Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

Title: Circle of Shadows
Author: Evelyn Skye
Genre: High Fantasy
Source: HarperCollins

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied behind his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging to the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark. So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group.Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.
Review by Nara

I really enjoyed Evelyn Skye's debut duology, and I had relatively high expectations for this one too. Her first was based on Russian history, with this new series being very loosely based on Japanese culture. Unfortunately, I felt quite disappointed as there were numerous poorly developed aspects of the novel and very few positives.

One of the main things that I personally rate a book on is how good the world building is. Honestly, I can forgive a lot of things in a high fantasy novel if, for example, there is an interesting and well thought out magic system. Unfortunately, this was definitely not the case in Circle of Shadows, with a flimsy magic system that doesn't seem to make sense. There was also little explanation behind the main villain being able to wield this specific other type of magic named "ryuu" magic which made it seem overpowered and inconsistent.

There are way too many points of view, most of which just seem to show thoughts from different characters that are incredibly obvious and that we would have been able to infer without having read an explicit chapter from them. For example, there was a chapter from one of the main villain's henchmen the entire content on which was just her saying how she wanted to impress the main villain. Um, obviously... don't really need to dedicate a damned chapter to it. These sorts of pointless extras just bogged down the pace and made me lose interest in what was going on.

The characters and romance were quite poorly developed as well. Daemon seemed to have the personality of a cardboard box, and Sora was the typical reckless female high fantasy protagonist. The side characters were hardly developed as well as they were essentially only used as stepping stones to help progress the story forward.

Overall, quite disappointing. I will not be continuing with this series.

It was okay
Overall: 3/10
Plot: 2/5
Romance: 1/5
Writing: 3/5
World Building: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Cover: 4/5