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GAME OF THRONES meets GRACELING in a new young adult fantasy by bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis Told in alternating male and female perspectives THE SHADOW SOUL has been hailed as an amazing start to a new series that is going to have people of all ages wanting so much Happy Tails Tales ReviewsWhen Jinji's home is destroyed she is left with nowhere to run and no one to run to—until she meets Rhen a prince chasing rumors that foreign enemies have landed on his shores Masuerading as a boy Jinji joins Rhen with vengeance in her heart But traveling together doesn't mean trusting one another and both are keeping a deep secret—magic Jinji can weave the elements to create master illusions and Rhen can pull burning flames into his flesh But while they struggle to hide the truth a shadow lurks in the night An ancient evil has reawakened and unbeknownst to them these two unlikely companions hold the key to its defeat Because their meeting was not coincidence—it was fate And their story has played out before in a long forgotten time an age of myth that is about to be reborn

10 thoughts on “The Shadow Soul

  1. says:

    35 stars This YA fantasy is pretty solid and it's a Kindle freebie if you want to check it out Review first posted on Fantasy Literature The Shadow Soul came in first place of the 30 books that our Fantasy Literature team of reviewers read for Mark Lawrence’s 2016 Self Published Fantasy Blog Off SPFBO in which 300 self published science fiction and fantasy novels have been read and evaluated by ten blogs The winner of the very first round it managed to survive and prevail over all of the rest of the novels in our later rounds A round of virtual but heartfelt applause to The Shadow Soul and its author Kaitlyn DavisAs the story begins Jinji is a sixteen year old girl preparing for her formal joining in marriage to Maniuk a future leader of their small Arpapajo tribe along with Jinji herself Jinji has the magical ability to see the elemental spirits of the land which appear to her as brightly colored strands of thread weaving through the air and to weave them into illusions Jinji’s happiness is marred only by her longing for her twin brother Janu who was killed by a bear some time ago and by a dream of a dark shadow with bright white eyes that attacks her in her dreams But too soon Jinji has a truly devastating tragedy to deal with one in which the shadow plays a role bringing the white empty eyes and unspeakable violenceJinji nearly gives up in despair at her loss until she is found by Whylrhen or Rhen a younger son of the king of their country Several generations ago the Arpapajo’s land was invaded by Whyl the Conueror heh and his Whyl named descendants have ruled the kingdom which they renamed Whylkin ever since Rhen discontented with his life as a spare prince is secretly traveling through the kingdom in disguise investigating the dangers that threaten it from the neighboring kingdom of Ourthuro Jinji joins him in his adventures though she uses the spirit threads to disguise herself as a boy taking on the appearance of her dead twin hiding her sex and her magical talents from Rhen Rhen has secrets of his own ― in addition to being a prince he also has the ability to absorb fire into his body and remain unharmed ― but he doesn’t know that Jinji can see the red flame threads circling around him As Rhen seeks answers to his concerns about foreign invaders and Jinji seeks to avenge her people against the terrifying shadow their friendship grows But unexpected dangers both within the kingdom and without will try both their friendship and their souls The Shadow Soul is an engaging story with appealing main characters Both Jinji and Rhen have good depth and complexity in their characters They’re admirable characters but troubled and unwilling to trust others uickly Their friendship develops long before there’s any hint of romance ― understandably so since Rhen views Jinji as a younger brother Rhen begins to realize what a disservice his kingdom has done to Jinji’s people isolating them and prohibiting them from speaking their native language Rhen’s life in the royal family also turns out to be far complicated than I expected which helps to shed a somewhat different light on the conflicts that arise later in the storyThe pacing of the plot is smooth and moves along uickly An unexpectedly perilous voyage to Ourthuro the Golden Isles which are literally built on gold and other metals is a nice change of pace along the way and some new characters are introduced who may become significant later Some of the elements of the story such as Jinji’s dreams and the nature of the ominous shadow are never really explained and the story ends on a cliffhanger This is the first book in a trilogy so readers will need to continue with the series to get all of the answers and the complete story The Shadow Soul although it’s unusually well written for a self published book still suffers somewhat from a lack of professional editing There are occasional misspellings such as “vile” for “vial” and grammatical errors and a few inconsistencies For example at one point men who are threatening Rhen are described as having eyes that are “vacant open but unaware;” a couple of pages later however “intelligence is reflected in their eyes It’s also occasionally formulaic but there’s enough of a difference here to make this novel enjoyable to most YA fantasy fans even if it doesn’t push the boundaries of the genreKaitlyn Davis has made the ebook version of The Shadow Soul available for free and it’s worth checking out if you enjoy young adult fantasies The Shadow Soul will now face off against the nine other winners chosen by these blogs and we wish it the best of luck

  2. says:

    I haven't read this book yet but it is one of the 10 finalists in the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off That's 10 out of 300 hopefulsRead about the competition herehttpmark lawrenceblogspotcoukSee ratings and reviews of all the finalists here

  3. says:

    Thanks to Netgalley and Patchwork Press for giving me this book to reviewJinji’s home is destroyed and everyone she has known has been killed by a mysterious shadow and she is left alone with nowhere to go until a young man called Rhen finds her However both are hiding secrets Jin is masuerading as a boy and has magic meaning she can weave elements and create illusions and Rhen is a prince on the search for foreign enemies and can pull flames into himself While they go on a search to discover what is happening in the kingdom Ourthuro an evil power is after them and only Jin and Rhen hold the key to defeat it I really enjoyed The Shadow Soul as it is a good fantasy is well written and I was not bored from beginning to the end There was a lot of traveling in this book action and a hint of potential romance for future books I got really invested in the story and characters and I enjoyed having the POV of both the male and female protagonist I really liked Jin as she is naïve intelligent and has an inner strength she has struggled but never forgot her heritage and is willing to get justice for her family but is also willing to help her friend Rhen is really cleaver much than people expect is very loyal to those who are close to him has a good sense of humour and wants to prove himself Rhen and Jin just clicked and I liked how they acted together and I wonder how it will change in the next bookThis is a really good book and I can’t wait to read the next book The Spirit Heir and the short stories in this series I would recommend The Shadow Soul to fans of Tamora PeirceThis and my other reviews can be found at Amethyst Bookwyrm

  4. says:

    This review is also posted on my blog I received a copy free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewview spoilerAlright where do I beginI suppose I’ll start positive with Jinji She and the princess of Ourthuro were the best parts of this entire book A native american protagonist? Yas please Who is female? YAS please Who has incredible magical powers and seems to be a spirit dragon who just now finally got reborn? YAS PLEASEI LOVED Jinji I totally understood why she chose to become a boy because it’s fucking DANGEROUS to be a woman of color in a kingdom of white people whom are also responsible for erasing your culture I was seriously shaking my metaphorical pom poms at her the entire time She could not be badass enoughBut let the word vomit begin that was essentially all I liked It’s MASSIVE to have a PoC female protagonist and that’s essentially the only redeeming uality A HUGE one but the only one The Ourthuri princess WOULD have been another one in the short chapter she had a part in had she not been entirely forgotten aboutI wasn’t a fan of how ALL of the rest of Jinji’s tribe was wiped out and how they were apparently the only native tribe left in the land Or how the projected ‘bad guys’ in the entire book the Ourthuri were described to be Arabic or Egyptian or some other mix of a colored desert cultureWhat theme am I seeing here? The killing off and villainizing of people of color just to further the plot of white peopleThat was underlying in the entire novel That and just the childish way of describing many things especially the dialogue It just seemed so AWKWARD and unnatural and unnecessary to point out things that the reader can figure out for themselves YES we can see that the friend is annoyed YES we can see that the further the conversation goes the things are forgiven You don’t need to treat your reader like they’re stupid They can figure these things out I promiseThose two things would have knocked off just a star or two if they were all that I dislikedBut then there’s fucking RHENThe second protagonist an older teenager in the same range as Jinji the third son to the king and basically just nicknamed ‘white boy’ in my head the entire time I literally almost gave up on this book about 30% through because of him The only reason I didn’t was because of JinjiRhen had one redeeming factor to himself Upon meeting Jinji who up until the last three pages or so he thought was a boy he realized that nothing he could say could make up for what his people did to hers in terms of erasing their culture and forcing them to conform So he doesn’t try to doesn’t try to make excuses and instead vows to keep her alive to preserve what little IS left of the culture and to allow her to get her vengeance That is good That’s a good thing I applaud you Rhen You’re doing well on not being racist Now let’s work on you not being a misogynistAs the third prince in line Rhen is typically looked over and entirely ignored by everyone in his family So in an effort to show them up and gain some respect he’s spent his life sneaking around and basically playing at being a spy gaining info and intelligence and looking out for any ill intended information towards his family But he does so under the guise of getting in trouble of misbehaving of breaking the rules and ESPECIALLY and most notoriously of sleeping with women He has ruined MANY girls’ reputations in this guise that he keeps up though he evidently never actually slept with them just knocked them out with a sleeping potion YEAH JUST WHAT THE FUCK so he could sneak around while everyone else thinks he’s getting laid And he feels the tiiiniest bit of guilt about it but not enough to stop doing it It is apparently ‘a weapon he can’t give up’And then there was how he COMPLETELY FORGOT ABOUT the Ourthuri princess and the deal Jinji made with her Summed up the Ourthuri king tried to have him killed Jinji was trying to save him ran into the princess struck a deal with her that if she helps her save him he later provides protection and safe haven when she runs from her abusive and fear mongering fatherDoes he do that? NOPE He just RUNS AWAY without a single fucking thought to what will happen to her or towards actually fulfilling the agreementAnd then there’s the overall ‘girls are weak’ and ‘I gotta MAN UP’ attitude prevalent in his narrative throughout the entire storyAnd LET’S NOT EVEN START ON his reaction when he finally found out Jinji was a girl How it was a ‘betrayal’ how ‘everything was different now’ how ‘everything was a lie’ and how he didn’t even raise a finger in protest towards her being arrested AFTER SHE SAVED HIS FUCKING LIFE And just confronted the one thing she confided in him was the only thing she wanted to confront to avenge her family Literally ONLY because he found out she was a girlAnd in COMPLETE DISREGARD to WHY she may have done such a thing I mean When she came to after her trauma induced trance in the beginning after finding herself by a stream and cleaned up and finding bootprints nearby the very first thing she does is check if her pants are still on and if she aches where she’s not supposed to The VERY FIRST THING SHE DID was check and see if she was raped NO WONDER she protected herself you spoiled privileged little shitbag Oh my GOD I fucking am seething about RhenI mean When his shadow induced mother stabbed him in the gut literally all I thought was ‘well that’s unfortunate’ Maybe THEN he’ll get what’s coming to him but I doubt it He never did ONCE in the entire rest of the story Even when the Ourthuri king almost killed him When he was running away did he take caution? Responsibility? Feel any guilt at all about the princess? NOPE He literally called it a game Like hiding from the palace guards A GAMEFUCK Rhen FUCK him SO FUCKING HARDAs much as I love Jinji and how rare a female PoC protagonist is to be found it can’t make up for the FUCKING IDIOCY and INFURIATING PRIVILEGED LITTLE SHIT that is RhenI’ll mark the next book as TBR for now But I’ll see if I ever actually end up reading it in the future I don’t know Rhen pissed me off a little bit too muchI only recommend this to those who read this and are fully aware of what they’re getting into and still feel like they may want to give it a try If you honestly think you’d like to be my guest I won’t stop you Otherwise save yourself from wasting your time Go find your female PoC protagonist somewhere else hide spoiler

  5. says:

    This took a bit to get into after reading the preuel first I can't figure out wherehow it fits in properly I really liked Jin's character but she is too secretive for her own good She needed to try to trust someone but even Rhen who saves her opens up his secrets she is silent It takes a while to understand her relation to spirits in this too Rhen I really liked He too wore a mask to the world But he is a deeply caring brave person with lots of depth There seem to be a couple things going on in this book and it was interesting to see how they each had their own agenda with the switching or perspectives Enjoyable

  6. says:

    The Shadow Soul was a good fantasy read After reading the preuel I was really looking forward to continuing the series and this book did not disappoint I liked the characters and found the story fascinating There were a few moments where the story didn't hold my attention but the ending made up for that I'm undecided on whether or not I will continue the seriesmaybe one day?

  7. says:

    “People are born to this world with their destiny already laid out before them with a future already set—they only get to fill in the details”Jinji is a 16 year old girl with a uniue bond to the elemental spirits As she prepares for what should be one of the proudest moments in her life she finds herself bound to darkness a shadow that moves from her waking dreams into her reality and steals everything from her She is found by a prince of the new world who shuns his royal standing preferring adventure He too is bound to the spirits but unlike Jinji his people fear such magic Danger and secrets bind the two together as Jinji seeks answers and vengeance against the shadow that killed her people while Prince Rhen tries to uncover a plot against his kingdom before it's too lateThe chapters flip back and forth between the two characters' points of view Davis takes the time to dig deep into the their thoughts and actions such that by the end of the book when the action and intrigue picks up the pace their separate perspectives are so well woven Even when the chapters duplicate scenes the emotional weight from each perspective adds so much to the moment Considering what Jinji has lost Davis does a good job of keeping Jinji focused on that pain as would be expected after such tragedy without letting her pain drag the story down There are times when it seems like Jinji is losing that focus as she gets and wrapped up in Rhen's situation but Davis brings it back and around to tie both their fates together However when things do come together in the end there are some pacing and detail issues that become lost due to the focus on Jinji and Rhen's perspectives alone The political issues and the war itself become lost in the periphery because of this which would lead to disappointment to anyone who accepted the book's claim that it is like Game of Thrones in any wayFurther it is wonderful to have a female protagonist of colour and her introduction and the introduction to her culture is beautifully detailed But the book stumbles in having that character's entire people obliterated shortly after and having the only other people of colour villainized There are some issues with editing and pacing that are to be expected from a new author but the story itself is sound and the characters are strong and endearing so much so that when I finished reading The Shadow Soul I promptly purchased the seuel which is always a good signwwwbibliosanctumcom

  8. says:

    Loved On to the next novella

  9. says:

    Read all my reviews on I had read the preuel of the A Dance of Dragons series already and was at first uite surprised that this story seemed to be about completely different characters However the princess does make an appearance in the bookJinji is the last of her people which are massacred by a shadow force When she's trying to survive by pretending to be a boy she meets up with Rhen a prince who's onto a plot to destroy his familyIt was described as A Game of Thrones which is very dangerous as it sets the expectations very high without even having started the book I don't think it lives up to that claim It is far less political perhaps this will be in the later books and of a standard YA fantasy where two teenagers need to save the kingdom both with a secret one of them actually is a girl the other a princeWhile I don't think it was the most memorable story it was enjoyable to read This being said the shadow thing that is roaming around is actually uite interesting so I'm curious to find out where that is goingThanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

  10. says: