Court of Shadows (Shadow Fae #1) by C.N. Crawford

by Samy
Published: Last Updated on 7 minutes read
Court of Shadows
Court of Shadows (Shadow Fae #1) by C.N. CrawfordCourt of Shadows by C.N. Crawford
Series: Shadow Fae #1, Demon of Fire and Night #12
on August 9, 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 150
Format: Digital
three-half-stars

A girls' night out means three things to me: drinking whiskey with my best friend, and trying not to kill anyone. A gladiator like me isn’t supposed to exist anymore.

But my Friday night takes a bad turn when a lethally gorgeous fae--Ruadan--tries to assassinate me. He's taken a vow of silence until he’s slaughtered the outlaws on his kill list. Outlaws like me.

Ruadan lets me live on one condition: I have to earn my place at the Institute of the Shadow Fae. As a demi-fae, I can take the competition.

But things fall apart when I’m given an impossible choice: Betray the Institute, or my best friend dies. Now, I face a quandary my gladiatorial past did not prepare me for.

Court of Shadows by C.N. Crawford is the first book of the Urban Fantasy Shadow Fae series and follows the story before Court of Darkness (Shadow Fae #2).

Arianna – a demi-fae bartender in the human world – is just trying to get by with her human best friend Ciara. That is until two unruly vampires try to start a bar brawl in the pub where she’s working and end up bringing the Shadow Fae to her doorstep.
Since her stay in the Human World is not exactly legal, they offer her a deal: Join the Shadow Fae and become a knight or get executed.
If that wasn’t enough already, her former mentor shows up, only to give her the chance to steal something he wants, or her best friend will die.

Court of Shadows Book Review

Arianna is the FMC in the story and a pretty badass fighter. I don’t see her as being incapable of fighting stuff. Through her past, she definitely can go and handle a good fight. Besides being a demi fae, her past and other half are unknown.

However, I like Arianna’s sarcasm, even tho it’s not pointed out since the others seem not to understand jokes.

Then we have Ruadan as MMC, a shadow fae who doesn’t speak and has a seemingly nasty attitude. When he sees her as an enemy first, that might change through the plot.
Although Ruadan doesn’t talk, he knows how to communicate. Sometimes, the effort is a bit low, but we also don’t see it from his perspective.

There are other characters, but we don’t get to know them that much.

It’s hard to empathize with characters when there’s barely a chance to get to know them. It was also hard with the MCs; one was not talking and barely communicating, and the other wasn’t sharing anything about her past. At least we got hints about her experiences.

Writing Style

The book is not wasting any time. Right from the beginning, it’s action packed and doesn’t stop until the end. There’s hardly any time to drag scenes out. Which can be a good thing.

I found it very hard to read when Arianna and Ruadan were communicating since his part wasn’t put in quotes, italicized, or marked in any other way than normal text.
Besides that, I like how they describe the environment but don’t see it as anything too extraordinary.

Themes

A traumatic past, saving friends, discovering friendship, and handling everything.

It’s not specifically discussed or explored. Only the FMC is focused on saving a friend and being remembered for her past, which is not handled ideally.
So, at this point, it’d be great to have the focus more on how the FMC handles those.

Setting

Since it’s not specifically mentioned what time the book’s set in, it’s a bit hard because, for once, there’s a stone building that gives a feeling of a former century, but at the same time, mobile phones are mentioned. However, nothing says anything about how developed the technology is, so that part is hard to tell.

But so far, I can agree with the Urban Fantasy setting.

The romance pacing is slow, given it’s the first book of four in this part of the series. It could go faster, but there’s hardly any time or a proper romance setting since the book is plot-driven.

It might be just perfect for lovers of the slow-pacing trope, for others, it could be too slow.

Strengths

Good fights – The FMC is capable of handling situations and fights.
Character dynamics – The MCs don’t get along first but are great in battles.

Weaknesses

Character depth – It is really hard to empathize with the characters. We barely get to know the characters, e.g., Ciara: It’s good for her to be the FMC’s best friend, but we hardly know anything about her. It’s only important to have her safe. The same is true for the FMC herself; we don’t know anything about her past, which makes it difficult to empathize with her.

Recommendation

Will I recommend it? I think for some readers, I can recommend, yes.

I got pickier through the last few years, but I’d say fans of Urban Fantasy with Fae and other fantasy creatures, slight Romance hints, and slow pacing are most likely good to go. For readers who like spice, this book might be a disappointment.
Also, there are nude scenes involved.

Will I reread it? Most likely not.

Final Thoughts

It’s a solid first book and introduction to the world and series, as the FMC is at least entertaining. As I haven’t read the first book of the overall series, my knowledge about some things is based on this first book, but it has worked well so far.

It’s entertaining and enjoyable, but I know books that kept me way more entertained. It felt like something I’ve read, and the author handled parts better, but it was my first time reading this book. In a way, it wasn’t original enough for me to get overhyped or anything. I could have put it away after finishing, but I decided to go on and read through the series.

Court of Shadows is the first book of the Shadow Fae series, and as there are some romantic hints and sexual tension involved, it focuses on the main plot instead of the characters or the romantic part.

POV’s: Single -1st person (Arianna)

Tropes included
– Hate to Love/ Enemies to Lovers
– Fae and demons
– A badass female lead that can kick ass
– London setting
– A deadly competition
– Adorable and loyal friendships
– I came to kill/ steal from you but fell in love 


Have you read Court of Shadows or any of the Demons of Fire and Night Universe? If so, what are your thoughts? Share them in the comments!


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