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I Belong

Review: Shadowspell by Jenna Black

Title: Shadowspell

Author: Jenna Black

Genre: YA Paranormal

Series: Faeriewalker (Book 2)

Publication Date: January 4, 2011

Format: Paperback, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 0312575947 (St. Martin’s Press)

ISBN13: 978-0312575946 (St. Martin’s Press)


On top of spending most of her time in a bunkerlike safe house and having her dates hijacked by a formidable Fae bodyguard, Faeriewalker Dana Hathaway is in for some more bad news: the Erlking and his pack of murderous minions known as the Wild Hunt have descended upon Avalon. With his homicidal appetite and immortal powers, the Erlking has long been the nightmare of the Fae realm. A fragile treaty with the Faerie Queen, sealed with a mysterious spell, is the one thing that keeps him from hunting unchecked in Avalon, the only place on Earth where humans and Fae live together. Which means Dana’s in trouble, since it’s common knowledge that the Faerie Queen wants her – and her rare Faeriewalker powers – dead. The smoldering, sexy Erlking’s got his sights set on Dana, but does he only seek to kill her, or does he have something much darker in mind?

Quick & Dirty: This second installment takes place in a unique world with fascinating and complex characters.  Political machinations, intrigue and romance provide readers an exciting story.

Opening Sentence: Going on a date with a bodyguard hanging over your shoulder sucks.

Excerpt: Chapter 1

The Review:

The story of Dana Hathaway’s bewitching journey continues in Shadowspell, but the stakes have gotten much higher with the debut of a new villain, The Erlking.  The Erlking, leader of the Wild Hunt, has descended upon Avalon.  The murderous Hunt terrifies mortals and Fae alike because The Erlking can’t be killed.  Known as “the nightmare of the Fae realm,” it’s difficult to fathom a way to defeat The Erlking and his Huntsmen.  Unfortunately for Dana, The Erlking crosses her path and sets his sights upon her.  Dana already has to worry about the Queens of Faerie wanting her dead, now she has to deal with the deadly Erlking who wants her Faeriewalker powers, and something much more sacred…

Shadowspell surprised me in many ways.  While I enjoyed Glimmerglass and thought that it was a good read, this second installment raises the bar.  The second installment in the Faeriewalker series is captivating.  This well crafted story continues with the unique world introduced in Glimmerglass.  Ms. Black does an excellent job of layering enough complexity onto this story and its characters, and building enough tension, and suspense that you could choke on it.

Dana continues to get under my skin.  Generally, I can’t enjoy a book when I have major issues with the protagonist.  I warmed up to Dana a bit, but I still find her to be wildly immature and unreasonably reckless.  I’m waiting for her to be strong, assertive, independent, smart, and responsible without feeling as if she has to buck the system just to get her way or to prove a point.

Much of the excitement in this book revolves around The Hunt.  I can’t give too much away because it’s a crucial plot point, but suffice it to say that the concept is beautifully executed.  It really sets the tone for the story that unfolds.  The mythology is still developing, and a fair amount is revealed.  We don’t get much more by way of fey court politicking, but the stage has been set for the next installment.  It’s clear that Dana won’t be able to escape either court unscathed.

The romance is simply breathtaking.  Ethan is still devilishly handsome and generally up to no good.  He is constantly trying to entice Dana with his flirting and heavy petting.  The Erlking is just an all around bad guy, not to be trifled with.  He dominates, consumes and will stop at nothing to get what he wants.  I love the addition of his character.  The Erlking doesn’t try to justify his evil.  He’s very raw, passionate and vicious because that’s him.  He knows that he can easily crush you, but he likes to toy with his prey.  Doing the dance of death and extending his victims torture just a little bit longer, you’ll beg for the sweet release from the fear that he instills in you.  He thrives off of the Hunt, and you should hope that he never has to hunt you.  I should also note that there is a taboo element with respect to The Erlking’s desire for Dana.  He’s essentially a man and she’s just an innocent teenage girl.  I fear that I already know how this will end in the next book.

Overall, Shadowspell is a novel that you will devour.  This compelling and addictive story will have you flipping pages long into the night.  I can’t wait to read the next Faeriewalker book, Sirensong, which hit shelves on July 5, 2011.  You don’t want to miss this wonderful installment in the series.

Notable Scene:

The Erlking’s eyes sparked with triumph, and he slid his huge hand up the back of my neck until he was cradling my head in his palm.  He leaned down, and it took every ounce of my will not to break free of his grip and run for my life.

His lips were surprisingly gentle when they touched mine, and I felt a moment of relief, thinking this chase brush of lips would do the trick.  Then the magic speared through me.  Suddenly, I no longer felt the prickling on my skin-it seemed to be coming from inside me instead.

I gasped, and the Erlking gasped, too.  Then he crushed his lips down on mine and pulled my body against his.  I went unresisting into his embrace as the magic tingled in my chest and belly.  I opened my mouth, almost begging for the taste of the Erlking’s tongue, and he gave it to me.

He kissed me so hard it almost hurt, and I hadn’t even the faintest thought of resisting him.  I wrapped my arms around his neck and pressed myself against him, feeling the hot, hard evidence that he was ready and eager to fulfill the bargain right this moment.  I moaned into his mouth as pleasure zinged from my head to my toes and back again.  It was the most glorious thing I’d ever felt, and I wanted more.  There was no part of me, mind or body, that remembered I was kissing the bad guy and that I didn’t really want to be doing what I was doing.

The magic reached a crescendo that would have made me scream if the Erlking’s tongue hadn’t been in my mouth.  I grabbed a double handful of his hair, holding on to it like it was a lifeline and I was drowning.

The Faeriewalker Series:

1. Glimmerglass

2. Shadowspell

You can visit Jenna around the web here: Website | Twitter

FTC Advisory: St. Martin’s Press provided me with a copy of Shadowspell.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.  In addition, I don’t receive affiliate fees for anything purchased via links from my site.

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Review: Shadowspell by Jenna Black, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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One Response to “Review: Shadowspell by Jenna Black

  1. AprilNo Gravatar

    What a great review! I love the passages you used.

    And oooo the Erlking. That is so awesome. I’ll definitely have to check this series out.

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