Author: Elsie Park
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Published Date: September 7, 2013
Hardcover/Paperback/Kindle/Nook: 252 pages
Genre: Historical/Medieval Romance
(PB) ISBN# 978-1-939967-07-7
Reviewed by: Shanda
FTC FYI: free digital uncorrected galley in exchange for an honest review
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 story of ladies and knights, including one with a secret identity, in a tale of intrigue, valor, adventure, and seemingly unrequited love. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a light romantic read that isn’t heavy on historically accurate dialogue and doesn’t shy away from what some consider romance novel cliché. Shadows of Valor fit this mood for me, and I was pleasantly entertained reading about Elsbeth and her dealings with The Shadow and Sir Calan.
The pace of the story kept things moving well and the writing was enjoyable. There were a few things I noticed in the uncorrected proof that I hope were caught before final publication, ie., “had to of” instead of “had to have”, as well as a few phrases that felt too modern for the story. The intrigue and all of the “bad guys” are easy to figure out almost from the beginning (which could be intentional), yet Shadows of Valor is still a fun, quick read that many readers who like historical/medieval romance will enjoy.
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