The Shadow Reader

The Shadow Reader

by Sandy Williams

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Overview

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 of 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 to decide once and for all whom to trust--and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780996323161
Publisher: Sandy Williams
Publication date: 06/17/2019
Series: A Shadow Reader Novel , #1
Pages: 360
Sales rank: 576,012
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Sandy Williams is an author of Urban Fantasy & Science Fiction with a strong shot of romance. She graduated from Texas A&M University with degrees in political science and history, and worked as a librarian until her husband whisked her off to London on an extended business trip. Now she’s back in Texas, writing full-time, raising twin boys, and squeezing in time to play geeky board and card games.

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The Shadow Reader 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was so well done!!! Great characters and story. This author just got added to my must read list. I want a book two, now!!!
harstan More than 1 year ago
Twentyish human Houston resident McKenzie Lewis English major is frustrated with the intrusions into her obtaining her degree as eight years for a BA is ridiculous. While she takes an exam, the sword-master Kyol her Fae lover arrives. She reminds him that she told the Faerie to leave her alone this week. Kyol tells her they need her now as overt civil war in Faerie seems imminent. McKenzie knows her gift of tracking the fissures left behind by Fae travelers makes her in demand. The king orders McKenzie to find the rebels. Instead the rebels kidnap her. Aren the rebel leader makes a just plea for her to join their side. While McKenzie considers their argument and is attracted to Aren, she has pledged her loyalty to the king and cannot turn away her taboo love of Kyol. The Shadow Reader is a wonderful urban fantasy in which human technology has intruded on Faerie and realism is anchored by war atrocities committed by both sides in the name of righteousness. The story line is fast-paced while the female protagonist wants to stay out of the fight but becomes the rope in an ugly tug of war with collateral damage accepted by each combatant as the end justifies the mean. Although the romantic relationships confronting McKenzie with Aren and Kyol seem more a forced requirement, fans will want to enter the Sandy Williams realm. Harriet Klausner
KasieF More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! It gave me a 'book hangover' so I read it twice in a week. I cannot wait for the second one in October!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am looking forward to the next book!
lizziefx More than 1 year ago
I read a lot so I am always looking for new authors. In this case I picked an author that can really craft a story and kept me entertained through the entire book. This is book one in the series and you can bet I will be back for book two!!!
Candace-LoveyDoveyBooks More than 1 year ago
Sandy Williams reminds serious readers why Urban Fantasy is a genre to stick with. Her hot heroine McKenzie Lewis is a one of a kind shadow reader, tracking fae through fissures all while trying to earn a college degree. Caught in the middle of a war between the Court fae and rebels, McKenzie stands her ground with the nobles until rebel Aren gets into her head. The Shadow Reader is one novel of which I can safely say that I loved each and every character. Even the evil ones were perfectly malicious! The first person narrative centers the focus of the novel on McKenzie, but there are about 12 characters moving the story along with their reoccurring roles or consistent presence. The many characters introduced aren't wasted in the story and it never feels like Williams spends incessant time describing them or trying to give them a brighter spotlight than they deserve. Williams is a smooth storyteller. She doesn't get caught up in too many action scenes or history of the fae. It's fortunate because I can only imagine how much history is certainly involved in the political aspect of the war between court fae and the rebels. As the story progresses Williams hands out pieces of information here and there, but even before the end of the plot all those pieces have completed the big picture. A big worry I usually have when it comes to fantasy novels is the names. I'm so glad to have been able to sail through The Shadow Reader with minimum issues with the fae names and language. Most of the words just roll right of the tongue and give the writing a romantic tone. I am one hundred percent committed to The Shadow Reader Series. I ache with excitement to see what happens to McKenzie now that the war has taken a sharp turn and loyalties have become an important factor to the fae. Book 2 in the series, The Shattered Dark, has big expectations to meet. Originally posted on Lovey Dovey Books
terilhack More than 1 year ago
Trying to get through college and survive in the normal world is hard enough, but McKenzie Lewis toe the line through the mundane and the fae with her tracking abilities. As the knowledge of her astute skills pass through the warring kingdom, McKenzie's status as a rare Shadow Reader are getting around and as the opposing factions square off against each other McKenzie and her abilities will be coveted by all. What was really amazing about the Shadow Reader was the world building and the characters. McKenzie is a strong willed character fighting for what she believes is right in her helping the fae, or really being in service of the fae, and as the plots thicken and McKenzie realizes the truth in what is being said about the court she held high from the rebel forces MxKenzie changes her alliances at the possible cost of her life. What you cannot have have, then no one else will seems to be a common motto along the lines of some fae. With a pair of leading male characters, McKenzie has to find the truth that she believes in herself and what she believes is worth fighting for because there is are fae on both sides of the fight that she has feelings for. Will their want of her talents override McKenzie's safety, or will McKenzie's power turn the tides in the civil war among the fae. Shadow Reader will catch readers in the middle of a war that started long before McKenzie came into her powers but which could cause her destruction. As if living and finding love in the real world was hard enough, imagine finding love in the arms of a rebel and a swords master of the Court, that is McKenzie’s dilemma as long as she can survive.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just deleted my last (and longer) review by accident so i'll keep this brief. Its definately worth the time of both urban fatasu fans and romance fans alike. I read a lot of these type of books and can say whole heartedly that this author avoids the standard pitfalls including a too uber chic main character (i like it when fairly normal people get involved in extrordinary situations) of yet another other worldly organization designed to save the world ( i always wonder how many of those there can actually successfully exsist in my imagination). This was a good start to a new take on fae/human conflicts and i hope the author has another planned. The three main characters were developed pretty well but i didn't quite understand all the rebels gripes although i get that she was trying to keep both sides viable as part of the plot. I'm glad i gave this book a shot and will keep an eye open for any more by this author
Anonymous 9 months ago
Love the energy of this book. appreciate the romance without the unnecessary explicit sex most writers think they need
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
this+story+is+a+fast-paced+good+read+the+author+build+a+nice+realm.++but+the+story+have+a+very+predictable+outcome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Series+to+short+enjoyed+the+twist+and+love+this+book+has.+
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the+plot+revolves++around++the+war+between++2+factions+of+faerie++and+the+human++woman++who+can+see++them.++good+science++fantasy+.+++looking+forward+the+rest+of+the++trilogy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
good+read%2C+kept+my+interest
LeleliaSky on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I received a ARC of The Shadow Reader from Goodreads. I really enjoyed the book. It was a great combination of our world and the Fae world. McKenzie is a great character who never loses hope against her captors and always seeks out a way to fight what stands in her way. The author does a great job of showing us McKenzie's internal struggle with what she has been taught and what is the reality. I don't want to spoil the book for anyone, but I will say that the author does a great job of mixing McKenzie's love for a man and her growing into herself. I really admired the ending where McKenzie stands up for herself and realizes she has put herself on hold for 10 years and she will no longer do so. I look forward to the author's next book and hope it will be about McKenzie and the Fae.
ReginaR on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Why is this not a 5 star or a 4 star book for me? I have put off writing this review for a week or so because I am confused as to why everyone I know on goodreads loved this book but me. In part, I think this may be a "Its not you, its me" kinda thing. I may be over my urban fantasy binge. Hey, it was a good ride. It started summer 2010 and lasted until now. When I hear about new titles or series in the paranormal, they just do not interest me -- with the exception of my favorite authors and series. So, my thoughts on this book should be put into that context -- that urban fantasy just does not have the same pull for me. Another issue for me that should help me feelings on this book be put into context -- for an urban fantasy book to thrill me, I need the main struggle to be something other than the romance. That is why I prefer UF over paranormal romance. And I know may of my goodreads friends can point out several paranormal romance series, historical romances, and contemporary romances that I love. Yes, I do enjoy a romance that is well done -- but my well done is this. I enjoy the angsty romance plot line too, but the true struggle/fight/confict for me needs to be about the world/story. And the characters and relationships in the book need to be three-dimensional with growth and progression. I did not see this in Shadow Reader. In my opinion, the main conflict in Shadow Reader is the romance. And that is fine, but I didn't buy into the characters feelings for the individual that made up the third part of the love triangle. Which poses a problem for me as a reader, if I don't believe in the romance, which is the main struggle of the book -- then the book falls flat for me. The romance with the guy who is the third leg of the triangle (I am trying to be vague and non-spoilerish) just was not believable for me. What I saw was an incredibly sexy guy that the lead character was attracted to and he was attracted to her as well to her. But when did they develop love? I did not see a relationship developing at all. I never felt or believed in the "who should she choose" storyline. I had strong opinions about who she should drop and then maybe move on in her life, but choosing someone else to fill the void of the person just dropped? Nah, Sandy Williams did not convince me. There was a side conflict to the storyline -- where should MacKenzie place her allegiance? The court or the rebels? Again, I thought this was not set up well nor was it done believably. MacKenzie places her allegiance with any one side based solely on emotion and relationships, not on critical evaluation. I know people do this in real life, but I find that downright scary. But whatever, my criticism of decisions aside I do not think the author convinced me as to who MacKenzie should be loyal too. So those were my problems. I liked the characters, I liked the world, and I really enjoyed the beginning. I do think this should be labeled paranormal romance or romance based urban fantasy though. Positives about the book: The world building is done very well and there are some interesting side characters. There is solid writing and some good action scenes. If readers are okay with the main conflict being about who will she choose, then I think this book will be a win for those readers. I think fans of Angels' Blood by Nalini Singh would enjoy this book/series. I am one of the few people in the urban fantasy reading world that is not a fan of the Guild Hunter series for the same reason Shadow Reader missed the mark for me.
LoveyDoveyBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Originally posted on Lovey Dovey Books.Sandy Williams reminds serious readers why Urban Fantasy is a genre to stick with. Her hot heroine McKenzie Lewis is a one of a kind shadow reader, tracking fae through fissures all while trying to earn a college degree. Caught in the middle of a war between the Court fae and rebels, McKenzie stands her ground with the nobles until rebel Aren gets into her head.The Shadow Reader is one novel of which I can safely say that I loved each and every character. Even the evil ones were perfectly malicious! The first person narrative centers the focus of the novel on McKenzie, but there are about 12 characters moving the story along with their reoccurring roles or consistent presence. The many characters introduced aren't wasted in the story and it never feels like Williams spends incessant time describing them or trying to give them a brighter spotlight than they deserve.Williams is a smooth storyteller. She doesn't get caught up in too many action scenes or history of the fae. It's fortunate because I can only imagine how much history is certainly involved in the political aspect of the war between court fae and the rebels. As the story progresses Williams hands out pieces of information here and there, but even before the end of the plot all those pieces have completed the big picture.A big worry I usually have when it comes to fantasy novels is the names. I'm so glad to have been able to sail through The Shadow Reader with minimum issues with the fae names and language. Most of the words just roll right of the tongue and give the writing a romantic tone.I am one hundred percent committed to The Shadow Reader Series. I ache with excitement to see what happens to McKenzie now that the war has taken a sharp turn and loyalties have become an important factor to the fae. Book 2 in the series, The Shattered Dark, has big expectations to meet.
HomeLoveBooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
There are a lot of books I have been excited about reading, and this was one of them. I found Sandy Williams when I stumbled upon her Magic and Mayhem blog (a blog with her and a couple of other authors whose books I'm also looking forward to reading). I must say that this book did not disappoint.Part of the reason I was excited about this book is because it involves the Fae. A lot of the urban fantasy books seem to be focused primarily on vamps or werewolves, and I personally believe the Fae are hugely underutilized. Williams did not disappoint, her portrayal of the Fae was quite interesting to say the least, and pulled me in by the time chapter one was finished. I do have to point out that the Fae in Williams' book almost remind me a little of the epic fantasy races that are common to that genre. That similarity, I think for me, made them all the more intriguing.The book doesn't have a lot of build up to the action, right from chapter one you are thrown into the thick of it, with the book's main character McKenzie being captured right off the bat. Normally I would say this is hard way to get to know the main character, but Williams' manages to not only get the reader to know McKenzie, but also to pull for her. I was right there with McKenzie the entire time, every time she was confused about how she was feeling, I was confused about how I wanted her to feel. Every time she was scared, I was scared for her. I was surprisingly, and refreshingly easy to identify with McKenzie. When I start a new book in a series, sometimes it can take two or three books for me to feel attached to a character, I can tell right now I am already attached to McKenzie, and I want to know what is going to happen next to her.The book also has a romantic element to it, and it all flows really well throughout the book. It never feels forced on the part of the author, it always feels organic to the character. Not only that but any scenes involving romantic elements were written really well, there was no cheesy descriptions or euphemisms, which only helped to make the actions more organic and truly helped the plot along.Another thing that I want to point out is that this book takes place in the middle of war. And war is a tricky thing to write. Fighting scenes can often become to chaotic and make it for the reader to follow, but this was never a problem for me. I think this was due to the fact it was all from McKenzie's point of view, so it really helped keep things in perspective. I'm also really impressed with the way Williams' portrayed both sides, like she says in the book, every war has two sides. Trying to determine the truth out of those two sides was hard for McKenzie and for me.I even like the other characters besides McKenzie. Kyol was hard and distant, but when he softened up around McKenzie I can totally understand what his appeal was. Aren was easy to like, and then in certain moments I had the urge the punch him in the face, I think he's a rather complex character and its going to be interesting to follow him. Lena is very much the mean girl, but I could almost understand her point of view being that she's in a hard situation. Kelia was easy to like, she super sweet, but hard when she needs to be. She's fierce about the people she cares about, and how can you not like someone who is willing to do anything to protect the people she loves. Overall the characters were really well fleshed out and enjoyable to follow along with. Williams' brings the characters to life in such a way that it made it almost impossible for me to put the book down. Overall, I'm pretty sure I really love this book. I think it has a lot of appeal to a lot of different people. I could easily see paranormal romance people loving this book. I could the average urban fantasy lover loving this book. And truth be told I also think if there are fans of epic fantasy who want to give urban fantasy a try, this would be the book I recommend; it shares a lot of the elements that ar
clairesbooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Shadow Reader is the first Urban Fantasy book in a new series by Sandy Williams. McKenzie Lewis has the Sight, that is to say she can see the Fae that 99.9% of other humans cannot. But what makes McKenzie even more special is that she can read and map the Shadows which are left behind when one of the Fae opens up a fissure and teleports to somewhere else. McKenzie has been reading and mapping shadows for the Fae King for 10 years. In that time she has found a forbidden love with Kyol the King¿s sword master. It is a love that Kyol fights as a human and Fae relationship is not allowed at Court. McKenzie is so special that she is kidnapped by Aren the leader of the rebel Fae who hopes he can turn her against the King and make her see that the rebels are not the bad folks that they are made out to be. The time has come for Mckenzie to choose which side she is on.We are thrown straight into the action with this book, so much so that I thought my copy had some pages missing at the beginning. This threw me a little bit and it took some time to get into the story, plus Fae are not my favourite supernaturals to read about. But once I did I couldn¿t put it down and finished it within 24 hours of starting it that is very fast for me. I was totally engrossed with the story, the world building is spectacular, the characters are interesting and the plot was fantastic. I really liked McKenzie although at times she also did annoy me somewhat. The author constantly throws massive twists at us throughout the book so you don¿t know who is lying and who is telling the truth. At one point I thought a certain character was telling the truth only to have it turned on its head. No wonder poor McKenzie is confused, especially when it comes to the two men in her life Kyol and Aren. Yes readers there is a huge love triangle going on. Now I know some people don¿t like love triangles but they don¿t really bother me except this one which had me on the edge of my seat hoping McKenzie would pick the guy I wanted her to pick. The sexual tension and chemistry between McKenzie and one of the guys is amazing. The scenes where they are kissing actually took my breath away. This book is absolutely awesome and I would not hesitate in recommending it. For me it was one of those books where you don¿t want it to end and after finishing I immediately went in search of news for book 2. Good news is there will be a book 2 it is called The Shattered Dark but bad news it is not out until November 2012. A long wait but it is on my tbr list. I am going to award this book 5 stars.
calypso531 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I loved the premise of this book, and found the story very engaging by the end. However, the author's writing style is still being developed. I am curious to see how her next book will turn out.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love supernatural reads and this one is pretty great. The characters are loveable even though I found myself screaming at the sheer stupidity of the main character. I won't offer spoilers, but it literally takes 200 pages for her to believe "something" when all evidence points to that "something" being true. Besides that there was one other plot hole I couldn't wrap my head around. Again no spoilers, but the question of why was there a war to begin with was not sufficiently answered for me or rather why was At roth a bad king. Anyway, not to ramble. I enjoyed the book even with the two points I just mentioned out there.... It has action, fighting, magic, and no less than hot men in love with the main character. The only thing I kept wishing for was the her V card finally get revoked. I mean there was no illusions to sex at all. Definitely a PG read. Still good.......
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BookfiendNY More than 1 year ago
Didn't find it that interesting compacted to a few other writers out there. Not enough action in the book for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was looking for something different and found it! The main character, McKenzie, is a shadow reader. She is human, a student and has the ability to read the shadows left behind by fae moving across worlds and distances. These shadows tell McKenzie the path or route the fae took as well as the final destination. This ability is rare, but sought after by both sides of the warring fae. For ten years, McKenzie has worked with Kyol reading shadows, giving information to help the good guys win although she has gotten little information in return. Kyol is her escape from her normal life, someone only she sees, someone that relies on her, someone she fell for years ago. With the war escalating, McKenzie is drawn more heavily into the fae world and becomes captured by the opposing side. Aren, leader of rebels, teaches her more of fae politics, fae nature, and fae language than she has learned in the ten years with Kyol. But Aren is the bad guy right? Isn't Aren on the wrong side of the war? McKenzie is finally given enough information to truely make the kind of difference in fae life she can be proud of. So which side will she choose to help?