Aug 28, 2018

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan Review (S.S.S. August Book)


 Reign of Shadows (Reign of Shadows, #1) 

Hey guys! It's time for my review of my book club's August pick, Reign of Shadows! It's a Rapunzel retelling, and I binge read it this weekend cuz I didn't get it in the mail until earlier last week, and I had almost no time to read it with the state fair going on and all. 😂 Oh well, let's get into it!
My Rating:



I enjoyed the book at first and was curious as to where it was going to go and what was going to happen, but after a while it seemed to meander and get sidetracked a lot. It was a little frustrating because the characters' ultimate goals of their quest kept changing, and it ended on a cliff hanger with a completely new twist that came out of nowhere and they seemed to forget about what they were originally going to do. I'm disappointing because it started off so interesting but it ended so weirdly. Also in the beginning I could tell that it was a retelling of Rapunzel, but towards the end it lost that aspect completely and strayed far away from the story I knew so much that it could've just have been any old YA fantasy.

The settings were interesting. I liked the scenes in Luna's tower, and the scenes in a city built high in the trees, and the creepy Black Forest was...interesting too. BUT all of the settings were very 2 dimensional. There was practically no world building. I had so many questions about the eclipse and why it happened and where the dark dwellers came from. Have they been living underground this whole time waiting for an eclipse to happen? Before the eclipse did they come out every night? Did the eclipse itself somehow create them? And why is there an oracle who knows everything and who is she? This book had so much more potential but it just fell flat.

All the secondary characters weren't too memorable except for maybe Sivo and Perla, and Fowler was okay I guess, but I mostly really liked Luna. I loved her strength and compassion and even though she was blind, she wasn't at all helpless and I liked that Fowler knew it. I also liked that I didn't realize that she was blind at all until Fowler did. One good thing I can say for the writing is she did a pretty good job of describing how Luna used her other senses if I didn't even realize at all that she was blind, even if it was only for the first couple of chapters....or maybe my observation skills have just gotten really bad? 😂

About Fowler...I really didn't know what to think of him at first. I don't think I liked him very much, but I warmed up to him a little towards the end as he let his guard down as he fell in love with Luna. That said...I didn't really like the romance that much. It almost got in the way of the almost non-existent plot, and it felt very insta-lovey. I also didn't think that how fast his feelings changed towards Luna felt very realistic considering the way he acted at first, which I didn't like, even though it did make me like him more. It just wasn't very believable. 

Also, I had so many questions about Fowler's backstory! We get some flashbacks of things that happened to him to explain his motives, but they ended up leaving me with more questions than answers, but in the end they are never really addressed! There is one big plot twist reveal about him in the end that I kinda guessed, but I laughed it off because I thought it would be too cliche, and I was surprised that it was actually true.

This book was just under 300 pages, so I think it could have been better if it was much longer and the writing was much better to develop the plot and world building more and avoid everything seeming kinda random. Also the romance could've been stretched out way longer.

Overall I gave this book 2 and a half stars, but on Goodreads I rounded it up to 3 because I felt bad about not liking it because I did when it started off. I'm not sure if I want to read the sequel because it doesn't have very good reviews either, but I really want answers to my questions that never got answered, but I heard everything at the end of Rise of Fire gets wrapped up pretty sloppily in an epilogue, which I'm not sure is going to be worth reading, so I don't think I will.


What did you think of my thoughts? Have you read this book? Did you like it? Should I change my mind and read Rise of Fire? Have you read any other Rapunzel retellings? 

Thanks for reading this post and I'll be back on Saturday with my August Wrap Up! Bye! ♡


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  1. I'm kind of relieved you didn't like it because I reeeally had so many problems with it but feel like most people adore it?!😂So I'll come stand in the unpopular opinion corner with you haha. I actually had a LOT of issues with how Luna's blindness was portrayed. I don't like "magical disabilities" because it's kind of insulting! Like Luna wouldn't have been worth anything if she hadn't had magical advances in her other senses to counteract being blind? I'd rather read a realistically blind character tbh. And I agree Fowler was a bit weird.😂 And the world building confused me too haha.

  2. Heather @ The Frozen Book BlogSeptember 2, 2018 at 10:28 PM

    Really? I felt like most people hated it too. Huh.
    Now I feel bad for liking how Luna's blindness was portrayed. I didn't see it that way at all. That was actually one of the few things I did like. :/