Shadowborn (Light & Shadow Book 1)
by Moira Katson
“You, Catwin, no longer exist. You no longer have a fate of your own, a will of your own, or indeed a soul of your own. You will go where Miriel goes, you will watch instead of being watched, you will hear instead of being heard.”
Catwin has always been good at being unseen…that is, until one fateful mistake brings her to the attention of the Duke of Voltur: the commander of the bloodiest battle in living memory, a man of legendary ruthlessness who is determined to be the power behind the throne. To this end, he has chosen Catwin to be a Shadow—spy, shield, and blade—to his niece Miriel as she works to catch the eye of the King.
But the Duke’s carefully laid plans are only a piece of the intrigue swirling within the royal court. Shadows gather: legacies of the centuries-long rivalries for power, old betrayals, the endless plots of the courtiers, and the murmur of rebellion in the southern provinces.
Greater forces than Catwin can imagine are massed against her, determined to eliminate Miriel and impose a new order of their own. If Catwin and Miriel are to survive, they must learn quickly who to trust, and when to turn their skills against the very people who have trained them...
I liked this book but I didn't love it. I have a huge soft spot when it comes to books with assassins, especially if it is in a medieval kind of setting. I really did want to love everything this book offered me, and for a while I did, but I gave up on love and settled on a like eventually.
The biggest problem I had with this book is that it is so repetitive. In the beginning it was interesting to watch as Catwin learned new skills, how she changed as a person, her fight within herself on if she should support Miriel or turn against her. But when you are faced with this so many times it gets annoying. I just wanted her to hurry up and get on with it. It was also quite trying when it came to her observations of Miriel as well. It was once again the same thing over and over again.
The time frames seems slightly off to me. I would think that more time had passed then what actually did just because so much was happening all at once. And at other times think that no time had passed at all when a large amount would.
Other then that I liked everything else. Though it was trying when Catwin went through everything over and over again I understood that she is still a child, though I was keen to forget this a lot because she was way more mature then what a 14 year old would be. But in her case it was required of her to be that way or she would have not made it far in her life.
I also liked that she didn't just pick everything up like it was nothing. It was a realistic pace that she learned her new skills. She wasn't some kind of wizard like prodigy that you tend to find in books like this. She struggled and practiced and get better with time. She also reacted with, what I would assume, a realistic reaction to the first time she had to protect Miriel.
I liked all the different characters we are shown. They all play their parts well and don't come across as anything other then what they are.
After really thinking about this I can't really put my finger on what it was that I liked so much about this book. The way its written is good enough that you are left biting your nails wondering what going to happen next and though everything repeats itself you for some reason just want to keep reading. Honestly it feels like some spell was placed on me when I started reading this, normally I wouldn't wonder so much about a book like this but it is the next day and it is still on my mind making me wonder and wanting to know more. That is some seriously talented writing skills in my option.
Would I recommend this book? Eh, I'm not sure if I would or wouldn't. It would honestly depend on the person.