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Circle of Shadows Readalong: Day 1

Stunning and imaginative photo by @grumplstiltskin

Hello friends!

Welcome to the first day of our 4th Readalong! I’m ridiculously excited to start reading this book with you all today! We are beginning ‘Circle of Shadows‘ by Evelyn Skye, and I can already tell that we’re in for one hell of an adventure together. ‘Circle of Shadows‘ is said to have everything from magical warriors, to political havoc and I just have a gut feeling there may be a swoon-worthy romance somewhere within those pages too. Fingers crossed!

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This will also be the first time that I, Lauren, hosts the Readalong, so hello! I know G has had the best time reading a book with you all every month and I’m genuinely so happy to be here to host this one for you all. Especially for a book that is one of my most anticipated for 2019!

Today we’re starting the Readalong by reading chapters 1 – 10, and stopping at the beginning of chapter 11.

Are you ready? I sure am.

Let’s do this!

Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for Circle of Shadows chapters 1-10 inclusively. Read only if you’ve finished those chapters!


Before even finishing the first page, we already know that one of our protagonist’s, Sora, is a troublemaker. She’s planning a stunt! That opening sentence alone makes me wonder, what stunt? Why? What are they going to do? Must. Read. On.

We immediately meet Daemon after Sora and he seems much more down to earth, the mature one of them both. He’s the ying to her yang. And her Gemina?! Now what is a Gemina? I must know.

The stunt pulled at the Rose Palace was pretty detailed, and I’m hoping this is a common theme throughout the rest of the book. I personally find myself enjoying books with a lot of detail, so I can feel like I’m really there, you know? Dancing around (badly) and pretending to be a warrior with Daemon and Sora. The exhibition is describing something called the Blood Rift and I definitely feel like this is going to be a major plot point throughout the rest of the book. It is our opening scene after all!

And excuse me? Taiga warriors have warrior name? I love that Sora’s is Spirit, it instantly fits with her mischievous characteristics. And Daemon’s is Wolf? I’m here for this. Absolutely. And I really think I may have to start living by Sora and Daemon’s motto “Work hard. Mischief harder.

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The Taiga apprentices are assigned missions, and I feel really bad for Daemon, being treated so lowly just because not as good at magic. I hope he gets the chance to prove himself later so he can appear to the Glass Lady and wow her with his mad skills. But, at least Sora gets to return home for the Autumn festival afterwards – which sounds damn amazing, can I go? – and gets to see her parents.

Guys, did any of you get ridiculously hungry when they stopped for food and visited Sora’s parents? I swear my stomach just rumbled. The food sounds so delicious! Someone please hook me up with “bacon-wrapped shrimp, mushroom beef and honey chicken skewers” immediately please!

I feel so sad for Sora now that I know her sister died in the Blood Rift, she wanted to be a Taiga just like her sister! That really tugs at my heart strings guys, did you feel that tug too? Family loss in books is something that will never fail to make me sad. I’m hoping we find out more about her death in the future, because now it looks like Sora is going to get her act together. She’s realising that she’s living the life her sister wanted and is taking it for granted. I’m going to mentally make note of this part as the first part of Sora’s character development (seeing good/realistic character development is one of my favourite things).

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The Glass Lady and Taiga Council are attacked so suddenly that it keeps me turning the pages faster and faster. Where the hell did that Tsunami come from? Do you guys have any theories about who could have caused it? It’s got to be someone pretty powerful. They sent a friggin’ Tsunami!

As they report it to Empress Aki, I’m getting the feeling that she’s hiding something. Maybe it’s just me being super suspicious? What do you think? Do any of you guys think she seems a little too innocent?

As we rejoin Sora and Daemon, or should I say, Spirit and Wolf? Wink wink.

I’m still in love with the nicknames.

Anyway! We’ve rejoined them as they stumble upon the mysterious camp that’s mentioned in the synopsis of the book. So, of course, the second Sora wants to sneak in…

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I’m scared, but mostly for Daemon. Because he attempts to use magic, but it takes him a few tries. What if he needs magic in there? But can’t use it? Panic is setting in. I’m already emotionally attached to these two.

I absolutely love the description of the magic here, the green flames and how they turned into serpents. It’s all very mysterious till we find out Prince Gin is the one hosting this Autumn Festival at the camp! The same Prince Gin who Empress Aki defeated during the Blood Rift that we learned about in the beginning. Talk about a plot twist!

The Glass Lady frustrates me so much when she doesn’t listen to Sora and Daemon’s findings. She and the Council are attacked and then Sora and Daemon discover Prince Gin? Come on Glass Lady, that can’t be a mere coincidence. Or maybe we have he right to start being suspicious of her too?

We learn about The Evermore too and how it’s most likely the reason Gin has returned to Kichona. We’re thankfully immediately given more information on it through a story told by Mina Teira, and I personally thought it was a devastatingly beautiful little story, I really enjoyed how Evelyn Skye has made it sound like a piece of Folklore within their country.

In the last chapter for today’s Readalong, we suddenly switch to Prince Gin’s POV. I’m personally really enjoying how seamlessly this story is flowing between the POV’s of all our important characters and giving us insight into each of their minds. Especially Prince Gin’s, because from the tiny bit of insight we’re getting in this chapter we’re seeing him doubt himself. But why? I really don’t think I’ve read about a Villain doubting themselves or their beliefs before, so consider me immensely intrigued.

You have my attention Prince Gin, and you didn’t have to use your magic to get it.

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Well guys, we tackled 10 whole chapters today. Give yourself a pat on the back!

I feel like we’ve essentially covered the whole set up for the rest of the book. Quite a lot happened, from being introduced to the characters who perform a reenactment of the Blood Rift, to the Villain himself returning from the dead. And of course we had those brief couple of chapters in the middle where Evelyn Skye made us hungry with her delicious food descriptions. At least, I got hungry, that’s for sure.

I’m very eager to continue with the story tomorrow and see where it leads, and I’m hoping for more of Prince Gin’s POV and for more stolen glances between Daemon and Sora.

What do you guys think of the first 10 chapters? Do you have any predictions? Also guys, I’m so curious, if you had to give yourself a Warrior name like Spirit, Wolf, Fairy, etc, then what would it be?

Please be mindful of spoilers if you decide to continue reading, we did leave on a bit of a cliffhanger so I wouldn’t blame you if you decided to continue! (:

I truly hope you all enjoyed the first day of the January Readathon!

We will be back tomorrow and will be reading chapters 11 – 20.

With Love,





  • Noor

    Yay first one =D

    Wah i loved this!! Didnt think i would actually manage to finish the 10 chapters but i flew through them and cannot wait for tonorrow’s portion ..

    More thoughts to come =D

    • Noor

      “Work hard. Mischief harder. “

      I was gripped from the beginning and that was great as i got invested already =D

      The nicknames are quite interesting! You think ok spirit & wolf make sense then bam fairy & broomstick! What the xD

      Overall theme & setting? Super like, let alone the gorgeous palace we have on the cover *.*

      Daemon & Sora: ♥️ Im a sucker for a well developed friends to lovers relationship so yeah im rooting for them to be an epic danger danger couple. Also, reminded me of Emma & Julian with the forbidden love. Such bonds ‘gemina’ is a beautiful thing to have .. would love one =)

      Anyone felt like hugging Daemon once we knew a bit of his story & reading how vulnerable he is now? me.
      Ah i love blue hair & not because it reminds me of Will Herondale ☺️♥️

      Plot is so epic! Wah that ending! Though i saw it coming really once they mentioned the beaten prince who vanished, but still im nervous as what would happen since he already made a move on the council o.O

      It’s cool that Sora wants to realize her potential now, but she did pay the toll by not being taken seriously by the council. Though it doesn’t matter now since the prince controls the 2 taigas =( ugh now they are open for an attack since they don’t realize whom they are up against. Im sure knowing Sora’s personality, she won’t just let it go & lay low =D go team!

      Parents element is so sweet! It’s nice to have all aspects of ones life, family, friends & potential love ☃️

      Looking forward to the next pages ..

    • Noor

      Hey Lauren =D

      The wolf nickname got me too haha .. hints at good action scenes “you are really art in motio” to come & strategy with Sora ..
      Rooting strongly for Daemon to show them he is worthy ✨

      The burden that Sora feels from her sister’s death hurt indeed. She feels horrible because she chose a night out & left her sister ?

      Empress Aki .. hmm i didnt get sceming vibes from her (you never know), but i felt she isnt much the strategist who would know how to stand up in the face of the crises since her reign was peaceful (excluding the start with the blood rift, but her taigas were the ones handling it) .. so yeah let’s hope she develops since she has a pov.

      My spirit name? Silk .. i like this idea a lot now that a name popped up for me lol

      Happy about the book so far & i already ordered the authors’ Crown’s game & i bought Crown’s fate when i saw it in Borders (who cares that i never read her anything and might dislike them all? Wahahaha)

    • Lauren

      Well done for getting the 10 chapters read!
      I was a bit daunted myself, but they turned out to be really easy and enjoyable reads.

    • Lee-ann Oleski

      First off, thank you for using my photo! And second, I am also loving the Warrior names! My warrior name would be pretty lame, as it would be something to do with being clumsy and pretty lazy ?. Like tortoise or sloth maybe lol. I love the 4 main characters and the whole atmospheric feel! I actually won a spot with Evelyn for my little girls name to be in the sequel! So fun!

  • Ella

    What an intresting concept. I mea, it’s nothing completely new but overall I am excited to see where the story takes us.

    But, is just me or is there no indication from which PoV we are reading? It always takes me a few sentences to realise who’s “talking”. It’s no big deal just a little confusing.

    On to the next chapters!

    • Noor

      Yes at first i thought it’ll be only Daemon, but nop it’s all the perspectives! Cool though i dont like that many povs xD

    • Jasmine

      I know it was so confusing, i had to go back and reread a few sentences once i found out it was a different POV and then the things started to make more sense

    • Lauren

      I’m really excited to see where it takes us too. I see a lot of potential for this story!

  • Amy (@themagicalbookworm)

    I couldn’t wait to start reading this book. Normally I would read my books before bed, but because I was too excited to start reading I started read it this afternoon.

    So far I am loving this book! I love the bond between Daemon and Sora. Even though Daemon has feelings for Sora he tries to hide it from her. I thought it was sad how Sora blames herself for her sisters death. Yes, if she went and got her at seven like she said her sister would still be alive. But she didn’t know that the princes army was going to attack.

    I love Fairy, she had a bubbly personality that I just love. And how she flirts with Daemon made me we smile. I love how excited they all were when they set off those fireworks (even though they weren’t suppose to) but I could just imagine how good that looked!

    I love Daemons story, how he was raised by Wolves after his parents left him. It makes me wonder if his parents are in the princes army that’s why they left him? However, I thought it was sweet that every year Daemon comes home with Sora to her parents house for the holidays. Speaking of parents I love her parents ? they are so proud, happy and loving parents.

    Now that I have come to the end of today’s chapters, it has a shocking end. Sora and Daemon had see the prince ALIVE! And he was the one that attacked the council. However, after they told the Glass lady and they sent guards to investigate (who are now under the princes control) they will report back saying nothing is there! What will happen to Daemon and Sora when they found out what the guards have reported back? ?

    I can’t wait to read the next chapters. I really wanted to carry on reading but I have a funny feeling I would finish the whole book lol ?
    So far only reading 10 chapters I would rate this a 5⭐️ already x

    • Noor

      Knowing how Sora thought she might have saved her sister made me hurt for her .. what a burden to carry!
      With you on the rating ✨?

    • AmbWitch

      That is a really intersting idea about the possability of Daemon’s parents being in the prince’s army. If that is the case then they could be alive and that could create some issues for Daemon if he finds them.

    • Lauren

      Oh wow, I loved reading your thoughts. (:
      And what an interesting theory! I wonder if his parents are linked to the Prince in some way? Maybe we’ll find out in the next chapters. I think Daemon’s past is what I’m most intrigued about right now.

  • Morgane (ShadesOfBooks)

    Hello and welcome between us for your first readalong as a host Lauren ?.

    So I really liked these first 10 chapters. I like the introduction and the exhibition, it was really interesting to start like that.

    Also, can we talk about the Magic in this world ? The fact that, for the Taiga Warriors, it can only interact with their own bodies and it seems only connected to animals ? Really fascinating !

    Personally, Prince Gin being alive isn’t really a plot twist, it seemed obvious to me but I’m super happy we got to read the Evermore tale so early and the writing was really beautiful !

    I can’t wait to read more tomorrow ?

    • Lauren

      Thank you so much Morgane!
      The magic is really breathtaking. I’m hoping we get to read about more of it later in the book, because I’d personally like to find out more about how it’s used, and why Daemon specifically struggles with it.

  • love.the.villain

    Okay, wow. So far I’m super enjoying this. Great pick FairyLoot!

    I think the main reason I’m loving it so much is that sometimes the perspective changes to some of the other characters and we can see what they’re thinking, too.
    I love having a POV with the villain, and Prince Gin is a great one! He actually has a conscience and feels bad about the things he’s doing, but he honestly believes he’s doing it for the good of the empire. I can get behind that. The a murderous bad guy, sure. But, he’s a murderous bad guy with the best of intentions! XD
    I’m sort of guessing that if Prince Gin is still alive, there’s a possibility that Hana could still be alive too, right? Maybe she was taken into his army when she was still young?
    As far as Aki goes, I’d like to see a little more of her, but I honestly think she’s as good as she makes out to be. She seems really beloved. I hope I’m not wrong!

    So, does Glass Lady remind anyone else of Ironsides from Skyward? I think it’s in the way she just refuses to believe Sora and Daemon. She seems nice, but a bit arrogant. I don’t know, I’m just getting the same sort of feels for her as Ironsides.

    I’m not sure if there’ll be a romantic side to this book. I mean, it’s pretty obvious at this point that Daemon likes Sora, but I’m not sure she feels the same way. As it’s part of a series, it would be cool if any romance could blossom really late down the line.
    I can’t wait to find out more about Daemon’s past! Raised by wolves in a canyon? That’s got to have an amazing backstory to it.
    I really like Sora and Daemon’s partnership, fighting alongside your best friend sounds fun to me. I just hope we don’t have a tragedy for one of them. Do you guys remember what happened in His Dark Materials when a Daemon was torn away from their partner? That was awful. I hope we don’t have to face something similar here with these guys. I’m not sure my heart could stand it.

    It was already difficult to put down after finishing chapter 10! Can’t wait to read some more tomorrow!

    • Lauren

      I absolutely loved reading your thoughts!

      The Villain with a conscience is something very rare! I can’t remember if I’ve ever read something like that before. But I like it, and it makes me think, if it comes down to it, will he really go through with his plot?
      Also, if Hana is alive, I’m going to freak. What a plot twist that would be!

      As for the romance, I’m one of these people who loves a good romance, and you could be totally right, maybe it’s something delved into later in the series, because Sora has shown no interest in Daemon so far.

      I. Am. Intrigued.

    • Jere

      oh yeah!! I wonder if Hana is alive.. that’s a good thought!

  • Sheila Louise


    I’m enjoying the book so far, though I’m finding the info dumps a bit on the clunky side, I don’t know it just doesn’t seem to flow very naturally to me aside from the reenactment, could be worse though.

    Also I don’t think Sora’s sister is dead…

    • Lauren

      A few people have said this now, and it’s interesting because I totally figured she was dead, but now you guys have me doubting it. xD

  • Ali Kiki (@love2dazzle – Dazzled by Books)

    The story is super easy to get into. I was wondering if I would be able to get through all ten chapters today and I found that I blew right through them. I even had to remind myself to pause. I love these characters so far. Like you Lauren, I’ve already grown quite attached to them.

    I am not totally sure what type of name I would give to myself. Maybe Heart because I tend to lead with my heart. I feel like trying to choose your warrior name is kind of hard. I would love for mine to be something more Badass but I am also a very tenderhearted person so that may not fit me.

    • Lauren

      Aw Ali, that’s a beautiful warrior name! I love it.
      I would have a tough time choosing mine too. I think I’d need to get my friends to choose one for me.

  • Chantal


    I love this book so far.
    I really enjoy the interaction between sora and daemon.
    I can’t wait to read the rest of the book.

  • Vivian (@mayushiibooks)

    Excited to take part in my 3rd readalong!! Happy to have you Lauren!! And I think my name qould be Shadow!!

    Okay. I am already enjoying this book. I love anything that has vibes of japanese-anime atmosphere and Circles of Shadows gives it. Its like watching an anime series! I lovr how everything is introduced and how we meet Sora and Daemon. At first the POV change had me confused but got the hang of it. And definitely am enjoying seeing what the others character feel and think.

    Prince Gin being alive and returning was pretty obvious. Follows a standard formula common in manga-anime stories. I feel the tale of Evermore is probably something else. Maybe its been twisted in some way to be purposely misinterpreted? Or maybe its done in a way that draws attention to the wrong place, like focus to stop those who kill in the name of the God instead of the real threat?

    I already love Daemon. He is too wholesome. I think he has dormant magic and power. Hoping its something epic. I love the connection between geminas. Kinda go crazy and think his origin is tied to Evermore or the royal family.

    Also, I like Gin a lot. His chapter has probably been my favorite. His POV was so interesting. I like a good complex and conflicted villain. Gin fits that. I am intrigued to see how je develops and what his fate is.

    • Lauren

      I love Anime and I totally got that vibe from reading it, especially knowing some characters like Daemon have wildly coloured hair (even if it is dyed black).
      I’m super intrigued by your prediction too, I think I’d love it if Daemon had dormant magic just waiting to erupt.

  • Kira

    I had a hard time at the beginning but as that tsunami rolled in, i was like „what is happening there?“ ?and i‘m excited to see what happens next. ?

  • Kirsty

    Hey everyone! I was super excited to read this one because it looked like totally my thing. I’m not sure that I’m loving it yet though. There was so much info in the first few chapters, plus three stories within the story. That’s a lot of info to take in. Plus the POV is weird because it takes a few lines to figure out who you’re following.

    I like Sora and Daemon though so I’m hoping I will get into it more in the next ten chapters.

  • Judit

    Just the first pages, appearing Sora’s motto “Work hard. Mischief harder” and learning they warrior names…I was all in. Really enjoying what I’ve read (so I had to read more than 10 chapters!)
    It also surprised me that Gin not only doubts himself but also feel kind of guilty for what has to do to achive what he think will be for the better for “his” people. Also, the fact that it is a peaceful kingdom ruled by such a benevolent empress, even more since she started when she was 15!

    • Lauren

      Isn’t that motto the best? Haha.
      I truly love that Gin, the villain, has a conscience. It’s very refreshing to read.

  • Donna (@yorkshirebooknerd)

    Ah I really enjoyed the first 10 chapters!
    So much to get our heads around and so much to look forward to.
    I particularly loved that re-enactment!!
    Can’t wait for tomorrow’s chapters 🙂

  • AmbWitch

    It took me a while to get into the story but by the tenth chapter I was intrigued by the plot, the gemina bond, the magic system and the history.

    I really liked the chapter from Gin’s point of view. Seeing how he believed he was doing the best thing for the people and seeing that his actions did weigh on him, seemed like brilliant characterisation. It made him seem less like a ‘bad guy,’ despite his actions. But remember, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    I also liked how in this chapter he finds out that the taigas he has caught were sent there to investigate what Sora and Daemon have seen. As they will report back that they only found the remnants of a party, we as readers will know about the threat and see nothing being done about it, which is bound to create tension.

    I see that romance may form between Sora and Daemon (it is clear he likes her) and to be honest, this bugs me a little. I want to see a pair of heterosexual main characters (one male, one female), with a very strong friendship not have any romance between them, because I barely ever see this, it always seems to develop into something more, whether both fall for each other or we have a unrequited love situation. So, if anyone has a recommendation of a story like this then let me know.

    I’m also not a fan of the warrior names, they just seemed clichéd to me and some of them (Broomstick) seem a little silly. I have no idea what my Warrior name would be.

    I am looking forwards to continuing this tomorrow.

    • Lucie

      I usally don’t mind romances in stories but this possible one between Sora and Daemon bugs me too. I had the same feeling about that. Why can’t two people, who are boy and girl, be just friends. They can have that special gemina bond and I live for it, but why, why somebody has to feel somethin romantic towards the other. In this book, it just doesn’t feel very good and it reminds me CC Lady Midnight, where those two ara parabatai who should not fall in love.

      • AmbWitch

        I agree, I don’t have a problem with romance in stories but it would be nice just to have a strong friendship between a male and female character that doesn’t develop into anything more. I think though, that romance sells and I find it rare to find a story with no romance, especially in YA fantasy.

      • Biene

        Yes I immediately thought about the parabatai too!

    • Lauren

      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, love!
      I loved seeing Gin’s POV too. It’s so interesting and refreshing to see a villain with a conscience.

      • AmbWitch

        Yes, I’m used to villains who are just branded as ‘evil’ but this character has more depth to him.

  • Lucie

    I was hooked from the beginning, it is nothing knew and time to time you can find yourself recognising inspiration from some other books but in these day there is impossible to write a book without some inspiration from others book.

    Here are some of my thought I wrote down while I was reading:
    – Sora likes to bend the rules and I am curious where it leads her.
    -I will be probably in minority here but I do not wish a romance between Sora and Daemon, I think that their friendship is beautiful on its own and I think that there is no need for romance, especially when they are geminas and there are reasons for why it is not so good idea.
    -I think that there is going to be somethin more in Daemon’s history, why he was left to be raised by wolves and who his parents are.
    -I got this feeling, that that hooded guy is going to be Prince Gin and part of me knew from the beginning that he is still going to be alive, so I was not so suprised to actually see him but I was suprised that he is not one dimensional villian, you know, like I am villain so I am going to kill everybody who is against me, but he has actually some other sides too which could be a good start of character development.
    -I think, that Glass Lady was not to keen to trust them because of Sora’s and Daemon’s mischief in the past. So I kind of understand that she hesitated if she should trust them, it could be one of their prank after all.
    So far it is good, I like the world building and writing. Story is well paced and I am not bored at all. I love that we have several POV and that the author make easy transition between them and you can actually tell from the beginning who chapter this is going to be. Another good thing is that we will get more complex characters and more character development.

    • Lauren

      Hi Lucie,
      I love that you noted these things down whilst you read. You are organised!

  • Narra (@TheNarratress on Insta)

    I firmly believe that this book has all the right ingredients to become one of my favourites.
    I’m already quite attached to our main characters and the villain looks interesting. I mean it doesn’t look like one of those that are evil just for evils sake. We saw that he thinks of the people of the kingdom. I’m very interested in this book.

    Can’t wait to have some cosy reading hours on my birthday tomorrow.

    I hope you all enjoy the book as well ^___^

  • Claudia

    I am so excited to joint this read along! And I liked the set up within these first ten chapters that I wanted so much to continue on to the next but I had to stop myself.

    Sora and Daemon are interesting as foils, one who I think might be a prodigy given how skilled she is (?), and the other who needs a big more work but will definitely grow.

    The world building is fascinating and I can’t wait to learn more about the magic system.

    As for a warrior name, maybe Thread, because sewing.

    • Lauren

      Okay, I kind of love the Warrior name you chose for yourself, it’s wicked haha.
      I can just imagine someone named thread having small sharp blades and being an absolute master with them.

  • Sabrina

    Ah, multiple points of view and no first person narration. Happy dance!
    I’m finding this a very easy read, the pages turn quickly with every bit of history given. The storytelling within is a lovely way to info dump, and the flashbacks tell us much of our lead characters. I want to hear more about Wolf and his upbringing and mysterious past. Hopefully that comes full circle later on (otherwise why tell us so much and then have it all pushed to one side)
    It’s nice having a theory proven early on. I’d already guessed twin brother wasn’t dead and he’s back for more blood. Do you think his sister thought that too?
    I hope to keep up with the readalong, having done so badly last month. (I’m still reading it) Guess there’s going to be trouble when the false report comes back. What’s the betting Spirit and Wolf are going to get into mischief to prove themselves right?

    • Lauren

      I totally agree, I don’t think so much reference would be made to Daemon’s struggle with magic or his upbringing if there was no intention to explain it later.

    • AmbWitch

      I did think there was a possability that Aki might have let Gin live in the past because he was her brother but didn’t expect him to be back (or hoped he wouldn’t be).

  • The Bookerina

    I just finished reading the first ten chapters of Circles of Shadows and I love evelyn skye’s writing style! It’s easy for me to read it! I can tell you that a lot has already happened in only 10 chapters? it was hard for me to follow the schedule but I want to follow it for at least one day? Anyway, I’m already loving the book and I’m excited to see what will happen? Also I love Sora and Daemon. I can’t wait to see how they’ll develop during the book and how much they’ve changed at the end! And I hope that I’ll get the name ballerina because I’m a dancer and light footed? I can walk stairs as quiet as a cat

  • Verena

    I really like these kinds of stories in general and as I said before, magic wielding nijas, what can go wrong.
    I personally love the different POV’s. I know it’s not for eveyone and it can be confusing (I get behind it very quick for example), but it gives every Character so much more depth if you can see their reasoning and their thoughts. So yay for a “Villan” (who knows, could still change XDD) that isn’t one dimensional but actually has a reason (not matter good or bad) and thinks about his decisions and questions himself.
    Also I really like our main Charakters. Spirit and Wolf, those names just fit together. I already feel like they are very well crafted characters and I can see them evolve so much. I’m so looking forward to that.
    I really like the magic and the differences in it. Maybe Daemon has that different kind of magic as well… instead of being so great at the “usual” magic. Maybe that’ll just add to their Partnership. I think Daemon is my favorite so far =) Can’t wait to learn more abuout his past.
    But I could do without a lovestory as well. Would be nice to just have them being best friends. The other characters are cute as well, I like the rather silly names. Brings a tiny bit of humor.
    Now storywise. Yes no big surprise that the Prince was still alive. But curious to see how it continues.

    Almost forgot. Glad to have you with us on this Lauren =) Hope you’ll have as much fun as we do

  • Mikayla

    Absolutely loved the first 80ish pages of this book and flew through it! It’s certainly gripping and has some interesting world building, and I immediately get the depth of the bond between D & S, which I love. Can’t wait to continue on tomorrow!

    • Lauren

      They were such a quick read weren’t they? I was pleasantly surprised!
      Looking forward to seeing your thoughts tomorrow after the chapters.

  • Moandh

    Really liked those chapters though I did see the fact that Gin was alive coming.
    I think I love Sora and Aki the most right now. Also I thought it was unfair of her mother to ask Sora to live for them both, she shouldn’t have that weight on her shoulders…
    I also think Daemon might be tempted by the other side at some point, and I kinda don’t want him to be with Sora? Idk…
    Anyway, I’m looking forward to reading more!

    • Lauren

      Daemon, tempted by the other side?
      THAT would be interesting.

  • Alina

    Hi Lauren, hope you enjoy your first readalong with us!?

    First of all I can’t get over how beautiful this covers are. So pretty?

    Second, I’ve waited for so looong to start reading it. Really excited to dive into the world it hides. Especially as last month I didn’t think I’ll enjoy the book (fire and heist) and then it blew my mind and I was in love with it after the first sentence.?

    Aaand about the book now..
    At the beggining I have to say I struggled a little, felt like there was a lot of details and no action, except for the fireworks scene. And then here comes the tsunami and I’m like wait.what?! What just happened? So that was a poke in my curiosity..kept me going.

    I really like the bond between Sora and Daemon. The Gemini bond really feels like a parabatai bond and definitely has Emma&Jules vibes with they’re impossible love story and rule breaking, like someone mention earlier.

    It broke my heart to learn Daemon’s story and how he’s being treated unfairly. And is really hard to watch him fall for Sora, as he seems emotionally fragile and seems like any little strain on they’re relationship would break him.

    Also it was very sad to watch Sora at her sister’s grave, and learn how Hana died and Sora blames herself for it.

    Can’t wait to continue tomorrow, and see how they’re going to deal with saving the world together when no one else believes them ?

    • Lauren

      I loved reading your thoughts Alina!
      I’m really intrigued by the Gemina bond too, and I’m totally with you on the Daemon front. I felt so sorry for him by the way he was treated.
      Hopefully he has a chance to show them how awesome he is.

  • Natasha Benson

    First of all can we just talk about how beautiful this book is, I love sprayed pages and that map! ? So much has already happened In the first ten chapters our author does not mess around and I appreciate it. I am very much enjoying the different POVs. I find most of my 5 star reads take on that aspect. I appreciate the uncertainty the empress and her brother have, its refreshing. His magic sounds bad ass and I’m intrigued to learn the back story on it. I am finding myself invested in the characters a lot already. I’m looking forward to the journey this book will bring. I’m hoping it’s more enjoyable for me then Fire and Heist, unfortunately I could not get into that book what so ever. This book seems promising and full of potential so far.

  • cassy.kidwell

    I finally just finished chapter 10 and wow….This book has got me hooked already and I want to just keep reading until the end.

    I’m definitely with everyone else here and am in love with Daemon (Wolf) and the fact that he has no parents and was raised by wolves just made me love him even more. But I also really think I’m going to like Prince Gin. Chaoter 10 really made me think there is more to him than being the villain because of the remorse he felt. And Empress Aki just seems to good to be true to me. Also though I tend to lean toward liking the bad guys in stories sometimes so….?

    I also agree with some of the comments about Soras sister, Hana, still being alive and I may be jumping the gun but what if she is Virtuoso? Prince Gin does say she is one of his younger soldiers so the age seems like it would fit.

    Can’t wait to read the next chapters!!!!!

  • cassy.kidwell

    Also I think my warrior name would be Cinder, my parents would always yell at me because I would always be building fires in our back yard any chance I got and one of the definitions for cinder is ‘a coal that still burns hot without the help of a flame’ which I feel sort of describes me and how independent I’ve always been, not depending on anyone else while growing up.

  • Tammy (@CrimsonRoseReads)

    I thoroughly enjoyed the first ten chapters! So much happened in such short time so I’m eager to continue to see what happens next!
    I’m listening to the audible so the change in POV’s are more recognizable.
    I find this is very much like Julian & Emma’s relationship in The Dark Artifices.
    My name would be Nightingale for my healing abilities!!
    Thank you for leading the group read!!

  • Jere

    Thanks for hosting, Lauren! This is my second readalong and I am so excited to participate again :).

    I actually listened to the first 7 chapter on audiobook and then finished up with physical reading. It is just so much easier to get all the pages read if I listen to at least half of them. It also helped that someone else could pronounce some of the odd words I wasn’t sure about.

    I am enjoying the quick pace of the story and like the wide range of characters and stories we are introduced to.

    My warrior name would be Titin. It is a muscle protein (my degree is in muscle biology) and it sounds badass too!

  • Katie Welikanna

    Ok, so far I’m loving it, I was surprised at myself for being able to read 10 chapters but thet are ralley quick and easy to read. If I had a name or would be crystal (for my affinity with them and love for them). I’m thinking does Daemon have anything to do with the Evermore? I excited to find out how backstory and I feel it will tie in to the main plot in a major way.

    I’m loving the friendship bond between Sora and Daemon however I’m not really too sure about it developing into a romance, there is something that bugs me about it.

    I was so hungry with the description of food and legit got a bit teary eyed at the story of Hana and the tenderfoots, and I had a feeling that when Daemon moaned about being in Tanoshi to the Glass lady that it would turn out to be less than, it didn’t develop until they were in their way back to school but still, I also had a feeling that when students were reneacting the war and the story that Prince Gin would be making his reappearance for the Evermore. Does Aki secretly know where it is and has been keeping it secret? And what I was getting rather panicky when Sora suggested to go and check out the camp and then spy I for sure thought they were going to get caught?. I also got rather frustrated when the two spies that were sent to spy on Prince Gin were spelled and sent back to say it was just a festival ? now Sora wont be believed and no one will have time to prepare for an assault.

    I hope my work day goes quickly today I need to find out what happens next.

  • Nehemia

    Hey there ♥️

    I agree with the others, the cover is just amazing! ? The book is a good piece of story and it’s developing quick. I kind of feel like it is a bit too light in some parts but I’m actually enjoying the flow… ?

    I didn’t get surprised with prince Gin showing up and being the villain. At the same time it’s super interesting that he is having second thoughts about his own actions but it’s obsessed by the idea of being chosen by gods.

    So far so good… Let’s see what happens!✨

  • Tasha

    I was a bit confused at the beginning, it felt like we had picked up the story halfway through with no hint of what is going on. Obviously some things are starting to become clear as we go along, but I hope we get some history on how geminas came to be, I’m fascinated by them

    There was so much action in these pages! I’m used to my first 100 odd pages being world building with some action thrown in, but this book did the total opposite. I’m not sure I prefer it this way, it’s exciting but I want more information.

    There’s the potential for a romance here between Sora and Daemon, and I really hope it doesn’t happen. If there is a romance I would like it to be with someone else (possibly Fairy) and they all have to learn how to navigate these new dynamics. Male/female friendships are the best and they don’t happen enough in books.

    • Tasha

      Forgot to add my thoughts on Gin. He is so far the best character in the book, he almost has a Thanos vibe going on and I love it.

  • Teresa

    I really enjoyed the first 10 chapters of this book! I think there is some intriguing set up and I love our main characters so far. Also, the part about Sora having multiple stomachs, I got that on a spiritual level haha I love cake! I’m really excited to see where the next chapters take us!

  • Stephanie Male

    I really enjoyed the first 10 chapters. Its turning out to be a nice quick read!

    I’m loving Daemon’s sweet hidden feelings for Sora, and with her personality so far I can’t blame him. I do want to see more of Fairy though, she sounds badass.

    I was kind of expecting Prince Gin to be in that camp after he was mentioned earlier. But I love the difference of magic he and his people have discovered. Looking forward to understanding how the magic of this world works and why his is different to the taigas.

    I really wasn’t expecting the addition of the Evermore and Zomuri’s price for paradise, its a nice addition. And adds a more authetic feel to our villain Prince Gin, especially mixed with his guilt at forcing the minds of the soldiers. I love that we have his POV as well, especially this early into the book.

    Definately looking forward to carrying on!

  • Bethany

    I really enjoyed the first 10 chapters of this book; things got off to a quick start and I feel like we got a lot of history and world building in a very short time. I guess my only current prediction (beside the obvious of Sora/Daemon saving the day at some point haha) is that perhaps Daemon’s family abandoned him, maybe on purpose but maybe not, over something to do with Prince Gin’s group of supporters. That only comes because Prince Gin had their Autumn Festival meeting thing in the same remote place where Daemon was found so definitely a bit of a stretch. The other thing I noticed is that the writing style for POV jumps around a lot in chapter, like I felt like I knew both Sora and Daemon’s inner thoughts at the same time. At first I thought it was a little weird, but now I think it’s because of their gemina connection. If so, I really like that clever addition!

    If I were to pick a Taiga name it would something like Homebody (cause it’s just so dang accurate haha) or maybe Grin (cause I’m always laughing about something).

    Can’t wait to see what happens next!

  • Jess (bookwyrmbella)

    It took me a couple chapters to get into but then it picked up and was hard to put down. I definitely like Sora and Daemon. They perfectly compliment each other. I think it would be awesome if thwy developed a romance together but it would be best if it was later in the series. I also hope that Daemon’s magic becomes more successful later in the story. I am curious about his origins. There is definitely going to be a shocking reveal at some regarding his parents or origins.

    I love the multiple POV’s! It is always interesting to see the same events from different characters perspectives. I definitely knew that Prince Gin wasn’t dead and thatbhe was behind the Tsunami. It was interesting to learn that he isn’t as villainous as we are so far led to believe. He definitely has poor judgement though. Murdering thousands of people is never the right answer.

    I look forward to seeing what comes next because we know, as much as Sora wants to take the straight and narrow path for Hanna, she will always be mischievous in some regard.

    I can’t really think of a good tiaga name for myself. I tend to be very quiet and observent but I also tend to lash out when someone has pushed my buttons onentoo many times, so to speak. It would have to be a name for some kind of animal that generally is mild mannered but will become dangerous when threatened. Or you know, I love Dragons, so I could just go with that as a name too??

  • Carry_On_Kate

    I really enjoyed the first 10 chapters, there is so much mystery and questions that I need answers too.

    I don’t like Glass Lady but I think she had a good reason not the believe Sora and Daemon right away.

    I feel like there is more to Prince Gin that him trying to just take over the country. Can’t wait to find out more.

  • Leslecturesajigoku78

    I’m so excited right now because it’s whole universe that is here, in this book. I already love so much all the culture and folklore in it! And just the Relationship between Sora and Daemon is so pure, cute ^^
    Next chapters, here I go!!!


    I love the set up of this. It felt like really well balanced between information and action. I like the magic system and can’t wait to learn more about that.

    Very interesting dynamic.

  • Lefie12

    Aaaa, I finally started catching up on the readalong and I’m so swept away by the first 10 chapters! I have a theory that Prince Gin kind of recruited the tenderfoot taigas before burning the Citadel and that Virtuoso is actually Hana who survived (he describes her as one of his youngest recruits and as being very energetic and excited, which sounds like how Hana, the kid that was so hyped to be a taiga like her sister, would grow up to be). I also can’t wait to see where Daemon’s feelings will go, and I get butterflies in my stomach when I read about them through his POV because he sounds so much like how my boyfriend is with me. Also the lore?? Is so good?? I, for one, love the mythology with the sun and moon goddesses and also how local Kichonan lore has been developed based on the geography of their island kingdom, and I love the geography itself (the island being shaped like a tiger and also the royal family’s Crest being a tiger? Sign me up for those little worldbuilding details). Also Prince Gin is so act-utilitarian that it hurts but I see his rule-utilitarian side is acting like his dying out conscience. Now I just gotta keep going to see if my theory is confirmed or not.

  • Kirsty @kirstyes

    Map shaped like a tiger
    “Work hard mischief harder”
    Gemina bond like parabatai bond with the same don’t fall in love clause.
    Fireworks remind me of Fred and George in Order of the Phoenix.
    Like the nicknames. Spirit. Wolf. Fairy. Broomstick.
    Feel for Sora with respect to the loss of her sister Hana and it definitely gives her an extra motivation to get revenge against Gin.
    Liked this first section and the bond between Sora and Daemon reminds me of Mal and Alina.
    Felt the metaphors/similes were overdone a bit at times and that there were a couple of occasions where it was a bit ‘telly’ and felt a bit stilted. It’s a little derivative and similar to other things but the characters we’ve met so far have me invested. I particularly like Aki and hope we continue to see more from her.
    Gin seems a bit Darkling like – coming back from suspected death with extra powers. And the Evermore story strikes me like The Tale of the Three Brothers parable.

  • Kirsty @kirstyes

    Ooh and I think my warrior name would be Empath

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Nectar of the Wicked Readalong: Day 4!


18th July 2024

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