Shadowcaster by Cinda Williams Chima

Shadowcaster (A Shattered realms novel)
Cinda Williams Chima

Harper Teen

There’s no end in sight to the long war between the Queendom of the Fells and the Kingdom of Arden. Year after year the Queendom repels the southern armies yet never defeats them for good.

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“Magic, intrigue, battles, romance and perils are all wrapped in a page-turning story.”

Queen Raisa seems content to hold the line, but her daughter Alyssa wants to end the war. After an assassination attempt, Alyssa knows the Queendom cannot continue holding ground – especially as it seems there’s a traitor in their midst, one responsible for direct attacks against the royal family and their advisers.

Alyssa hatches a plan to take the mining town of Delphi from the Ardenites. To its governor, Captain Halston Matelon, his dead-end posting suddenly becomes more interesting, especially once news of his king’s death arrives. Arden’s council of thanes, including his father, may yet end the expensive war. 

Elsewhere, the musician Breon is running for his life after being caught up in the attempt on Alyssa’s life. His magical ability to charm almost anyone has backfired badly. Strange glimpses of his past life don’t help him. Why does he keep dreaming of sunnier climes than the dreary snow-bound Fells? For Jenna, the main worry is to keep her dragon friend out of sight and out of mischief. She has her own scores to settle and prepares accordingly, but not far out to sea is a new and powerful player waiting to make an entrance onto the war’s stage. All come together in an fiery climax where old loyalties and certainties are shaken to their core.

Shadowcaster marks a welcome return to the land of the Seven Realms. Magic, intrigue, battles, romance and perils are all wrapped in a page-turning story that will please any lover of fantasy.

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Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews