Saturday, October 3, 2020

REVIEW OF THE SHADOW WAND BY LAURIE FOREST

THE SHADOW WAND BY LAURIE FOREST: REVIEW



SYNOPSIS

HER WORLD-ALTERING SECRET CAN’T BE HIDDEN MUCH LONGER

Elloren Gardner hides the most powerful secret in all Erthia—she is the Black Witch of Prophecy, and destined to triumph…or be used as the ultimate weapon of destruction.

Separated from everyone she loves, isolated and hunted, Elloren must turn to the last person she can trust—her fastmate, Commander Lukas Grey. With the Mage forces of Gardneria poised to conquer all of Erthia, Elloren has no choice but to ally with Lukas and combine their power to keep herself out of the hands of Gardnerian leader Marcus Vogel…the holder of the all-consuming Shadow Wand.

With just weeks to train to become a warrior, and no control over her magic, Elloren finds unexpected allies among those under orders to kill her. It’s time to step up. To fight back. And to forge onward through the most devastating loss yet.

REVIEW


Life never goes the way we want or imagine, and Elloren sure learns that. Hunted by the Vu Trin because she's too powerful and forced to go back to Gardneria to gather information and hide, she reunites with Lukas and learns of the death of someone precious to her. A lot happens in a short time and Elloren loses loved ones, and gains allies, sacrifices parts of herself, and also acquires new skills.

There are multiple POVs that widen the scope of the story. I enjoyed them a great deal. I'm usually not a fan. I'm usually mentally screaming "gimme my MC!!!" but Laurie knows how to trap you with new characters and also new ones that have interesting stories to tell. From a highly powerful mage who has his beliefs torn to pieces in front of him, to a brave, reckless young woman who would do anything for her small sibling, to a powerful fae, and Elloren's brother Trystan. I so love Trystan; his side of the story is heartbreaking and also full of self-discovery with a dash of steamy romantic potential.

If there's something Laurie excels at, is conveying emotion in such a raw way that I teared up several times. And romance. Complex, maddening, delirious romantic liaisons that are positively addictive.

The war has begun, and it's terrifying. Just when I thought I couldn't hate Marcus Vogel more than I did he got worse. Like 100 times worse. And Vyvian, that crazy bitch reached extra levels of wickedness.

Again, the parallels to some of the most chauvinistic ways of the Gardnerians with our world's bullshit ways are masterful. The way Gardnerians feel like they own the world, and want to set it on fire, and dominate other species because it says they are the superior beings in their little deranged book was eerily familiar.

There are also lots of action scenes. I looooooooooove me some actions scenes. And have I mentioned the kissing? There are lots of swoon-worthy scenes, too. I love how Laurie balances the horrors of a world divided and at war with very personal stories full of complex feelings and hard decisions.

Overall a sexy, action-packed, diverse adventure that makes one think about the injustices in our pseudo-modern prejudiced world while diving into a world ripe with magic, dragons, and powerful beings.

GRAB THE SHADOW WAND BY TAPPING THE COVER!

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