Reign of Shadows (ARC Review)

Thursday, January 7, 2016
Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling
Page Length: 292 pages
Format: ARC
Publication Date: February 9, 2016
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: paperback ARC received at New York Comic Con

Although I received a free copy of this book, my opinion of it is completely my own.

About Reign of Shadows (via Goodreads):

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.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadows is Sophie Jordan at her best.
Reign of Shadows was a fantastic read. Although the plot starts off a bit slow, it quickly accelerates and I found myself turning the pages faster and faster wanting to know more. The writing was fluid and painted a pretty good image of the world without going overboard (no major infodumps here!) Jordan did a wonderful job weaving Luna and Fowler’s story, and it took me a long time to write this review because I honestly have no words (especially after THAT ENDING).

The world-building overall was pretty good, but I think it could have been fleshed out a bit more. There were parts where I was a bit confused, and I guess that makes sense since Luna had never truly been Outside before, but I still would have liked a bit more explaining, especially in terms of the eclipse. I know Luna is blind so it does not really affect her that much (except for the dwellers) but how dark is it really? Is it just like a normal eclipse except it lasts “forever” instead of for a short period of time? Also, I know the characters were young when it happened, but I’m confused about how the eclipse started and why it lasts so long? Jordan hinted that a prolonged eclipse happened in the past, but I’m still a bit confused about how it works.

I absolutely LOVED the characters. Every single one of them (except maybe the ones trying to kill them, but you know). Luna and Fowler go through immense change throughout the story (especially Fowler) and it was amazing to see them affect each other so greatly and see how their outlooks on life changed. Luna and Fowler complemented each other so well and even though they had some bad qualities, deep down they were good people and I had to respect them for that.

THE ROMANCE, YOU GUYS. It started off as sort of a love/hate relationship but they slowly warmed up to each other and IT WAS PERFECTION. There was some initial unwanted attraction toward the beginning, but once they realized/started to realize their feelings for each other, just major WOW. Their romance was so adorable and lovable and ugh I LOVE THEM SO MUCH.

Since the ARC was less than 300 pages (and the finished form is only slightly over 300 pages), I think there is plenty of room to add a bit more info here and there, regarding the world or various other aspects that felt a bit underdeveloped. I also would have liked more romance because ROMANCE and that ending kind of killed me, sooooooooo… All in all, although the world-building could have been a bit stronger, the amazing characters and romance made the story absolutely wonderful to read. I highly highly recommend this new take on Rapunzel, especially if you are looking for a bit of a darker undertone to a classic fairytale that still has elements of a beautiful romance.

✪✪✪ 1/2


  1. This book is going on my TBR immediately! Just by reading the synopsis I could tell that it was a Rapunzel retelling and that really excites me! It's sounds like such a good version of it, judging by your review.

    1. Yay! You definitely should read it :) It's a fantastic story

  2. Ahhhh! You're so lucky! I have been dying to read this book! I have this one preordered and signed up for some swag! I don't think I will ever get over how insanely gorgeous this cover is. I think I write that every single time I comment on someone's post about this book, but like seriously?! SO BEAUTIFUL! So glad you enjoyed this one! I have heard nothing, but good things, so hopefully I will love it as well! :)

    1. YAYAY I'm glad you're so excited!!! Crossing my fingers that it doesn't disappoint :)

  3. The ending was EVIL, no? I mean, obviously I will be reading the next book, because how could you not? I agree with you about the book. It was definitely dark (no pun intended) but I liked how Luna still held on to hope. And the romance was definitely amazing! I do agree with you about the world building- really, it was my only problem with the book. I felt like since there were so few characters, world building was extra important. I kind of feel like we will learn more in the next book (assumingly, as Luna does), but that is definitely one thing I had trouble with too. Fabulous review, glad you enjoyed it!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

    1. Thanks, Shannon! That ending definitely was BRUTAL. It hurt to turn the page and find out that it was the end. I NEED BOOK TWO ASAP. I hope you're right about the world-building in book two. There's a lot of potential for expanding the world and I'm really interested to see how it will be done.

  4. I love fairytale retellings that 's why this is one one of my anticipated reads for 2016 and your review makes me more excited to pick this one up. :)

    1. Yay! Thanks, Karla! I love fairytale retellings too, so I hope you enjoy this one! :)

  5. The romance sounds like it was done really well here! I'm glad it was a quick read, even though it left a bit of detail out. Lovely review!

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence