Review: Shadows of Valor by Elsie Park
I received this book for free from the mentioned source in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book nor the content of my review.
Shadow of Valor by Elsie Park
Published by: Jolly Fish Press on September 7, 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Romance
View on: Goodreads
Grab it: Buy on Amazon
About the Book:
On the surface, Graywall is content and booming. Lord Shaufton, who presides over the city, is a fine ruler. The poor are well-cared for, the area is popular, and morale is high—but within Graywall’s roots, something dark is stirring. This darkness threatens to overpower the once-peaceful town, until a mysterious figure appears: The Shadow.
As much a figure of fear to the unruly as legend to the innocent, The Shadow is an enforcer of justice and aid to the King. Due to an outrageous export tax set by King Edward, smuggling has tainted the kingdom, so The Shadow is sent to hunt the smugglers down. Contrary to legend, The Shadow is simply a man known as Sir Calan who, although talented and just, struggles to keep his dark thoughts of revenge from becoming ruthless action.
Due to sheer coincidence, The Shadow learns of a deadly plot against Lord Shaufton on a journey to Graywall. Now, he must enter a pseudo courtship with Lord Shaufton’s daughter under his original guise of Sir Calan, all while old emotions are stirred by the lovely Elsbeth, Lord Shaufton’s niece. Elsbeth, it seems, is the only woman who can heal his troubled soul, but she has a story of her own. What transpires is a glorious tale full of deceit, greed, inner struggles, betrayal, and most of all—love.
Shadows of Valor is a sweet novel that tells the story of Elsbeth and Calan. Overall it is a clean, solid romance; I just had issues really connecting with it.
Let’s start out with what I did like about it…
I liked the characters. While I think that at times Elsbeth was a bit too innocent, I saw through one of the characters from the beginning, I did like her. I was rooting for her and Calan to make it from the beginning. I also liked some of the supporting characters as well. For example, Genna and Giles were amusing.
I also liked the story. There were some definite twists that I didn’t see coming. Especially towards the end I had thought I had it figured out and was surprised by how certain things were worked out.
The problem was what I didn’t like about it…
I wish the author had given some more depth to Genna and Giles. They weren’t shallow per se, but I would have liked to have gotten to know them a bit better. As I said above I liked them and I think the story would only have been made better if they had gotten a smidge more page time. I understand the story isn’t about them, but still I wish there had been a bit more.
The other issue I had was that some parts were long winded and the characters just repeated themselves. I think this was the main reason I had issues connecting with the story itself. I had already gotten why certain characters did certain things and it just made the story drag a bit when they or the author would repeat their same thoughts. Mainly it became annoying when it happened in the same scene, not just a theme that was spread throughout the story.
I’m giving it 3 ½ controllers out of 5. I didn’t hate the story, but I didn’t get drawn into it as I would have liked. It is a clean romance and it was refreshing to have a heroine that wasn’t drawn into an over dramatized love triangle. Also, it was pleasant to read a story that’s overall presence was a positive one. While there was mystery and murder, it didn’t get caught up in it.
If you’re looking for a clean romance with a positive message definitely pick up Shadows of Valor. While I might not have been able to connect with the author’s writing style, I don’t think that would prevent others from enjoying the book.