Fantasy Friday Book Recommendation: Shadowborn by Moira Katson
Welcome back to Fantasy Friday!
“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..
Why I loved this book: “…Muriel was the closest I had to an enemy, even if she was probably the closest I had to a friend too.” What a beautifully written, sad, powerful book, akin to the magnificent An Ember in the Ashes, another book I absolutely loved! In both cases, protagonists fight against being wholly overcome by the soul-shriveling roles thrust upon them which they do not want but still must play out as they serve brutal masters they hate. You really feel for them and wish them to survive, to be flowers defying the barrenness around them, to be embers that flare out in the darkness. Neither books are easy reads, but important ones from talented authors that I look forward to reading more from.
Buy Shadowborn now! (The covers are from the original publication. The updated one here is so much better).
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Have you read these books? What did you think?