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Friday, February 7, 2020

A Prince of Song & Shade by Lisa Cassidy Review

Official Author Website

Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of A Tale of Stars and Shadow
Read our interview with Lisa CassidyOrder A Prince of Song & Shade over HERE(USA) or HERE(UK)

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Lisa is a self-published fantasy author by day and book nerd in every other spare moment she has. She’s a self-confessed coffee snob (don’t try coming near her with any of that instant coffee rubbish) but is willing to accept all other hot drink aficionados, even tea drinkers.

She lives in the Australia’s capital city, Canberra, and like all Australians, is pretty much in constant danger from highly poisonous spiders, crocodiles, sharks, and drop bears, to name a few. As you can see, she is also pro-Oxford comma.

CLASSIFICATION: New Adult Epic Fantasy

FORMAT: A Tale of Stars & Shadow was self-published by the author in June 2019 as the first book in the A Tale of Stars & Shadow series. It's available in an e-book and paperback format from most retailers. Cover design by Jessica Biel.

The book counts 502 pages and is divided into 51 numbered chapters. 

OVERVIEW: I enjoyed A Tale of Stars and Shadow so much that I had to read the sequel immediately after finishing it. Sequels are tricky, but rest assured - Cassidy proves she’s a skilled storyteller with a knack for characterization. The story, the plot, and the world develop significantly but, ultimately, it’s a character-driven story. And I do care about those characters.

After leaving Mithranar, Talyn tries to rebuild her life in Twin Thrones, but she can’t forget about her Wing. When she receives an offer to return to Mithranar and investigate Shadowhawk, she agrees. Only, after the events of A Tale of Stars and Shadows, she’s no longer sure whose side is she on. Shadowhawk is a criminal and yet all he does he does for the unprivileged inhabitants of the Dock City.

To make matters worse (and more interesting to readers) Vengeance wreaks havoc in Mithranar and its area. Their failed assassination attempt on Prince Cuinn changed nothing. It only made them more dangerous. I loved new reveals, and I appreciate the intricate plotting that connects a lot of arcs.

It’s good to see Talyn acknowledging her trauma and speaking about it. Unfortunately, she spends way too much time speaking about it with every Wing member. Sure, it develops their bonding, but this part of the book felt slow and meandering. It’s probably the only issue worth mentioning. Other than that the sequel gives readers more of the things they loved (otherwise, they probably wouldn’t reach for it.) - great team dynamics, engrossing mystery, complicated politics, and conflict between the stratified society. Cassidy brings her world to life. It’s not pretty or fair. In fact, it can be brutal, and it’s even more evident in this installment.

What else? Cuinn gets a pet. A sweet tawncat named Jasper. A sweet creature, and a very compelling, if slightly feral, character. I’m sure readers will want more Jasper in the future installments. I certainly do.

There's much more here but you definitely should discover it on your own and not from the review.

The prose reads as it came from an old pro – balanced between plot progression, action, camaraderie and the pressure to save the day and solve the mystery.

CONCLUSION: While the story relies on traditions of fantasy and its common tropes Cassidy tells it with a unique and compelling voice.


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