ARC Review – Lady of Shadows by Breanna Teintze

Outlaw wizard Corcoran Gray expected death to be final, but life, and his loved ones, had other plans. A year after being resurrected and flung into a new body, he’s still trying to come to terms with his situation – and his self – when the all-powerful Mages’ Guild demands his help to stop a deadly plague.

He’s inclined to refuse the organisation that still wants him dead, until his partner Brix starts showing symptoms – to save her, Gray will do anything, even if it means working with his greatest enemies.

But it quickly becomes clear that this is no normal plague. The situation is more complicated, and more lethal, than anyone has realised. Ancient dangers are stirring, and thousands of lives are at stake . . .

Review

I loved Lord of Secrets when I read it last year and was so happy when I won an ARC of Lady of Secrets off Twitter. I was dying to get back to Grey and Brix’s world and find out what has happened in the aftermath of Lord of Secrets… and I was not disappointed.

The story picks up roughly a year after Lord of Secrets ended, Grey is still not used to his new body and the spells that lie dormant underneath it until called upon. In sleep he has nightmares of his standoff with Jaern and find himself casting a spell when he wakes. Afraid of hurting Brix he sets off to find a way to sleep nightmare free. What he doesn’t realise is that, new body or not, the Guild are tracking him after the events of last year, and when they eventually find him they give him an offer he cant refuse, help them to find the people behind a curse that is killing Wizards or be put to death. But it’s only when Brix is somehow infected by the virus that Grey decides to help the guild, taking them on a journey neither expected where they will have to rely on friend and foe alike, and might just end up on the bad side of another God.

I loved Grey in the first book and that feeling only grew whilst reading this one. He has gone from a body rifled with disability to the body of a God, filled to the brim with spells and perfectly sculptured, and yet all he wants is his own body back, lame leg and all. He is so much more unsure of himself and it is only Brix who can make him see that, different body or not, he is still Corcoran Grey. When Brix’s life is on the line there is nothing that he wont do to ensure her safety, even if that means going up against the Guild who he originally agreed to help.

Brix definitely grew as a character in this book, she is the only thing keeping Grey together, and though we can see that wares on her she needs him to know that she loves him, no matter what. Strong willed and physically strong, Grey and the guild would most likely have failed in trying to stop the virus without her help.

Dace is a new character that we meet quite early on, a member of the guild, he is the one who put forward that they try to use Grey to help find the cure rather than kill him on sight. He’s an intriguing character, we never quite know his true intentions, whether he is truly on Grey’s side or simply using him for a task no one else can complete. His charatcer arc is very twisty and turny but I like that the author keeps your guessing, right until the end.

We see Grey struggle massively with PTSD in this book and it was done beautifully. The author doesn’t shy away from the dark side, showing his nightmares of the deaths that happened in this battle with Jaern, his unease in this new body and his utter distaste for the magic that runs through his skin. You can’t help but feel for him in his moments of distress, and his reliance on Brix has you worried what might happen if she doesn’t make it.

We get to see a whole other city in Lady of Shadows, Genereth the home of the Tirnaal, people who can suck the magic toxicity out of Wizards. I enjoyed delving more into the culture of Brix’s people. Seeing their distaste for Wizards and magic which you can understand when most Tirnaal and sold as slaves to give Wizards longer lives. I’ve always enjoyed Tentnte’s descriptive writing both of magic battles, and the places we get to travel too and this book did not disappoint in either matter. We get some truly epic magical battles, some brand new creatures that are a little creepy and we get to travel Genereth right along side Grey and Brix.

I really enjoyed this book as a whole, I felt it was a little slower starting than the first one, but when it picked up I found myself flying through the pages. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you guessing and the author manages to keep you right on track with the characters so you come to the same realisations as them at the same time. An easy 4/5 and I would certainly pick up and further books in this world.

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