Wednesday, September 14, 2011


TITLE: Shadowspell
SERIES:  A Faeriewalker Novel #2
PUBLISHED BY: St. Martin's Press
RELEASE DATE:  January 4, 2011
EDITION: Paperback, 295 Pages
BUY IT HERE: Amazon; Barnes & Noble

WHAT THE BACK COVER SAYS: On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the only thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana's in trouble, since it's common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her - and her rare Faeriewalker powers - dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking's got his sights set on dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?

**Spoiler Alert for both Glimmerglass & Shadowspell; stop here if you haven't read these books and have plans too!!!**

MY REVIEW: Let me start out by saying that I was hesitant in even reading this book, because the first book in the series, Glimmerglass, did not wow me. In fact, I had pretty much given up on Dana Hathaway and her adventures in Avalon with her Fae father, and alcoholic mother. On a recent trip to the downtown library I found this in the new release section and said, hey, what the heck, let's give it a whirl.

The first half of the book was not winning me over whatsoever. It was more of what Glimmerglass was; Dana not trusting people but trying to learn to trust her best friend, Kimber Leigh, the gorgeous Fae sister of Dana's love interest, Ethan Leigh. Dana continued to deny her attraction to Ethan because of his playboy ways, which were confirmed when she saw him dirty dancing with an ex of his at Kimber's birthday party. Meanwhile, she was fighting attraction to her self-defense teacher, Keane, the son of her bodyguard, Finn.

Also, Dana is still trying to escape attempts on her life by her aunt, Grace, as well as trying to handle her overbearing father who is still her legal guardian and keeping her mother locked up in his home. The dynamics of Dana's relationships don't change much in the second installment of the Faeriewalker series. She actually loses more trust in her father when learning he knew things that he never shared with her; things that would've been helpful if not now, then in the future. She feels very betrayed when she learns things from the Erlking, when it was stuff she should've been told straight by her father. Her relationship does change slightly with her mother, even though the scene is only about a page and a half. Dana lets her anger run rampant, telling her mother how awful her life was growing up because her mother never wanted to accept that she is an alcoholic. Her mother says a few things back in her own defense, but then ends the conversation with, "That's enough, Dana." Later on near the end of the book, Dana tells us that her mother hasn't mentioned the conversation since, and basically acts like it never happens however she feels confident that it did make an impact on her mother.

The main story line focuses on the Erlking and his Wild Hunt. The Erlking is the Bad Boy You Love To Hate (The BBYLTH, LOL) he's arrogant, deadly, evil, and so smolderingly sexy that when he kidnaps Ethan and inducts him into his Wild Hunt, Dana is willing to do get Ethan back. She can't imagine that the Erlking will want anything more than to have free reign in the mortal realm to kill whomever he wants; but when the Erlking shocks her by asking for her virginity instead; Dana pledges her womanhood to him and they seal it with a magical kiss. To see Dana react as she did during the kiss with the Erlking is a turning point for Dana. Scared at the magnitude of her attraction to the Erlking, it stirs up her feelings for Ethan; and when Kimber shows interest in Keane, it stirs up jealousy in Dana as well. This promotes a Team Ethan or Team Keane dynamic for the book - but could there even be a *GASP* Team Erlking? Of course Dana's post-Erlking makeout sesh with Ethan, who has changed since the Erlking made him part of his Wild Hunt, brings to light the hormonal teenage side of Dana, and also the struggle that will probably remain throughout the remainder of the series until the conclusion where she either overcomes the Erlking and breaks the promise to him, fulfills the promise; or the Erlking is killed; which at this point we know is impossible. Even if he's beheaded; he can just pick his head back up, plop it back on his severed neck, and he's good as new. Not good if you need him dead in order to bed your boyfriend and not lose your life, or your boyfriends.

We see aunt Grace attempt to kill Dana yet again, however in a very Erlking-like move, the Erlking has placed a spell upon the brooch he gave to Dana. Upon the third prick of her finger, Dana becomes linked to the Erlking, almost in a GPS-like way. He will now know where she is, and if she is in danger. Since Ethan was part of the Wild Hunt he's been marked by the Erlking for the rest of eternity, but now when Dana isn't with Ethan he'll be able to sense her by the mark he placed upon her shoulder. The Erlking has killed aunt Grace, entrusting Dana with that knowledge that her alive is more beneficial to him, than if she was killed. Once the Erlking takes Dana's virginity, he also absorbs her powers and abilities - he will become a Faeriewalker. He will be able to take technology into Faerie, and magic into the mortal world. Not such a great thing for the bad guy to possess!

The story shows Dana change but not as much as I'd hoped for. With everything that she's been through I don't feel that she's really evolved from who she was at the start of Glimmerglass. Obviously there's been some growth and some changes but not what I guess I'd expected. I'm curious to see if the events of Shadowspell change Dana in the third installment, Sirensong, which was released in July 2011. I also am happy to see that the third book takes us into Faerie. My main hangup with this story was that I never felt the magic in the book. It just felt like regular people who just happened to be Fae and had some powers. The idea of Avalon still doesn't thrill me, but I can accept it. I believe that Sirensong has the ability to be the best in the series and I've definitely added it to my To Be Read Shelf.

The end of the book ends nicely enough to leave unresolved to carry us into the third Faeriewalker novel. My interest in this series, and my expectations have been renewed so I hope that Sirensong doesn't disappoint.



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