Author: Kristen Martin
Series: Shadow Crown #1
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Summary: “For most people, the act of killing is intangible. Unfathomable.
But not for seventeen-year-old Arden Eliri.
Having been involved in Cruex assassination attempts as a mere child, killing is a natural disposition for her. Growing up without parents, in a castle ruled by an iron-fisted king, is the furthest thing from a fairy tale, as is being forced into the Cruex, the king’s group of hand-selected assassins. But with each passing year, she comes to enjoy the act of killing more and more.
Kill or be killed—she chooses the former.
A decade ago, King Darius Tymond banished The Caldari—those who practice illusié, or old magick—from Trendalath Kingdom, ensuring that no Caldari will ever step foot in his kingdom again. But Arden discovers otherwise after a dual-assigned mission goes horribly awry. Even more startling, she discovers that she may have more in common with the Caldari than she’s been led to believe.
Arden wants to trust that King Tymond’s intentions are pure, but as their pasts collide in unexpected ways, the quicker she realizes the consequences and dangers of his reign. But Arden is also hiding something—something that threatens her very existence—and she’ll have to face her inner darkness and conquer it before it destroys her . . . and the kingdom she’s come to call her home.” -From Goodreads
Review: I’m mixed about this book. I liked it, but I also saw some problems with it.
The world Kristen Martin created was interesting, as well as the magic system. The magic system did in a way remind me of The Young Elites by Marie Lu. I just think a bit more world building would have helped.
I did enjoy the characters. Arden was a character I wanted to know more about. I also wanted to know what the Queen was planning throughout this book. I do like how the characters were usually in the gray area for most of the book.
There are a total of five points of view in this book with Arden being in first and the other four in third. At first, I was okay with the number of perspectives, until later in the book when I felt like it was too much. I wanted more chapters to focus on Arden since her chapters were in first person, so I wanted to feel more connected to her.
Kristen Martain’s writing in this book wasn’t as fast-paced as the Alpha Drive, but it did feel somewhat smooth when reading it. I could see how much her voice grew in this book compared to her debut.
I did enjoy reading this dark fantasy novel even though I did have some problems with it. I will be reading book two to see what happens in the story. I do think if you haven’t read a dark fantasy novel before, then I would recommend reading this one or The Young Elites by Marie Lu.
Have fun reading!