginning of the novel, it didn’t feel boring or like there needed to be more action in the text. It keeps you entertained and invested in the characters, which I really enjoyed. I was glad to find a novel that didn’t drag on, but rather kept me interested. Now, a common complaint against YA books is the “insta-love” that has begun to run rampant through the genre. However, I think what constitutes love is often misunderstood as attraction or even a crush. I think for this novel, there isn’t the prevalent us of the word “love” but rather the idea that there is attraction between the two main characters. It sort of lends itself to being something more than “insta-love” but rather the start of a relationship which could lead to love. I feel that this novel falls under that “insta-attraction” rather than the “insta-love” title. I really liked Luna. She didn’t want to be dependent on anyone and she wanted to stand on her own two feet throughout the beginning of the novel. Her independence often overshadows the fact that she is blind. She knows she can handle herself, even though one of her senses doesn’t exist. She wants to be her own person, and I think a lot of the people in the text didn’t believe she could last on her own — be independent and survive without other people holding her hand. I also liked that the fact that she was blind wasn’t a big deal in the synopsis, because I think it overplaying it sort of cheapens how awesome it is that she is a strong female character that is blind. Fowler sort of fell into the a-typical hero figure with a few interesting changes. He isn’t the selfless hero and devotes his life to ensuring that everyone around him survives. He is selfish. In fact, much of the story is driven by the fact that he would rather journey on his own and leave everyone else to suffer behind him. It’s clear that it used to bother him, leaving behind people and allowing them to suffer because he can’t be bothered to allow them to journey with him. He has his eyes on one goal and it is enough to drive everyone from him. He has hope, even when he pretends that he doesn’t. He hopes for the sun to shine and to bring new light to the world around him. He hopes that he will find a place that can bring him peace. He hopes for a great many things, and you can’t help hoping with him. Overall, this novel is wonderful. It is a quick read, given the pacing and the writing. It draws you in from the beginning and I liked that about this book. It does sometimes fall into some stereotypical behavior, so don’t go into it expecting a groundbreaking read. It is definitely a good read though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a amazing book!!!!!
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I really liked the premise of this and was quite eager to read it. Love love loved Luna and Fowler. They're both strong and compliment each other so well. They both have secrets and it's interesting seeing the decisions because of them. Reading their relationship develop in the crazy world they're in was captivating. There are a lot of interesting components to the story. While it didn't feel like we got the full background to the world building or what was happening, it is definitely an excellent start for a series. And yes, the ending is wicked. I can't wait to get book 2 in my greedy hands. **Huge thanks to Harper Teen and Edelweiss for providing the arc in exchange for an honest review**
RayannD More than 1 year ago
(Original full review at rayanndunnell.blogspot.com) Favorite things: 1. The main female character, Luna. She is a strong and capable, taking things that would probably be seen as a handicap and using them to her advantage in this world. She wants to get out, wants to have something to show for the life that she's living, instead of hiding away, and she makes it happen. There are consequences and sacrifices that she has to make but she faces them bravely and with hope. 2. The world. I said that I loved the premise of the novel and that is absolutely true. The darkness and the dwellers, as well as the array of strange transformations that the world has undergone during the eclipse was so interesting and strange (one of my favorite words to apply to a book - we like strange here). And Jordan did not skirt on the gore or dark parts of the story. The likelihood of death is a strong part of this world's reality and there are some more gruesome scenes . On top of that, there's a city in the trees, a walled city, a lake with killer eels, and diseased people along with the dwellers (which were terrible enough). My overall thought was that this world has a strong foundation and more potential for the sequel. There is so much more depth that we might see that would amp up the compelling and often frightening nature of the world here, as well as seeing how things continue to develop between the characters, especially in light of some of the twists that happened in the book (which I will admit that I saw coming but didn't affect my enjoyment of the book at all). I'm ready for book two now!
Gabrielle90 More than 1 year ago
Seventeen years into a dark eclipse lived a girl who was supposed to be dead. Dark dwellers swarmed the ground twenty three hours of the day. There was only one hour of "light". It was the only time you could safely go outside and not be torn to pieces. Luna, a lost girl trapped inside a tower, meets Fowler, someone who is just as lost but in a different way. Luna was raised by her mother's nurse and one of her father's guards in the cursed woods. Fowler's past throughout most of the book was a mystery. A few hints were peppered into the story and when his past was revealed, it was an "AH HA!" moment, where it all clicked. No one dared to enter the woods but Fowler and a couple companions. Fowler, after losing the love of his life, was on the run for at least a year before he bumped into Luna. One of them was hurt in a trap Luna's "parents" set and when he howled out in pain, the dark dwellers heard and set their sights on them. Luna saved them but that caused the girl of the group to still die. Fowler and Luna make it to a city in trees but their safety there is limited. The king is paying people to kill girls around her age and when Luna finds out, she wants to go turn herself in. The end of this book ends on a HUGE HUGE HUGE cliffhanger, which kind of leaves a bitter taste in my mouth but it wasn't enough to ruin the whole story because I loved it. The light in Luna kept the dark times bright. As she spent more time with Fowler, she gave him more hope than he thought he could allow himself to have. Their romance was uniquely them. At first, he resented her, because he didn't allow himself to like anyone, but slowly, he began to fall for her. He didn't give himself permission to but it was impossible to stop it. Their love burned bright enough to keep away the darkness in themselves. The best thing about their relationship? Definitely the fact that even though Fowler was a sexy, strong man who could protect her BUT she didn't need him for that. She was strong and independent (even though her parents kept her secluded). She even protected him when he needed her to. I think that Luna was a great role model for teen girls because of that fact. Some stories make girls the "damsel in distress" but not Sophie Jordan. This is a story to remember.
EmilieSG More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. The world-building was great--just enough was revealed to keep everything mysterious, but it never felt like important information was missing, or descriptions were too sparse. The development of the main characters was wonderful, too. Their growth was very believable. And their relationship built at a good pace, gradually with plenty of sweet romantic tension. I think it will be very hard to wait to find out what happens after the cliffhanger ending!
lisaknight More than 1 year ago
Magical, thrilling and packed with edge-of -your-seat action, Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan is the first book in her new YA fantasy series. Ms. Jordan has created a fascinating world shrouded in darkness with terrifying creatures that go bump in the night and strong characters that must survive this dangerous world. Luna is the lost princess of the Relhok kingdom. After her parents were murdered by the evil chancellor the night of the eclipse, Luna was whisked away to the safety of a tower in the woods and has lived there in secret ever since. She is brave, caring and longs for a life Outside, beyond the tower walls. An attack on the tower forces her out of her home and on the road with Fowler, an archer and a man who has been hardened by survival. Fowler has no interest in making connections with other people. What’s the point when everyone is just going to die anyway? Against his better judgement, Fowler gives his word that he will get Luna to safety. Now Fowler and Luna must traverse the Outside world full of dwellers and other evils to reach the safety of the rumored island of Allu. Luna and Fowler fight their budding attraction as they travel across the continent, fighting off evil creatures at every turn. Reign of Shadows is an outstanding introduction to this new fantasy series with larger than life characters and a riveting plot full of twists and turns. Fans of Sophie Jordan cannot miss this one.
brittanysbookrambles More than 1 year ago
Reign of Shadows is a unique twist on the Rapunzel fairytale and it's definitely one of the best fairytale re-imagining/retellings I have ever read! Although my ARC copy is only 292 pages, there is a shocking amount of growth and information packed into it. Reign of Shadows really caught me by surprise in its plot and character development, as well as with its brutality. I was not at all expecting it to be so gruesome, but it really raised the stakes in the plot. Jordan's writing is emotive, and it really paints a clear and complete picture of the setting and the characters. Plus, there are nods to Tangled in it, which I LOVE. Luna and Fowler are really adorable together! I love their banter and how they both equally depend on one another. I really fell for these two—they are such a beautiful couple. I predict that Reign of Shadows will be one of the best books of 2016. I highly recommend this book to everyone, and especially to those who has been looking for an AMAZING fairytale re-imagining/retelling with a breathtaking romance—and these are really hard to find! I have no idea how I'm going to survive waiting for the next book—the ending is insane and makes you question how are you going to survive until the next book. Full review: http://www.bookrambles.com/2015/10/reign-of-shadows-reign-of-shadows-1-by.html
MoniqueD More than 1 year ago
Since her parents, the King and Queen of Relhok, were murdered 17 years ago, Luna has been existing in a Tower in the Black Woods, for only company Perla – who had been her nursemaid – and Sivo, one of her father’s royal guard. Luna is never allowed Outside of the tower, mostly because of the deadly dark dwellers; the only time of day where one is safe from them is during midlight, a mere hour each day. The Relhok is in a state of permanent eclipse. One day, Luna sneaks out armed to the teeth to gather berries for Sivo’s birthday. That’s when she hears a human scream, and comes about three young people. A boy’s leg is caught in a trap that was meant for the dark dwellers; Luna frees him and they all flee to the Tower. Luna is ecstatic to have company besides her beloved Perla and Sivo, especially that of the older boy, Fowler. Luna has always dreamed of going Outside, but Fowler has seen too much of it. He is cynical, bitter, but realistic; Outside is an ugly place. Still Luna convinces him to show her a little of what’s out there, and while they are out, the Tower is attacked, and nothing will ever be the same again… Ms. Jordan has crafted a grim and literally dark world so vividly, it’s truly unsettling. She doesn’t reveal everything at the beginning, and I believe I understand the author’s tactic, and it’s brilliant. REIGN OF SHADOWS reminded me a bit of Lord of The Rings because of the intricacy of the world-building and the rather terrifying creatures that lurk in the dark. Luna is an admirable, and quite relatable, heroine; it took me a tad longer to warm up to Fowler, but when what he had faced on the Outside became known, his behaviour made perfect sense, and I liked him fine. REIGN OF SHADOWS is a bit reminiscent of The Lord of The Rings, as much for the light that will eventually come out of the oppressing darkness, as for the superb writing. Ms. Jordan has crafted an unsettling world, very dark, with creatures that will make your skin crawl, and very engaging young protagonists, Luna and Fowler, who are both fascinating each in their own right. The book ends with a startling revelation that bodes very well for the next instalment The writing is exceptional, the dialogues sound authentic, the pace is flawless throughout, culminating in a frenzied crescendo that leads to the conclusion of book one of what will surely be another successful series for the incredibly talented Ms. Jordan. I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.