Shadow Magic by Donna Grant

Posted November 30, 2011 by Kate in Liked It, Review / 0 Comments

A historical fantasy novel, and I believe the first I have ever read. Over the past few months I have been trying to try all different types of the paranormal/fantasy genre, and I am very happy that I read this book. I have read historical books before, but never in the fantasy realm, and this was a pleasant surprise. There was just enough historical elements to make it interesting, but not so much that it pulled away from the plot or the characters.

The general plot of the book is that Serena (a witch who can glimpse into a personal future), sees tragedy on the horizon for a family who are dear friends of hers. Gerald and Drogan have a dark past that has come back to haunt them, and that past is seeking to destroy them and everything they hold dear. Serena works with them to help protect them and the people they care about, but will it be enough to save them all?

First of all I really enjoy the character Serena. I have noticed two overwhelming themes in books lately, the heroine is either very whiny and allows herself to be pulled along by others, or they are so strong it’s hard to believe in them. Serena is the perfect mix of strength and weakness. Serena physically is not a strong woman, in that slightest touch bruises her skin, direct sunlight blisters her skin, hot water would burn her, etc. But she is powerful in her gifts as a witch to see into people’s future. And not only that she is strong and independent as a person. She has learn to live with her weaknesses and never lets them stop her in helping her friends to the best of her ability. All of these elements make her more endearing to read, and made me want her to have the happy ending she deserves.

Drogan is one of the men who’s past is following him. He, unlike his friend Gerald, has not been able to move past it and has resolved to spend his life alone. That is until he meet Serena and is captivated by her. To make matters worse all witches like Serena are under a curse making a happily ever after impossible. I did enjoy watching the two of them fight their attraction to each other. Drogan is an honorable man, and he is willing to accept that Serena is a witch and trust in her foresight, which is quite remarkable for the time (in my opinion). In addition to that, even though he has the standard man desire to keep her safe, he never patronizes her. He is never overbearing nor does he ever con her into doing things, they very much have an equal relationship made of respect and trust from both parties; I cannot explain how refreshing that is.

One thing I found especially impressive, and that is that Grant is able to keep the readers attention even though through most of the book the group is traveling from point A to point B with not a huge amount of action during it. This is impressive because the characters really carry the book, and not the action, you really get to know the characters. If they weren’t interesting it would have been very boring to read about a long journey they were taking, but thankfully this is not the case for them.

I also want to mention that when the action picks up with some fight scenes, it is sword fighting (because it’s historical). The reason I mention this is because Grant writes the fighting in a such a way that is both easy to follow as well as with great imagery that as a reader I was able to picture the fight in my head. Personally I attribute this to great research and writing skills.

Overall, I think this book is a good one. As this is book one of three, I am looking forward to reading the next two books (book two is being reviewed on December 7th). I think this book would be great for all paranormal romance readers. The book is not laden with paranormal elements, but rather character driven, so anyone who likes historical books may find this to be an entertaining read as well. After reading this book I am both excited about the next book and looking forward to interviewing Grant in a couple of days. I hope you all enjoy it as well.

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