Cloaked in Shadow (The Dragori, #1)
Zacriah Trovirn is concerned with two things in life: hunting and dodging Petrer, the boy who broke his heart.Heartbreak becomes a distant concern when Zacriah is taken to the Elven capital of Thessolina, where he is forced into King Dalior’s new legion of shapeshifters. But Zacriah isn’t a shapeshifter. In truth, he doesn't know what he is.Zacriah joins forces with new friends and they soon find themselves embroiled in a clash between the three Elven continents. With war looming on the horizon, Zacriah must learn to use his latent power to fight and protect those he loves before they are destroyed.

Cloaked in Shadow (The Dragori, #1) Details

TitleCloaked in Shadow (The Dragori, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseDec 18th, 2017
PublisherOftomes Publishing
ISBN-139781999706869
Rating
GenreFantasy, Lgbt, Young Adult

Cloaked in Shadow (The Dragori, #1) Review

  • Ben Alderson
    January 1, 1970
    MY BOOK IS OUT IN THE WORLDIM CRYINGThank you to everyone who has supported me and I hope you enjoy my book. It is out now and I am literally crying into my Iced Latte! Thank you all so so so so so so so much. IM CRYING. again. ALL DAY. This story means the world to me and I hope a young boy will read this one day and see how normal being gay is! -------------------I AM WRITING A BOOK.THIS IS MY BABY!!!!!!!!!I am so so excited about this announcement. I am aiming to have it out early 2018, if no MY BOOK IS OUT IN THE WORLDIM CRYINGThank you to everyone who has supported me and I hope you enjoy my book. It is out now and I am literally crying into my Iced Latte! Thank you all so so so so so so so much. IM CRYING. again. ALL DAY. This story means the world to me and I hope a young boy will read this one day and see how normal being gay is! -------------------I AM WRITING A BOOK.THIS IS MY BABY!!!!!!!!!I am so so excited about this announcement. I am aiming to have it out early 2018, if not even EARLIER! I will have a better estimate on release date mid 2017! PLEASE COME SHOW THIS SOME LOVE, ADD IT TO YOUR PAGES AND GET EXCITED! Beauty and the Beast inspired fantasy with Dragons (well... something similar to dragons... and OHMYGOSH just you wait and see), Gay Romance and Elemental Control! ARHHH
    more
  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    I am so impressed right now - Ben has such a talent for storytelling! He created a detailed, creative world here that any fantasy fan will love. There were different types of elves, magic, a prince, pretty forests, lots of action scenes... basically everything you'd want to see. Some of my favorite bits:- A prince who is more than he appears... and with whom Zac might have more in common than he thinks.- a well-developed romance- you could feel the tension & history between Zac and Petrer- s I am so impressed right now - Ben has such a talent for storytelling! He created a detailed, creative world here that any fantasy fan will love. There were different types of elves, magic, a prince, pretty forests, lots of action scenes... basically everything you'd want to see. Some of my favorite bits:- A prince who is more than he appears... and with whom Zac might have more in common than he thinks.- a well-developed romance- you could feel the tension & history between Zac and Petrer- speaking of Petrer - he shapeshifts into a RAVEN- It's obvious at the start that Zac has magic he needs to hide, but I didn't expect the awesome plot twist there- The elf riding an elk made me so happy (because Thranduil ok)And I loved seeing a gay main character whose entire story/identity wasn't just his sexuality. Those books are fine, but it's wonderful to see a regular, full adventure too!Otherwise, Ben's writing was easy to read and the pacing was solid. Everything unfolded perfectly and totally kept my interest. I'm looking forward to the sequel now!!
    more
  • Ana
    January 1, 1970
    Quoting Ben's not-official description "Beauty and the Beast inspired fantasy with Dragons, Gay Romance and Elemental Control"...Shut up and take my money.I'm so sold. I need this.
  • Kylie Holiday
    January 1, 1970
    BLATANT SEXISM. The female characters are portrayed horribly!!! Saw this book in the Goodreads newsletter and noticed the impressive ratings, and I LOVE LGBTQ fiction. But please do NOT believe the hype!!! This story is sexist in the worst way, delegating most of its female characters to one dimensional 'bitchy bimbo' stereotypes while the equally one dimensional male cast of Mary Sues receive the rest of the fantasy tropes. This is NOT acceptable in 2017!!! Here's just one early example, and th BLATANT SEXISM. The female characters are portrayed horribly!!! Saw this book in the Goodreads newsletter and noticed the impressive ratings, and I LOVE LGBTQ fiction. But please do NOT believe the hype!!! This story is sexist in the worst way, delegating most of its female characters to one dimensional 'bitchy bimbo' stereotypes while the equally one dimensional male cast of Mary Sues receive the rest of the fantasy tropes. This is NOT acceptable in 2017!!! Here's just one early example, and there are many many more. (For context, Zacriah is sitting in a wagon listening to girls gossip about having sex with the prince) "I wonder what he'll be wearing tonight?" Illera fiddled with her deep chestnut braid, twisting it around her finger. "Something tight, I hope..." Alerior chuckled, nudging Illera's shoulder with her own. "You're terrible, truly!" For as long as I could remember, Alerior and Katill had followed Illera around like doe-eyed puppies, always feeding her with just what she wanted to hear. I knew steering clear of her was the best option. I'd gained her unwanted attention before and became the brunt of her boredom. It didn't end well. I felt almost sorry for whoever it was they gossiped about. "I can't wait to see his face when he sees what you're wearing later… or what you are not wearing." Katill also had a filthy mind, it was her one redeeming quality. Illera’s laugh was shrill, forced. "We'll see. I had to sneak my dress past father. He would drop down dead if he saw what I'd done to it." She motioned with her two fingers, "Snip, snip, snip." My laugh even surprised me. The snort burst out of my nose, which I tried to cover up with a cough. It didn't work. I turned away, looking back over the side of the wagon but their conversation had ceased. I didn't have to see to know Illera was looking at me, her gaze burned into the back of my head. "Something funny?" Her voice was sweet, though I could taste the sickly undertone as she questioned me. I looked to Illera’s violet eyes, full of intrigue. Her sharp brows pinched above her sinister smile. Here we go. I shook my head and held her gaze, biting my tongue. Don't fall for it. Don't fall for it. "No?" Her cackle pierced my ears. “Well, let me see… you must have been daydreaming about your father, who will no doubt fail miserably at the hunt this evening," she drawled. My canines bit into my bottom lip and my mouth filled with salvia and copper. "Oh, I know, I know." She jumped in her seat, raising her hand in the air. By this point, the entire cart was listening, watching. "Was it the thought of your mother having to beg yet again for food? Yes, that must be it. Because that is hilarious” She threw her head back and roared with laughter. If that was not enough of a kick to the balls, she clenched her fists pretending to rub fake tears from her eyes.Nyah is partially the exception and maybe this gets better later in the book, but I can't stomach another page and first impressions matter!As if the misogyny wasn't enough to rate it one star, let's take a look at the writing itself. Purple prose, grammar errors, very weird metaphors on every page, especially when magic is being used, modern words constantly peppered throughout that break any sense this is supposed to be a fantasy world. It feels more like a series of roleplaying posts or a fanfic. Also, there's a complete absence of anything resembling story or compelling character motivation. An example: the first two chapters the main character is just sitting in a cart. Literately!!! He's just a camera describing everything in purple prose, every irrelevant detail that had nothing to do with his (lack of) motivation or personal conflict. The plot instead seems like a lot of absurdly random coincidences the characters stumble upon rather than driving things through their own actions. DNF and will NOT come back for the sequel!
    more
  • Elizabeth Sagan
    January 1, 1970
    Cloaked in Shadow made me think of Throne of Glass and ACOTAR and a lot of set-up books that put things in place before the shit hits the fan. It felt like setting up a chessboard, which makes me so much more curious about the sequel.*I had high expectations when I started reading it. And I can honestly say they were met. It was a really nice and enjoyable read.*I want to point out 2 things, though. First one, the world-building. It isn’t that it lacks in world-building (actually, it was pretty Cloaked in Shadow made me think of Throne of Glass and ACOTAR and a lot of set-up books that put things in place before the shit hits the fan. It felt like setting up a chessboard, which makes me so much more curious about the sequel.*I had high expectations when I started reading it. And I can honestly say they were met. It was a really nice and enjoyable read.*I want to point out 2 things, though. First one, the world-building. It isn’t that it lacks in world-building (actually, it was pretty decent), but I would have liked to know more about that world. But this is the problem with set-up books: you can’t put everything there, especially when the whole novel has 350 pages. So it wasn’t really a problem, since I expect the details to be filled in the sequel/s.*And there we go to the second thing, which I found really interesting. Since I knew it was an LGBTQ+ story, I expected to find more about how that society thinks about the LGBT community of elves. Technically, I expected to find a copy of the human world (with good and bad stuff). But there was no such a thing. The main character was just doing his stuff and he was treated in the same way as you’d expect in a straight relationship. And how cool is to read about gay relationships just like you read about straight relationships, without anyone pointing it out?! So I have mixed feeling about the fact that there was no kind of social pressure, no kind of... what I expected to find? Everything was just normal. And this is why I gave it 4 stars instead of 3. It was the first book I’ve read in which the LGBT part of it is treated in this way and I honestly think it’s so, so, so cool!*I want you to look at yourself, really look at yourself...[...]And I want you to repeat what I say.[...]I am strong, I am brave, I am fierce...[...]At first it sounded odd, like I was trying to convince myself that I was something I wasn't. But I carried on and the word began to ebb together into a mantra that vibrated through me. [...] The words began to have meaning, like they were tricking my mind into trusting them. Believing them
    more
  • Rachel E. Carter
    January 1, 1970
    Elves, shifters, and elemental magic, oh my! Ben's debut gives fans of the Shannara Chronicles something new to fangirl (and boy :D) over in young adult fantasy.Okay, so I have to say First Year fans will love this one -I sent countless messages to Ben as I was reading saying things like: "OMG Priscilla's twin!" "Nyah is LIFE (Ella fans will love her)" "Your princeling is waaay nicer than mine (because Darren haters/those who love Ian will like Ben's book more;P)" >> Clearly Ben and I like Elves, shifters, and elemental magic, oh my! Ben's debut gives fans of the Shannara Chronicles something new to fangirl (and boy :D) over in young adult fantasy.Okay, so I have to say First Year fans will love this one -I sent countless messages to Ben as I was reading saying things like: "OMG Priscilla's twin!" "Nyah is LIFE (Ella fans will love her)" "Your princeling is waaay nicer than mine (because Darren haters/those who love Ian will like Ben's book more;P)" >> Clearly Ben and I like the same stuff because his book takes place largely in a castle with a hot prince who trains Zac in fighting (and who doesn't like fight/training scenes and duels!) and then there is the sassy bff and the protagonist who is NOT PERFECT and WORKING ON LEARNING HIS POWER/FIGHTING SKILLS. Seriously, I appreciate a flawed protagonist and Zacriah is that for me! But mostly what I enjoyed about this book? The way the protagonist's homosexuality was handled -Zac already knew he was gay at the start, he didn't struggle with anything relating to his homosexuality in this book, the story just flowed naturally and we could have a main character that was openly gay from page one and have it not be a big deal or huge plot point, just a natural element that went along with the rest of the fantasy storyline. Well done.I'm not going to drop spoilers or quotes in here because I was reading an ARC and it's not release time yet so I don't want to ruin the book for the rest of you guys, but you should definitely check this one out!
    more
  • JD
    January 1, 1970
    An Elf nicknamed "Zac". That's enough to DNR for me right there. Let's break down the synopsis now: the author puts "feeding his family" and avoiding a love interest into the same priority category. Seriously? Wtf is with the cover art? It looks like something that would belong to gay fantasy fanfic featuring an Elf that works part time as a go-go dancer in a gay club in Orlando. And I say that as a gay guy living in Orlando. YA- can't we demand better than this garbage?EDIT: Okay gang, I need An Elf nicknamed "Zac". That's enough to DNR for me right there. Let's break down the synopsis now: the author puts "feeding his family" and avoiding a love interest into the same priority category. Seriously? Wtf is with the cover art? It looks like something that would belong to gay fantasy fanfic featuring an Elf that works part time as a go-go dancer in a gay club in Orlando. And I say that as a gay guy living in Orlando. YA- can't we demand better than this garbage?EDIT: Okay gang, I need to add a postscript to this review, months after I wrote it.I know I'm getting huge hate, but I'm not changing this review. At the time it was written, I reviewed not the book's contents but what we knew about it: The cover art and the synopsis. While I wrote a review based on things we knew about an unreleased book, others were giving this thing high starred reviews... just because. Those same people then attacked me for reviewing a book before it was released. Hypocritical much? First of all, I still hate this fucking cover. Seriously, this guy got totally swindled with it. Critiquing a cover is of course legitimate. If you're turned off by a book's synopsis and cover, are you more or less likely to buy the book? Give me a break.Soon after I posted it, the author himself put me on twitter blast and got his social media acolytes to come and harass me on here. Then *THE AUTHOR CHANGED HIS OWN SYNOPSIS ON HERE*. It used to read: "Zacriah Trovirn is concerned with two things in life: feeding his family and dodging Petrer, the boy who broke his heart."and now reads:"Zacriah Trovirn is concerned with two things in life: hunting and dodging Petrer, the boy who broke his heart."So this guy attacks me on twitter and gets his foolish Jonestown clan to go after me, then takes some of my criticism. WTF? Also on this point, let's discuss the synopsis quotes on the cover: "A world in ruin." "A kingdom of lies." Okay... so why is that shit not in the main synopsis?! Instead we're spoon-fed this silly over-prioritized gay romance meanwhile the world is in ruins? In YOUR MAIN SYNOPSIS. This whole thing is just a poorly executed mess.Next, let's get rid of the notion that anything about this is original. Elves with light hair, pointy ears, magic, and different colored blood is not original. It's a straight-up Lord of the Rings/Eragon ripoff. The only "original" thing about it is it's almost exclusively gay characters, which is the primary thing being marketed about this book. Not the story, not the personality of the mains, not the conflict-- the sexuality. I'll discuss my issues with this next. Taken from the author's own twitter page, here are some more blatant rip-offs:. 'Alorian elves' have golden blood.. 'Morthi elves' live in underground caverns. (Mirkwood elves, anyone?). 'Niraen elves' ride elks. (Again, Mirkwood infringement). THIS. SHIT. IS. NOT. ORIGINAL. My final enormous critique of this book is the marketing, and I need to elaborate:I love YA. I love LGBTQ fiction. I love YA LGBTQ fiction. My top YA favorites is the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. They feature queer characters. My issue with Ben Alderson is that he exploits his (and my) sexuality to sell books. He knows his fan girls will go crazy if he shells them some queer romance. He uses gay characters as blatant tropes to market his book. Six of Crows isn't a story constructed around gay characters. It's LGBTQ characters constructed inside a story. Its seamless and not abused. This is how you do queer in fiction, not my trumpeting your work as having gay characters, and oh yeah, some other stuff too. How YA readers, who apparently are offended at anything and everything, can tolerate blatant gay exploitation is beyond me.
    more
  • ☙ percy ❧
    January 1, 1970
    RETELLINGS??????DRAGONS??????GAY ROMANCE???????ELEMENTAL MAGIC?????????I NEED IT NOW THESE ARE LITERALLY MY FOUR FAVOURITE THINGS EVERupdate: idek where i got the dragons from because there's no dragons in the blurb but uh, anyways,
  • Shauna
    January 1, 1970
    A few disclaimers before I get into what is probably going to be a very lengthy (and spoiler-filled) review:One of the main things I think is important in a book review, or in any review, is honesty. So I’m going to be honest, I was a little bit sceptical when I started reading this book. The main thing that led to my scepticism was the amount of time that appeared to pass between the book being finished and its publication. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are good books. The edition of A few disclaimers before I get into what is probably going to be a very lengthy (and spoiler-filled) review:One of the main things I think is important in a book review, or in any review, is honesty. So I’m going to be honest, I was a little bit sceptical when I started reading this book. The main thing that led to my scepticism was the amount of time that appeared to pass between the book being finished and its publication. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are good books. The edition of Cloaked in Shadow I own is the Kindle edition. It’s possible that some of the things I’m talking about are different in the print edition. That doesn’t make some of the stuff I’m going to talk about fine. Every edition of a book you put out should be as perfect as possible. I am in no way trying to trash this book. Writing and publishing a book is a tremendous achievement. There are some people out there who seem to love this book, which is great. It just wasn’t for me. What I’m hoping to give here is constructive criticism. As a writer myself, I find criticism one of the best ways I gain experience and improve as a writer. I’m going to include quotes to back up some of the stuff I’m saying, just so anyone reading this can see exactly what I’m referring to. Another point I want to make is that I wrote this in the midst of writing my thesis proposal, so I may have been a little cranky at the time. I’ve tried to look over this review a number of times to make sure my cranky thesis brain wasn’t clouding my judgement. These are my own opinions. If you loved the book, then great. Nothing is better than reading a book and liking it, and I’m glad you had that experience.Okay, with that beast of a disclaimer over, let’s get into the review.The Good:The LGBTQ+ aspect of the novel: Incredibly well done. The author himself posted on here saying he hoped that someone would one day read this book and see how normal it is to be gay, and I think he has really achieved that. I’m a straight white girl and I cannot tell you how tired I am of reading books about straight white girls. Representation of minority groups in fiction has been so problematic in the past, so it’s wonderful that now that more and more readers have access to characters who they can relate to. The pacing: Stuff was constantly happening. Sometimes it was stuff that confused me, but it was stuff nonetheless. There weren’t any moments where I was bored simply because nothing was happening (except for the grape saga - more on that later). The time between events seemed reasonable enough (even though sometimes things did seem to be conveniently timed to progress the plot). The author knows how to keep a book moving and this is definitely a skill that will help him when writing the rest of this series. The font: I thought the font used on the chapter headings/cover was delightful. It really fit in with the vibe of the whole novel, which is a very important aspect of any book for me. Those are the main things I liked about the novel. The next part you’re going to read is under the heading of bad. I am quite hesitant to use the word bad because, to me, that comes across as me trashing/dragging the book and that is not what I want to do. So, although I kept the heading of bad for the sake of simplicity, I’d rather the next few things I talk about be considered areas where there is room to improve. (Sorry for the plethora of disclaimers in this review. Dealing with a book by someone who is really popular on social media can be quite daunting because it can sometimes be met with quite hostile reactions, which are never the creator’s fault). The Bad:Spelling and Grammar: Maybe I’m just particularly picky about grammar and spelling, but there were a number of mistakes in the Kindle edition that I found hard to ignore. I’m one of those lucky people who find spelling and grammar easy, and I’ve studied English literature for almost four years. Some people aren’t as lucky and find it hard, and that is completely fine. However, editing and proofreading should get rid of as many of those mistakes as possible, and several rounds are needed to really iron out the creases. I’ll leave a few examples below of things that particularly bugged me so you can see what I’m talking about:“I’d kill double the pray.” (Instead of prey)“curly black hair nestled between his pecks.” (I believe the ‘proper’ spelling is pecs - correct me if I’m wrong). “her adored hip.” (Instead of adorned). “I promise I won’t peak.” (Instead of peek. This one came up quite a few times). The cover: It just wasn’t for me. Some people love it, including the author, which is great. It just wasn’t my thing. We’ll leave it at that. The plot: Some things just didn’t make sense, or were too convenient. For example, the king invites a bunch of elves to his castle, without giving any reason and they all just go without asking any questions on the ride there. But when they arrive at the palace, the king seems sure they must have questions. The whole duel situation was also confusing. I was of the belief that Zac only had to enter the duel so he would no longer have to work in the kitchens (again, correct me if I’m wrong about this). But the King later decides that Zac no longer has to work in the kitchens because he saved Hadrian’s life. Yet, the duel is still on. So Zac, who no longer has to work in the kitchens, is duelling so he no longer has to work in the kitchens? Early on in the book, Zac seems worried about showing off his powers, but less than a day later he throws himself out of a window in the king’s palace which I assume is very heavily guarded and observed. The further into the plot I got, the more consistent things did get and I could see improvement as I was reading, mostly towards the very end of the book. Also, why elk? Have you seen elk? Their legs/frames don’t look like they can support a lot of weight. The antlers are also an issue because with any animal you ride on the back of, you are at risk of being thrown off. Often forwards. Being thrown into those antlers does not look like fun to me. The whole ‘moons’ as years thing. How does that work? Are we following the typical cycles of the moon that we have? I’m assuming so because the author mentions Orion, so the sky/space situation seems to be the same as ours. But if that’s the case, is Zac like one and a half years old? Because, if it’s following our moon cycles, that is around how old 18 moons is. There were other things about the plot that confused me, but I’ll leave it at those.The writing: Some of the descriptions are strange, and felt clunky to me. A sound is described as soundless. A character’s hands are covered by a lack of something. I’ll have some examples below. There were some problems with continuity at times, again I’ll put examples down below. A lot of telling and not showing. On one page alone I counted 14 instances of where the character’s movements were shown through “I *include action here*” sentences. “I turned/I tiptoed/I stepped/I heard, etc.” The grape saga was a particular issue for me. Several paragraphs in two scenes dedicated to grapes, when the time could have better been spent describing the characters or places to get a better image of the world. The king’s emblem constantly being described as being on things was also not a good point for me. Thankfully, this ceased after a few chapters. There were also a lot of scene breaks where I felt there didn’t need to be scene breaks. Some examples of issues I had with the writing:“I didn’t blame their silence.”“Finally realizing the smell was smoke”, followed shortly by, “The air was thick with smoke.” (So the smoke filled air didn’t smell of smoke?)“Hands rose to blocks eyes.”“Jumping from the wagon with a soundless thud.” (Sound being described as soundless). “The lack of jewels covering his hand.” (Covered. By. A. Lack.)“Drips of sweat broke away from my hairline to drip down my neck.” (Drips dripped). “I know whose blood this belongs to.”The dialogue: Dialogue is one of the things I struggle with most as a writer. Some people find it easy, but I know how hard it can be. The dialogue in this book wasn’t great. Stiff in many places. A lot of the humour fell flat for me, which I think led to my poor impression of the characters. Zac delivers what are supposed to be ‘sick burns’ at a few points, which I just found uncomfortable to read. There was also a weird mix of formal ‘old-timey’ language like “shall” and “for” and slang that seemed oddly modern and out of place. This was jarring for me, because it didn’t allow for a proper pattern of speech to be established. I’ll put some examples of that below. “Clearly bugged from my lack of response.” (Bugged just seems out of place with the rest of the language).“Leave it to me, sweet thing.” (Maybe Zach of Zach and Cody has corrupted this particular expression for me, because it stuck out like a sore thumb).“Everything is just so fucked up.” (Fucked up feels out of place in relation to the rest of the language, especially because the word isn’t used a lot in the book by characters). “BITCH!” (Again, not used by characters much and therefore seemed out of place). The characters: I either didn’t like, or didn’t really care about, a lot of characters in this book. I’m going to break it down by a few of the main characters in this book I have opinions about. Zac: Too much of a special snowflake for me. He has powers no one else has. He has pierced ears and no one else does. He can climb stairs with ease, and no one else can. Maybe I’m just over the whole ‘chosen one’ thing. He also seemed to know things he shouldn’t have known. There’s a good bit of ‘somehow, I knew already’ with Zac. That being said, I did love how cool Zac is about his sexuality, and he really did show that being gay is completely normal, which is so vital in literature today. Hadrian: This prince seems to have a personal vendetta against doors. Keeps kicking them down. He seems like a relatively nice guy, though the dialogue that was supposed to show him as kind of snarky and funny fell flat for me, so I really didn’t think much about him. He seems like a nice guy, and it’s clear that he cares for Zac, which is nice. Petrer: This guy confused me. He cheated on Zac, yet doesn’t seem to know they’re not together anymore? I know he wasn’t aware that Zac knew about the cheating, but it doesn’t take a genius to figure it out. I honestly have no real impression of Petrer other than he was a guy who Zac used to have a relationship with. The twist at the end with him becoming evil was unexpected, which is always a good use of character. Nyah: I don’t really have much to say about Nyah. She seems like a good friend. Her and Zac don’t spend a phenomenal amount of time together (or at least time we get to see). Similarly to Hadrian, she’s supposed to come across as witty and funny, but the flatness of the dialogue kept that part of her from me. I did like how she was a strong woman who was ready and very capable of fighting. We seem to get to know a lot of characters only through their relationship to Zac and not as actual individuals. All of your characters should have goals other than interacting with the MC, just like everyone in real life has conflicting goals. Final Thoughts:Did I hate this book? No. It annoyed me at times, but I didn’t hate it. Did I love it? Also a firm no. To me, this reads more like a draft than a finished product. There are indications that this could actually be well written. While I wasn’t a fan of how a lot of things were described, here and there were some lovely descriptions that show a lot of potential. I think a lot of the issues I had with this book could have been ironed out if the release date had been pushed back. The amount of time between the first draft being finished to the book being published seemed really short from what I have heard. Editing takes time and has the power to work miracles. I know the prospect of getting your book out into the world as soon as possible is thrilling. What is even more thrilling (to little old me at least) is putting out a well edited book because you know you’re selling the best version of your story. First word is sometimes not best word. However, writing a book is a phenomenal achievement, and Ben should be incredibly proud of himself. It’s something I still haven’t managed to do. I was actually happy to hear that Ben is writing more. He has a lot of potential and so much room for improvement. Getting better is never a bad thing. Seasoned authors get better with every book they write, so I see things only improving from here. Also, I am thankful that this book brought Ben’s channel to my attention. I follow a few different booktubers and have been aware of Ben for quite a while, but for some reason I never thought to look at his channel. Now I have and I have seen a few of his videos, which I really enjoyed. I will be reading whatever comes next in this series, and I am looking forward to seeing Ben improve as a writer. If you made it this far, good job you. This is more of an essay than a review, I know. The English scholar in me doesn’t know when to stop. I hope anyone reading this found it insightful, or even just a good waste of time. And as the saying goes, that’s all she wrote.
    more
  • Gabrielle (Wishes she had more time to read)
    January 1, 1970
    Beauty and the Beast inspired? Gay romance? DRAGONS?*is here for this*
  • Christine Spoors
    January 1, 1970
    I haven't been reading much fantasy recently, but Cloaked in Shadow has definitely reminded me why I love the YA fantasy genre so much. This is Alderson's first book and I absolutely love the world he created.I really liked the main character Zacriah, it's always interesting to read from a male POV in YA fantasy as it's not something we see as often. He is such a likeable character and I liked that he is flawed, and remains so throughout the book. He is gay, and I won't say who he becomes involv I haven't been reading much fantasy recently, but Cloaked in Shadow has definitely reminded me why I love the YA fantasy genre so much. This is Alderson's first book and I absolutely love the world he created.I really liked the main character Zacriah, it's always interesting to read from a male POV in YA fantasy as it's not something we see as often. He is such a likeable character and I liked that he is flawed, and remains so throughout the book. He is gay, and I won't say who he becomes involved with, but I couldn't help but love the two of them. At the start I wasn't sure if it was going to be a case of insta-love, but their relationship grows so organically (does that even make sense?), I loved reading about them. It's always amazing to read a book where sexuality isn't a source of discrimination.In this world some of the elves are shifters who can take an animal form. Zacriah doesn't know what he is, as he certainly isn't a shifter, and I always love stories where the main character finds things out as the reader does. I loved the world of elves and shifters than Alderson created. Most of the story is set in the one city of Thessolina but by the end we start to see more of the world, which has me so excited for future books!The only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was how often we got fighting and training scenes. I do like to read about training in fantasy novels, but I get to a point where I lose track of all the limbs and start to gloss over the fights. This was only really in the first half of the book though, and just comes down to personal taste. It was great to see Zacriah grow stronger and learn more about his powers throughout.Ben is one of my closest friends and he kindly sent me an early copy of his book to read, but that doesn't change the fact that I loved it. I'm not the kind of person to lie if I hated a book, so TRUST ME when I say that fans of YA fantasy will adore this book. I can't wait for the next one!!
    more
  • Natasha
    January 1, 1970
    4.5/5
  • Gabrielė▪Jan
    January 1, 1970
    ☆1.5/5☆▪Plot 2/5▪Details 2/5▪Characters 2/5▪Romance 1/5▪World building 2/5▪Magic system 1/5▪Logic 2/5▪Writing style 1/5▪Enjoyment 2/51. Almost all female characters are portrayed horrible.2. It feels like author was trying to write down all his sexual fantasies.3. Magic system is weird as hell. 4. Writing style was awkward.5. Romance was way too AWKWARD.Still gonna read a second book. Why am I doing this to myself. Really, why?
    more
  • Laurie
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this romantic Elf fantasy - a real treat to read. The romantic leads, Zacriah and Hadrian are well-drawn and really sparkle on the page together, to the point where I couldn't wait until the next scene with both of them in it. I also enjoyed author Alderson's obvious love of the visual aspect of his world - especially the color. There are some wonderful details in this book - the claw weapon (LOVE), food details, the riding Elks - and I must say, I adored the idea of a moth I thoroughly enjoyed this romantic Elf fantasy - a real treat to read. The romantic leads, Zacriah and Hadrian are well-drawn and really sparkle on the page together, to the point where I couldn't wait until the next scene with both of them in it. I also enjoyed author Alderson's obvious love of the visual aspect of his world - especially the color. There are some wonderful details in this book - the claw weapon (LOVE), food details, the riding Elks - and I must say, I adored the idea of a moth shifter. But in the end, it was the romance that clinched it for me. I adore creative romantic details, and there's several that really charmed me. There are also some moments of just damn fine writing - "The view was dotted with buttery dandelions speckling the ground like the stars in the night sky." Looking forward to reading more in the series.
    more
  • ancientbookbride
    January 1, 1970
    actual rating: 2.7Disappointing. I've been looking forward to this book ever since it was announced but no. I'm not going to write a review on it, not going to say any more. I hope others enjoy it but I honestly didn't and won't pick up the sequel.(I should add though that despite everything, I'm glad this book had the LGBT character. As someone who's LGBT herself, I'm always hoping for more LGBT books and characters. I'm also certain Sarah J Maas fans will love this book. I think my tolerance o actual rating: 2.7Disappointing. I've been looking forward to this book ever since it was announced but no. I'm not going to write a review on it, not going to say any more. I hope others enjoy it but I honestly didn't and won't pick up the sequel.(I should add though that despite everything, I'm glad this book had the LGBT character. As someone who's LGBT herself, I'm always hoping for more LGBT books and characters. I'm also certain Sarah J Maas fans will love this book. I think my tolerance of YA books and their tropes has just given up, unfortunately)
    more
  • Anali
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 ★★★★ “They say that fire is nothing without the air that fuels it. You are my air, without you I would just stop. I need you, I want you and I will get better and be there for you.” Cloaked in Shadow es la novela debut de Ben Alderson. Había leído un poco de él antes en Because you love to hate me, pero con este libro creo que ha hecho un maravilloso trabajo. Al ser su primer libro, creí que encontraría muchos errores e inconsistencias, pero no, encontré exactamente lo que estaba buscando 4.5 ★★★★ “They say that fire is nothing without the air that fuels it. You are my air, without you I would just stop. I need you, I want you and I will get better and be there for you.” Cloaked in Shadow es la novela debut de Ben Alderson. Había leído un poco de él antes en Because you love to hate me, pero con este libro creo que ha hecho un maravilloso trabajo. Al ser su primer libro, creí que encontraría muchos errores e inconsistencias, pero no, encontré exactamente lo que estaba buscando: Un retelling de la Bella y la Bestia, magia, dragones y un romance LGBT que no fue soso o estúpido. Creo que la novela tiene una combinación perfecta entre todos estos elementos, más una trama concisa, un mundo fantástico bien construido y unos personajes bien caracterizados. Trama: Es una trama bastante simple. Puede incluso parecer un poco cliché, pero creo que es aceptable porque la novela está bien escrita. Es interesante, divertida, está llena de acción, magia y misterio. También me gusto mucho la construcción del ambiente y de todos los elementos y criaturas fantásticas. Hubieron varios detalles que me parecieron novedosos, como la forma de diferenciar la raza de elfos de acuerdo al color de su sangre. Personajes: Zacriah “Zac” y Hadrian son los personajes principales. Conecte con ambos desde el inicio y sentí que tuvieron una evolución concisa y auténtica. Zac y Hadrian son personajes muy diferentes, pero que se complementan bien. Zac me demostró que no era un elfo inútil y frágil, sino alguien fuerte, valiente y leal. Sin embargo, mi favorito fue Hadrian. Me encanto. Su actitud con todos, su forma de comportarse con Zac, su valentía, su fortaleza. Todo.Por otro lado, Nyah fue uno de mis personajes secundarios favoritos. Su actitud me pareció muy refrescante y badass. Y, en cuanto a los villanos, fueron acertados. Los sentí muy reales y los odie a todos. Así que eso es una buena señal. “So that is why I care. I care because that is what you deserve. I care because every morning I have woken up and my mind passes to you. It also helps that you are one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever had the pleasure of standing before.” Romance: Zacriah y Hadrian fueron simplemente adorables. Al principio, pensé que su romance sería un desastroso insta-love, pero NO...fue absolutamente genial. Hadrian fue tan perfecto con Zac. Me fascino la evolución de su relación, desde cómo se convirtieron en amigos hasta volverse amantes. Creo que hubo la dosis necesaria de romance para no sobrecargar la novela, pero igual me quedé con muchas ganas de leer más sobre ellos. En general, creo que Cloaked in Shadow es un debut muy prometedor y el inicio perfecto para la saga The Dragori. Sin dudas, continuaré con los siguientes libros para conocer más sobre las aventuras de Zac y Hadrian. Muy recomendada.
    more
  • V (lady⚔️crow)
    January 1, 1970
    Gay elves are yay elves, y'all.I'm SO PUMPED.
  • Jo Painter
    January 1, 1970
    First of all, I would just like to say a massive congratulations to Ben! 'Cloaked in Shadow' is being officially released on the 18th Dec, ( get your pre-orders in now, guys), but I was lucky enough to be sent a copy to read early and let me tell you, this will fill all the Elven voids in your life. Ben's ability to create a world of Elves where they are of all different races, shapes, sizes, personalities and strengths is what the fantasy genre is desperately in need of. Don't get me wrong, I l First of all, I would just like to say a massive congratulations to Ben! 'Cloaked in Shadow' is being officially released on the 18th Dec, ( get your pre-orders in now, guys), but I was lucky enough to be sent a copy to read early and let me tell you, this will fill all the Elven voids in your life. Ben's ability to create a world of Elves where they are of all different races, shapes, sizes, personalities and strengths is what the fantasy genre is desperately in need of. Don't get me wrong, I love a bit of Legolas, but what I loved the most about this book was the versatility amongst the characters - it made for a refreshing take on a classic and well loved fantasy race!As an artist I tend to be a very visual person and so I judge a book based on how it plays out in my head. If it plays out like a film, then we are onto a winner and this world that Ben has so carefully weaved together is bursting with vibrancy, colour and sass that soared through my imagination and tickled my creativity. It made it a joy to read and I so easily fell in love with the characters and the story because of it! The main overarching romance is enough to make you jealous, but if you're more of an action lover than you will love the adrenaline fuelled elemental magic, duels and all out scraps that ensue. Pick this one up and I promise, you won't be disappointed!
    more
  • Cassie Stever
    January 1, 1970
    reread this gem in order to be better prepared for its sequel, found in night. this reread was just as amazing as the first time i read it. zac, hadrian, and nyah have such a special place in my heart. i love them all dearly and cannot wait to continue on this journey with them! *********************this book was so magical and pure. i loved the characters and not once did i feel bored with the plot. cloaked in shadow will definitely be a book that stays with me for many moons to come. if you reread this gem in order to be better prepared for its sequel, found in night. this reread was just as amazing as the first time i read it. zac, hadrian, and nyah have such a special place in my heart. i love them all dearly and cannot wait to continue on this journey with them! *********************this book was so magical and pure. i loved the characters and not once did i feel bored with the plot. cloaked in shadow will definitely be a book that stays with me for many moons to come. if you have not picked up this wonderful novel, please do so right now. you will not be disappointed!
    more
  • Kristofer Pidgeon
    January 1, 1970
    That was awesome! I’m sad I found it so soon because now I’ll have to wait for the next book. I rarely find an authors debut book to be so good, but this one was stellar. 😍
  • BookishBoy
    January 1, 1970
    Beauty And The Beast retelling? check ✔Gay romance? check ✔Elemental magic? check ✔Dragons? check ✔There’s only one thing I can say...Gimme. Beauty And The Beast retelling? check ✔️Gay romance? check ✔️Elemental magic? check ✔️Dragons? check ✔️There’s only one thing I can say...Gimme.
    more
  • Claire - The Coffeeholic Bookworm
    January 1, 1970
    This was astonishingly beautiful!!Zacriah Trovirn has got a lot in his hands: a kingdom reigned by an elfin King who's got skeletons hiding in his closet. a prince in love with a Niraen shifter, only he isn't really a shifter at all. A friend turns into a foe and a best-friend in the shape of a moth. Zac doesn't know anymore who to trust; even his magick plays tricks on him. When bloodshed rules the land, he must find a way to protect the ones he love and unleash his powers before he gets killed This was astonishingly beautiful!!Zacriah Trovirn has got a lot in his hands: a kingdom reigned by an elfin King who's got skeletons hiding in his closet. a prince in love with a Niraen shifter, only he isn't really a shifter at all. A friend turns into a foe and a best-friend in the shape of a moth. Zac doesn't know anymore who to trust; even his magick plays tricks on him. When bloodshed rules the land, he must find a way to protect the ones he love and unleash his powers before he gets killed.It's been almost two months since I last read a fantasy/paranormal story, so you can imagine my craving for a new fantasy read this time. When I finally got my hands on Cloaked in Shadow, I screamed alongside Ben of Tomes and knew that it would be a blast. And I was not disappointed!Now, where do I begin? Hmm.. The cover... OMG, that book cover! It's so freakin' beautiful! Fell in love with elfin Zacriah right away. With his purple bow and arrow and his enigmatic pose, the cover definitely captivated me. Now on with the story. I love love love Zacriah and his pure heart. It's my first time to read a gay love story in a Fantasty genre and it's s big win for me. I love how the elven commmunity readily accepted Zac and Petrer and Hardian's sexuality. Like it's the most natural thing in the world and there was no prejudice and judgment at all. I love that! At first I liked Petrer the raven shifter, but when I finally got to meet the enigmatic Prince Hadrian, I am floored. Hadrian is indeed swoonworthy and dashing! The romance was palpable but mild, tender and sweet! “They say that fire is nothing without the air that fuels it. You are my air, without you I would just stop. I need you, I want you and I will get better and be there for you.Learning about the shifters, (my first time to read about a moth and a spider shifter - so cool!!), elven kingdoms, the Elementals, the magick, the Dragori - it was all enthralling and captivating. I am in love with how their worlds collide. I love how there was never a dull moment in the book. I'd love to say a lot more, but I don't want to spoil all the fun. But if you're in for something high fantasy and magical and adventurous, then this book comes highly recommended for you!! Thumbs up and kisses for you, Ben!
    more
  • Olivia
    January 1, 1970
    5/5 STARS *****A beautiful fantasy story from the first person perspective of a gay, male, mysterious and magical elf! Our main character, Zacriah, is so original and complex, I have never gotten so attached to a MC so quickly. As a reader, we discover his story right along with him. By learning about his powers, meeting other elves, and discovering more about the world around him we discover as much as he does.Ben Anderson has built a wonderful cast of characters but most importantly beautiful 5/5 STARS *****A beautiful fantasy story from the first person perspective of a gay, male, mysterious and magical elf! Our main character, Zacriah, is so original and complex, I have never gotten so attached to a MC so quickly. As a reader, we discover his story right along with him. By learning about his powers, meeting other elves, and discovering more about the world around him we discover as much as he does.Ben Anderson has built a wonderful cast of characters but most importantly beautiful relationships with Nyah and Prince Hadrian. It is so nice to see healthy and organic relationships evolve from the beginning, and that is exactly what happens in Cloaked in Shadow. While reading, you can’t help but get attached to these characters which is something that I need as a reader.This is an adventure story, a love story, an lgbtq+ story, a fantasy story, what more could you possibly need?! This will be your dream book, the one you’ve been waiting for without knowing it! Boy, you are in for a treat! And brace yourself, because Ben is not afraid to bring the wrath to his fictional world… __So thankful to be working on this gem with Ben, he has written such a wonderful story filled with so many unique characters that I can’t help but get attached to (Nyah is my baby, I can’t wait for you guys to meet her). This is an adventure story, a love story, an lgbtq+ story, a fantasy story, WHAT MORE COULD YOU WANT? More in-depth RTC when it’s released! Seriously, add this to your tbr immediately so we can all gush about Zac and Hadrian together.
    more
  • Vicky (What Vicky Read)
    January 1, 1970
    I loved this book! A fabulous debut from Ben and such a unique story. I loved that the main character was a male as I haven’t read as many books with a male lead, plus the main character, Zac, was also gay! I really loved seeing his relationships emerge and how they changed and developed.I will be writing a full review of this on my blog (it will be up just after the 16th!), but for now I just want to say that I loved this book. It’s diverse, it’s action packed and it’s just all round fabulous. I loved this book! A fabulous debut from Ben and such a unique story. I loved that the main character was a male as I haven’t read as many books with a male lead, plus the main character, Zac, was also gay! I really loved seeing his relationships emerge and how they changed and developed.I will be writing a full review of this on my blog (it will be up just after the 16th!), but for now I just want to say that I loved this book. It’s diverse, it’s action packed and it’s just all round fabulous. Oh, and the cover is GORGEOUS.
    more
  • Peyton Reads
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 StarsThis book definitely captured my attention and was a fun ride all the way through. No single page was boring in my eyes. Cloaked in Shadow being Alderson's debut has left me feeling quite impressed. The writing was pretty good though there was an awkward sentence here and there and many misspelled words. The plot was predictable at times because of some common tropes, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the novel. It was definitely a fun novel through and through that sets up a 3.5 StarsThis book definitely captured my attention and was a fun ride all the way through. No single page was boring in my eyes. Cloaked in Shadow being Alderson's debut has left me feeling quite impressed. The writing was pretty good though there was an awkward sentence here and there and many misspelled words. The plot was predictable at times because of some common tropes, but it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the novel. It was definitely a fun novel through and through that sets up a series of books that I can't wait to read. I have a feeling that each installment to the Dragori series will be better than the last. The romance was probably my favorite part of this book because it wasn't rushed or forced and it was truthfully my first time reading a book with a homosexual romance between the main characters. I'm excited to read more of these diverse books.
    more
  • Len Evans Jr
    January 1, 1970
    This book deserves at least 10 stars... it is the best epics fantasy novel that I have read in the last 5 years. The world-building is astounding, the characters are more real than some flesh and blood people I know. The story is on par with the writing of the very top level of epic fantasy. I cannot say enough about the journey this book took me on. I cannot wait till the second book is published, but till then I will have to reread this one at least several times, cuz there is so much more to This book deserves at least 10 stars... it is the best epics fantasy novel that I have read in the last 5 years. The world-building is astounding, the characters are more real than some flesh and blood people I know. The story is on par with the writing of the very top level of epic fantasy. I cannot say enough about the journey this book took me on. I cannot wait till the second book is published, but till then I will have to reread this one at least several times, cuz there is so much more to feel and experience. If you love incredible, character-driven epic fantasy you MUST read this book!
    more
  • Kirsty Bonnick
    January 1, 1970
    So much suspense, shocking twists and sexual tension makes cloaked in shadow a must read for the YA book fans. Every chapter includes stunning imagery and characters which take you to far away lands and it feels as if you can see, touch and smell everything right there in front of you. A brilliant example of LGBT writing breaking the mold.
    more
  • Jackson
    January 1, 1970
    I AM LITERALLY SO DOWN FOR THIS I CANT WAIT TO READ A GIANT BOOK ABOUT DRAGONS AND GAY PEOPLE THIS IS GOING TO BE SO GOOD
  • Hannah Lynch
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 Stars I loved this book! So much action and magic and romance, exactly what I needed. This book was absolutely brilliant. Perfect for fans for the Grisha trilogy and Throne of Glass. Twists and turns at every page makes it impossible to put this book down. Such a cliffhanger ending, the next installment could not come sooner.
    more
  • Naruto4Hokage(Jessica)
    January 1, 1970
    To put it lightly, I CAN'T WAIT TO READ THIS!!! So, January 2018...*starts counting down the days*
Write a review