The Shadows: A Review

The Shadows by Megan ChanceGrace Knox is nearly seventeen. She should be preparing for her debut and enjoying everything that 19th Century New York has to offer. Instead Grace is tasked with keeping her family from the poorhouse by marrying well (and quickly).

While Grace is dismayed at this turn, she is thrilled to be the object of Patrick Devlin’s affections. Patrick being young and well-off, not to mention good looking, is more than Grace could have hoped for. Grace may not share Patrick’s passion to fight for Ireland’s independence. But surely such a passion can grow over time?

The only problem is that while Grace is enjoying Patrick’s company her thoughts keep turning to Patrick’s mysterious new stable boy Diarmid. Being with Derry is impossible, of course. It would mean losing everything not just for herself but for her entire family.

The only problem is Grace feels like she knows Diarmid and no matter how much she tries to stay away, she feels drawn to him. But Diarmid has his own secrets. Secrets about Irish legends and heroes. Secrets that might get Grace killed in The Shadows (2014) by Megan Chance.

The Shadows is the first book in The Fianna Trilogy.

Chance offers a well-written historical fantasy here rich with details that bring Victorian New York to life. Grace’s insecurities about her worth are frustrating throughout the story although Grace is an otherwise interesting heroine. Unfortunately there is very little going on here beyond the love triangle.

Chance sets up many elements and plot points that will no doubt be addressed later in the trilogy. Unfortunately The Shadows is thin on resolution. Instead readers watch as Grace waffles between Patrick and Diarmid with little in the way of an actual decision until mere pages of the story remain. (This decision will likely be reversed if not entirely unraveled at least once before the trilogy concludes.)

Readers looking for a pure paranormal romance will likely enjoy The Shadows quite a bit. Readers who prefer their romances tempered with plot development, on the other hand, may be better served elsewhere.

Possible Pairings: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare, The Luxe by Anna Godbersen, Cart and Cwidder by Diana Wynne Jones, This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, Thomas the Rhymer by Ellen Kushner, Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta, Wildwood Dancing by Juliet Marillier, Rebel Mechanics by Shanna Swendson, The New Policeman by Kate Thompson

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