Title: The Shadows (The Fianna Trilogy)
Author: Megan Chance
Type: Fantasy, Historical, Romance
Rating: 3 stars
Grace Knox has grown up hearing the folktales of her Irish ancestors, especially about the warriors who fought for control of Ireland. In 19th-century New York City, however, these legends are far from Grace’s mind. She’s much more concerned with how to protect her family from debt collectors, and whether her childhood friend Patrick Devlin will propose. Patrick is a member of the Fenian Brotherhood, a group of young Irish American men intent on fighting for the independence of their homeland, whatever the cost. Patrick and the Brotherhood use ancient magic to summon mythical warriors to join their fight to protect Ireland. One of them, Diarmid, finds himself drawn to Grace, and she to him. When Diarmid discovers that, in their desperation, the Brotherhood has also summoned a rival group of ancient warriors, he warns Patrick that there will be bloodshed. Grace is caught in the middle of two men she loves, and discovers she alone holds the power to save Ireland?
I really liked the start of this book. There was magic, adventure, and a sense of suspense that made you want to keep reading. I also loved the main character, Grace, and the multiple POVs that kept the story interesting. There were so many points I loved when reading this book, although there were some things that the story may improve on (I loved the Irish theme of the book though!)
The protagonist of the book, Grace, is a poor girl who was once wealthy before the death of her father. Her mother wishes for riches, but doesn’t help at all in the house, and Grace’s brother is a drunkard who keeps on using their scarce resources. To also add to Grace’s problems, her grandmother is slowly dying, while losing piece by piece of her sanity. Grace’s situation is undoubtedly bad, and the only choice for her to elevate her status in society is to marry someone wealthy, whether sparks may or may not fly. I loved Grace’s character. She was strong and resilient, and had a reasonable head on her shoulders. I also couldn’t help but notice that unlike other heroines in other books, she also wished that she had some money, and some piece of her former status. This part of her character I admired, since she turned into someone human that readers can relate to. Let’s be real for a second. If you were in her shoes, you would wish you had money too :D. Later in the book, she has to make a difficult decision (I won’t spoil though), and that decision was something I did NOT expect. I don’t know about you guys, but that’s a plus in my book.
The plot of the story was intriguing, with not just a few secondary characters, but a LOT. I loved how the author actually made their decisions matter in the book, instead of letting them fade into the background. Also, the choices in the book was astounding! I loved how there were actually difficult decisions to be made, not just by Grace, but other characters like Patrick and Diarmid. These choices pushed the plot and made the story more fascinating, more than what I expected.
But not all stories are perfect, so here are the things I did not exactly like about the book:
- The plot was….s…l….o…w….
Okay, you’re probably thinking, she’s one of those people who are really impatient when reading a book. I’m sorry, but it is true. It is only because I wanted to know more about Grace and her powers that I finished the book. It was a long, uphill battle for me, since I’m more of a fast-paced book kind of gal. But, BUT, the end was worth it, so I’m glad I finished it.
2. The heroine did not end up with the guy I wanted her to end up with.
Yes. I didn’t really deduct a star because of this, but still, WHY?
3. There were times when I wanted to hit some of the characters on the head.
Remember when I said that Patrick and Diarmid had to make some important decisions? Some of those decisions I really didn’t like, (not going to spoil even though I really want to), which detracted from my reading experience.
Overall, I give this book 3 stars, and would definitely read another book by Ms. Megan Chance. This book is filled with suspense, Irish magic, and Gaelic galore. If you’re a fan of these genres, then go ahead, read it! Tell me if you enjoyed the book or not. 😀 See you next time!
*This ARC was provided by Netgalley*