Beautiful photo by @drawingandreading
Hope you guys enjoyed the Readalong for ‘Circle of Shadows‘ by Evelyn Skye! We would love to hear your thoughts on the whole book and Readalong experience in a short review in the comments below! As you know we will start including these in our FairyScoop!
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Keep an eye out for the schedule of our next Readalong for the February book here too! We’re beyond excited for it!
Thank you so much!
17 thoughts on “Circle of Shadows Readalong: Book Reviews!”
First off, thank you for hosting this readalong. It was extremely fun and I had a great time discussing the book with everyone and doing predictions. Patting myself in the back that I guessed Daemon had some God ancestry in him.
I liked The Crown’s Game but not enough to want to read the sequel. But Evelyn Skye improved so much in her world building, characters, and storytelling. The POV switch was confusing at times but I am confident it will get better by book 2.
The final chapters were intense for sure. And also got me on the edge because the bad guys win!!! Everyone is controlled by Gin!! How will only 3 taigas and one demigod prevail? Guessing they travel to other countries to train ryuu magic or find support to defeat Gin.
The ritual of Hearts was gruesome and gave me goosebumps. Like…damn son. But Zomuri says he will give Evermore when he is satisfied. But when is that exactly? Will Gin get frustrated when he gives and gives and Zomuri isnt yet satisfied? Will maybe he get disappointed at all he sacrificed and achieve nothing of Evermore? Aki is kept alive. So I am still hoping on an Aki and Gin tag team in the future. I feel we didn’t get many Gin POV so I would like more in the next book.
And since I didnt chip in in yesterday’s discussion, I will say this now: I am so bloody mad about Daemon and Fairy!! It makes no sense to me. Daemon has been pinning for Sora pretty much the whole book and 64 chapters later, he suddenly realizes he likes Fairy? Nope. I call bullshit. This has no foundation and I hate it. And am hoping this gets fixed in the next book. Also hoping this does not demotivate me from reading book 2 because I really do want to read book 2.
Overall, this was an exciting and fun read! I loved how anime it felt to read! Thanks to Lauren for hosting it, and to Fairyloot for giving us this book.
I agree with everything that Vivian said!! Especially the Daemon/Fairy fiasco!! I understand that this is a tool to wake Sora up and let the true OTP begin but, really?!! No triangles please…why oh why did she have to do that?!!
Whatever….I’m sure it’ll get worked out in Book 2 but we have enough to keep us occupied…we don’t need a triangle!!
I’m glad I figured out Gin would be victorious and, thus, set up the need for Book 2. Also, that Daemon is a demigod. I look forward to seeing what powers he has and his mastery of said powers.
I guess The League Of Rogues will be headed for the areas that Gin didn’t get to for help in defeating The Emerald Dragon. And, like Vivian, hope for more from his POV. Gin needs a love interest and we need more insight into his character. He definitely has “Darkling” potential!!
I enjoyed the book and the readalong! Thank you for hosting Lauren!!
I agree about Fairy and Daemon!
Such a strong start for a fantasy duology! Daemon and Sora are everything you would want out of main characters who love and support each other. The novel is rich and complex with a villain that could cause disastrous effect for the Kingdom. With lots of twists and turns; I can’t wait for the next one!
On a more spoiler note for the last 10 chapters: why did Daemon kiss Fairy it didn’t make any sense, he belongs with Sora! My heart was breaking for Sora at the end. And that reveal about who Daemon is was so well done!
I guess he could say he was high on Genka!!?
Fairy is a hoe
Change my mind
I really enjoyed the readalong, thanks for hosting. It’s a great way to make sure I read the books!
Circle of Shadows is a good start to a series. Easy to read, short, snappy chapters a various points of view (that aren’t first person!) The out of the blue romance at the end sucks a bit, but I’m going with the whole not realising you care about someone until it’s too late. All that flirting has been hiding something else possibly, and being separated from the person of your thoughts might give you breathing space. But hmm, please don’t do the love triangle thing. No!
A solid, magic induced tale with strong world building and much more to give.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Circle of Shadows! It was fast-paced, well written, and the structure made sense. The characters were compelling and their drive clear, and the worldbuilding was actually pretty amazing. That said, upon finishing the book, I was left with very mixed feelings about it.
As far as story and plot goes, I was pretty charmed, and I loved the fact that it left us off on such high stakes, with the villain at the throne and Zomuri summoned and giving his blessing to Gin. But oh god, in the last chapters of the book, I disliked every main character dynamic except for those between Fairy and Broomstick, the League of Rogues themselves and Sora and Hana. The unexpected romance between Daemon and Fairy ruined the ending for me because it was too out of the blue (yes, there was buildup to it but not the kind I would expect would lead to romance- Fairy’s interest seemed more like the teasing kind between close friends, like an inside joke, and Daemon had shown absolutely no interest in her before other than that time in the desert which was very subtle and could very well be a brotherly concern for her). It shifted the dynamic between Sora and Daemon a lot and will probably shift the dynamic between Sora and Fairy in the second book and if I’m honest, there is no absolutely no need for a love triangle on top of everything else they’re facing. Then again, that just might be my disdain for love triangles, but in any case, for a book that was part of a box with the theme of deep and unbreakable friendships, it just seems wrong for this development to mess with those of the League of Rogues. I hope it will work out nicely in the next book.
Another thing that rubbed me a bit wrong was Daemon’s parentage/heritage. Don’t get me wrong, I adore the fact that he turned out to be demigod, and the lore behind that is positively captivating (I loved the legend when I first read it and hoped that Daemon would turn out to be a demigod) and I liked the deity he is descended from. However what seemed wrong with that was that while the gods and mythology played a great role in Kichona, it felt like just that: mythology. It didn’t seem much like religion, more like remnant legends that the Kichonans linked to their magic for the sake of tradition. When I first read the scene where Empress Aki summons Sola, I was shocked and thought it would have been some sort of closely guarded secret, that the gods truly existed and could be communicated with. Same with Zomuri in the end; I expected him to have been only part of a legend, the face of temptation and avarice in a cautionary tale, and it shocked me when he showed up, only none of the characters mirrored my reaction. Which, I’m concluding, is why Daemon’s quirks seemed off to me throughout the book. The revelation that he was a demigod made more sense of them to me, I only wished there would have been a bit more depth in the religion so that it didn’t feel weird before that.
Also, though it’s just a personal pet peeve, I was slightly disappointed the book was so focused on ryuu magic and not taiga magic because the latter just seemed so much more structured and like a magic system that made sense while ryuu magic was so unruly. Everything was possible with it, which is also part of its appeal and the reason it’s so powerful and dangerous, which I get, so I only hope we’ll get to see more of taiga magic in the second book because it’s such a smart magic system and I’m craving more of it.
It may seem like I’m picking the book apart, and I guess I kind of am, but despite the problems I had with it, I loved reading it. It was exciting, thrilling, especially as the final battle closed in, I loved the characters I experienced this story through (especially Daemon because he’s a sweetheart) and I adored the world! This was the first book that had me flipping back and forth between the pages to look at the map as the characters traveled, and I loved the little details in worldbuilding like how there was a focus on the tiger pearl trade and its importance to an island kingdom (also a cool setting, I don’t remember any other fantasy book I’ve read being set on an island) or the connection between the geography of said island and the folklore and the imperial family’s crest.
All in all, despite its flaws, Circle of Shadows is a very fun read and I’m definitely going to try and get my hands on the next book when it’s available! I can’t wait to see where the League of Rogues goes, and I had a lot of fun reading it in this readalong!
Thank you Lauren for hosting this readalong, it was fun!
Solid 4,5*. There were few things I was not so keen but otherwise this was very, very enjoyable readint and listening.
We follow several POV but they are very well done and I did not have a problem to know who chapter it is. This book is mostly about frienship and loyalty. Like seriously, I was taking notes while I was reading and several times, I wrote down a sentence “THIS IS A FRIENSHIP GOAL”. Due to several POV we get to know all the characters and their motives and that not everything is easy and black and white as it seems. Though, there was this one character I could not stand from the beginning and towards the end I just wish for that character die in a very painful death. I also really love the loyalty to Kichona and its Empress Aki, all the taigas would die for her and EMPRESS AKI would die for them, the loyalty and love and trust goes both ways. *feelings everywhere*
There is also a hint of romance which I was not so keen at the beginning but it grew on me, although at the end it took completly different dirrection than I thought it would. I am curious how this path will go, altough they do have more pressing matters now than some love. The reason why I was not so keen for the romance which I normally do not mind is that it just in some ways showing that boy and girl can’t be friends without being somehow romantically involed and part of me thinks that that is a shame, because their friendship is so beautiful.
Story writing is great, I enjoyed every bit of it. Evelyn has definitely her way with words and I am here for it. Story is somehow new and somehow old, because the book has a few tropes but THEY ARE FREAKING NINJAS WITH MAGIC!!! And I live for it. I was not bored through the book, there was always something interesting happening – action, FRIENDSHIP, politics. And several times I was sobbing and it wasn’t nice.
I loved this readalong so much. It’s so fun to be able to guess at plot twists and create theories with everyone else. It really upgrades the whole experience of reading into something I truly look forward to every day.
The book was a great Japanese inspired fantasy which really moved along quickly. The characters were extremely likable and the story was imaginative. I particularly liked the villain, Prince Gin, because he has much more of a conscience than most baddies. He actually questions what he’s doing several times which gives him great depth of character.
All in all, another great book choice from FairyLoot!
I’m so mad that I didn’t know it wasn’t a standalone because that ending just destroyed me.
*heavy sigh * ok, I really enjoyed and loved this book. Thank you for hosting this readalong, I doubt I would’ve read it anytime soon without the readalong.
Overall this book was a lot of fun. The characters really made it for me and the magic was super cool.
Unfortunately,author ruined the last part of the book by making Fairy and Wolf a thing. That was uncalled for and definitely lowered my rating (which I haven’t wire decided on yet). The author didn’t need the unnecessary drama of this weird love thing. I hope everything gets sorted in the next book and that is s speedy release because I need it in my hands asap.
something went wrong and my post didn’t appeeeeear!! ugh
Thanks team for the awesome book (4/5) thanks to the romance catastrophe =) i have to know about the ship to decide about reading the sequel (yes some ships can make the book or break it for me) hehe
looking forward to the next reading =D
My twitter (where i rant about everything & books mainly) : @AllawatiNoor
This was a strange one to me because I liked the basic premise, the magic systems and above all the main characters but something about the style just didn’t click 100%. I think this would make a fabulous anime style film but that didn’t quite translate to the page for me personally with slightly choppy writing, some more stereotypical secondary characters and no real sense of dread until the very end. Everything on route happened quite easily. I also felt the use of similes and tell over show was a little overdone and sometime the dialogue just didn’t sound natural. That is kind of the impression I do get about some anime though – that is a little OTT at times (not that I’ve seen lots of it) so I think this is definitely a personal preference for a more subtle narrative voice.
I loved the relationships between the four main apprentices and definitely need to know even more about Daemon. I hope he gets his memories of his early life back.
I also really liked the sisterly relationship and those scenes were the ones I enjoyed most.
Aki was a character I liked but wanted to get to know more.
I’ll definitely be reading the second book in the duology because I’m invested enough to want to know what happens. It does need to be filmed anime style because I think this would really work in that format.
I’m now a Wolfairy shipper and as such I hope things don’t get too love triangley.
Sad I couldn’t join in the readalong in real time but I did still enjoy reading everyone’s comments when I did catch up. I wish there were some sort of notification system where you get an email if someone has replied to one of your comments or if new posts are added. Not sure if that is possible though.
This would work well as s manga style graphic novel too. Especially when Blue Wolf appears in his electricity.
Any other Fairy / Wolf shippers out there? I feel that I’d prefer that over forbidden love (though the Gemina forbidden love thing isn’t really all that well described so it could be a silly rule or a catastrophic one).
I think having just read The Dark Artifices I was here for something different than that.
Also are there many novels written in such an anime style. This was quite unique to me and like I said above I think I would have rated this higher as a manga or anime film for whatever reason.
Also.(sorry to keep posting but I have thoughts).
I think the process of reading this as part of a readalong even if I was behind made me appreciate the book more. I’ve been reading others reviews that reflect my views and are rated lower and I wonder whether some of my enjoyment comes from sharing the experience of reading over the actual book. Something to ponder.
I also think that timing has a lot to do with how we respond to books. I’ve recently borrowed some anime films and had my first experience of that which made me appreciate what was trying to be achieved. Had I read this before that I don’t think I would have ‘got that’ and I can see why people have said it reads ‘younger’
hi all just wondering if anyone remembers where in the book the romantic parts happen?
i am reviewing this book for my younger daughter, thanks!