Title: “Into the Shade”
Author: A.L. Rose
Pages (paperback): 390 pages
Original Publishing Date: 30 October 2018
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
“TWO ASSASSINATIONS, leagues apart, set the stage for events that will change the world of Ondel forever.
“MAEVE WHELAN, an innocent girl with a gift, is training to become a priestess. When her world turns upside down on the night of a holy festival, she must master the darkness within to survive what happens next.
“THEORIS AL’OREN, a world away, is second in line to the throne of Orwyn and covets the one thing he cannot have—the one thing that would bring Orwyn to its knees. When tragedy strikes in the royal Alcazar, it’s up to Theoris to pick up the pieces and put them together before it’s too late.
“What happens to each in this tale will affect the course of the other’s life. A world apart, Maeve and Theoris are more intertwined than they know…”
Trigger/Content warnings for the novel:
- character death
- religious extremism
Representation in the novel:
- Middle Eastern-coded side character
Alright before I get into the actual review, we are going to have a lil story time. Back in October or November 2018, I entered a giveaway by an author. It was a cute giveaway — there was a copy of her book, a journal, a keychain, and some themed teas. I figured, “Why not?” I never heard about this particular author, but the premise of the book sounded interesting. The giveaway ends, and look at that, I won! The author DMs me to get my address, and we get to talking. Well, long story short, she was not able to send everything until the end of this past April due to some issues, BUT we also became pretty good friends. So now, here I am, reviewing my friend’s book, and that is just cool, right? Right. This was just supposed to be a cute paragraph about how A.L. Rose and I met! If you’re interested in her book, its sequel, and book extras, you can access it on her Patreon page! She is also available on Twitter. Go talk to her, if you want, she is super nice! Now…on to the review.
Overall, I thought Into the Shade was a good first book in this six-book series. It follows two characters that are miles apart: Maeve, a 14-year-old girl who recently finds out that she has dark powers, and Theoris, the best friend of the prince of a faraway land. Two separate calamities end up changing their lives forever.
The characters are intruiging — I wanted to learn more about them, especially Theoris. I liked figuring out the back stories of some of the characters, protagonists or otherwise. Again, I was mostly invested in Theoris’ backstory, and I want to know more about him and his connect to Reis, the prince. I do have to point out, though, that the dialogue felt a bit off to me. It seemed cheesy, but that is not a bad thing! A lot of readers like cheesy dialogue, myself included if it is done a certain way. However, I do not talk about it a lot, but I am really particular about my dialogue. So, overall, the dialogue was not for me, but it could be for someone else.
As for the plot, there are two of them that are happening side-by-side: Theoris has to investigate how and why the king of his country is killed, and Maeve learns how to come to terms with her supernatural abilities, as well as search for two other members of the group she is part of. I gravitated more towards Theoris’ plot because I always like when kings die by mysterious means. However, I still enjoyed Maeve’s story, too: I liked seeing the conflict she goes through with herself regarding her powers and who she is as a person. On top of that, I really enjoyed how the novel ended. I see the two plots clashing together eventually, and I cannot wait for that to happen!
So, yeah, as a whole, I thought Into the Shade was a wonderful first book. While I am personally picky about the dialogue, I am interested in what is going to happen next.
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