Original Title: The Shadows
Year Published: 2014
Published by: Skyscape (an arc was kindly provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)
Number of Pages: 389
First Sentence: “‘It is given to you,’ the archdruid said, handing her Finn’s hunting horn.”
Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Plot: Grace Knox has grown up hearing the folktales of her Irish ancestors, especially about the warriors who fought for control of Ireland. In 19th-century New York City, however, these legends are far from Grace’s mind. She’s much more concerned with how to protect her family from debt collectors, and whether her childhood friend Patrick Devlin will propose. Patrick is a member of the Fenian Brotherhood, a group of young Irish-American men intent on fighting for the independence of their homeland, whatever the cost. Patrick and the Brotherhood use ancient magic to summon mythical warriors to join their fight to protect Ireland. One of them, Diarmid, finds himself drawn to Grace, and she to him. When Diarmid discovers that, in their desperation, the Brotherhood has also summoned a rival group of ancient warriors, he warns Patrick that there will be bloodshed. Grace is caught in the middle of two men she loves, and discovers she alone holds the power to save Ireland? but at a dangerous price.
My thoughts: Irish mythology, handsome men, and somewhat badass women. That is what this book is all about. It is the first book in a trilogy and it does act as a sort of background for the rest of the series. Some parts do feel a little bit fillerish but the story never gets boring despite that.
The main character of the story is Grace. She is 17 years of age, of Irish heritage and she struggles to keep her former wealthy family off the streets. She is selfless, brave and despite growing up rich, she isn’t spoilt. The last part might have to do with the fact that the family is suddenly poor but still. She doesn’t lay down and cry over her problems, instead she tries her hardest to solve them.
Diarmaid is literally taken straight out of legend. He is one of the warriors of the Fianna, brave, loyal, and a playboy with a good heart. Diarmaid and Grace are bound together, he knows why but she has no clue. It is interesting to see how this warrior adapts to more modern times and also how he himself struggles with his fate.
Patrick is also of Irish heritage and the main love interest in this story. He is obsessed with freeing Ireland from British rule and works hard to stage a revolution back home in Ireland, something that has kept him there for a few years. He has always cared for Grace and upon his return back from Ireland he starts his courting of her.
We see the story unfold through three perspectives; Grace’s, Patrick’s and Diarmid’s. The switching of narrator gives the story extra depth and it was very interesting to read the story through several perspectives and not just one. It made some character’s actions more understandable.
The plot itself is really interesting and hopefully the rest of the trilogy will be just as thrilling. The plot however is almost to complicated to quickly shorten down here. Just know that it’s a mix of Celtic mythology, warring groups, idealism, and romance.
Do I recommend it?
Yes, I do.