Circle of Shadows (Circle of Shadows, #1)
Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied behind his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging to the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark. So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group.Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Circle of Shadows (Circle of Shadows, #1) Details

TitleCircle of Shadows (Circle of Shadows, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseJan 22nd, 2019
PublisherBalzer + Bray
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult, Young Adult Fantasy

Circle of Shadows (Circle of Shadows, #1) Review

  • Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
    January 1, 1970
    January Fairyloot Box. Okay, mine was damaged but I tell all about it in the goodie link under my picture. Fairyloot is on it to replace it =) THE GOODIES LINK
  • Kerri
    January 1, 1970
    official blurb TK. i loved this!
  • Scarlett Readz and Runz....Through Novel Time & Distance
    January 1, 1970
    Work hard. Mischief harder.Sora is an 18 year old taiga apprentice. She is in her last year of school and bound to Deamon, another apprentice and her gemina, through a mental connection. Both of them have been marked by the goddess Luna to be warriors and are trained in combat with magic abilities to serve the empire. The Kingdom of Kichona has seen peace in the last decade, since the defeat of Prince Gin in the Blood Rift. Ruled by the benevolent Empress Aki, taigas and citizens have rebuild th Work hard. Mischief harder.Sora is an 18 year old taiga apprentice. She is in her last year of school and bound to Deamon, another apprentice and her gemina, through a mental connection. Both of them have been marked by the goddess Luna to be warriors and are trained in combat with magic abilities to serve the empire. The Kingdom of Kichona has seen peace in the last decade, since the defeat of Prince Gin in the Blood Rift. Ruled by the benevolent Empress Aki, taigas and citizens have rebuild their lives and flourished since. Sora’s and Deamons’ first station of duty in a nearby sleepy town seems boring and quiet at first. They decide to take a trip to Sora’s parents for dinner and visit her younger sister’s grave. Sora is deeply saddened about her loss and Deamon shares the burden. He has been adopted by a wolf family without ever knowing who is parents were or why he was given up. Together they visit the Takish Gorge to honor his roots when they come across soldiers controlling local Kichonan citizens. What they witness and have to endure till they reach and warn the Empress, is nothing short of a thrill ride with backstabbing twists, sacrifice and deadly magic.***This novel was fantastic. An outstanding YA read filled with true friendship, startling action scenes and heartfelt moments. The elemental fusion of Japanese and European folklore gave away to a mystic atmosphere with legends, rulers, castles and magic. This book kept me glued to the pages. The writing is flawless and I enjoyed every bit of it. I read a mixed variety of genres, YA is only a small part of it and I try to keep in mind that I am not a targeted audience for this book. So I am almost more critical in a way. But I am a fan! It is the best YA novel I have read in months and I can see this doing very well. I will most certainly recommend it to any YA reader that I know. I am still swooning ecstatically! More of my reviews here:https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/
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  • Vicky Who Reads
    January 1, 1970
    oof.
  • Ashlee » Library In The Country
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsThank you to the Balzer + Bray for sending me a review copy via Edelweiss and finished copy in exchange for an honest review.This was one of my most anticipated 2019 releases, but it just wasn’t for me. Instead, it was exhausting. And also one of my biggest letdowns as of late. It started off great, then got soooo slow, then weird and unconvincing. Honestly, I’m really proud of myself for actually having finished this - I was so close to DNFing it and that is something I adamantly try t 3.5 starsThank you to the Balzer + Bray for sending me a review copy via Edelweiss and finished copy in exchange for an honest review.This was one of my most anticipated 2019 releases, but it just wasn’t for me. Instead, it was exhausting. And also one of my biggest letdowns as of late. It started off great, then got soooo slow, then weird and unconvincing. Honestly, I’m really proud of myself for actually having finished this - I was so close to DNFing it and that is something I adamantly try to avoid. I try limit myself to one read and one audiobook at a time, but I became so disinterested in this that I set it aside multiple times. It took me almost three weeks to finish this and in that time I finished eight other books.Maybe it’s just me? Hopefully it’s just me because I WANT this book and author to be successful – but I really feel like there was so much untapped potential here.The story started out with a truly fantastic premise. Bonded warriors, a unique magic system and intriguing mythology! However, after our two main characters infiltrate the enemy’s forces, the action and progression of the story really felt as though it fell to the wayside. For most of this book I felt as if things were dead in the water.Near the end, the story became incredibly over-the-top and just plain weird. Not to mention, the romance aspect in this went in a totally unexpected and uncomfortable direction. One of the main characters is approached romantically while recovering from hallucinogens and it wasn't even treated as wrong. I really couldn't make sense of how the romance in this took a complete 180 - it was just so forced and convoluted. Overall, I felt as though Circle of Shadows definitely deserved a little more polishing before it hit the shelves. I will be speaking about it on my Instagram soon - as I am apart of the tour (I am super excited and grateful for this!) - unfortunately this just wasn't for me. I certainly hope others will enjoy it more than I did!
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  • Jodi Meadows
    January 1, 1970
    If you like anime, you should give this book a shot!
  • Adah Udechukwu
    January 1, 1970
    Circle of Shadows was an exceptional read. I loved every moment.
  • - ̗̀ DANY ̖́- (danyreads)
    January 1, 1970
    . : ☾⋆ — 4 ★ READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG!!!https://bit.ly/2LoOOduARC provided from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review (thank you Balzer + Bray and HarperCollins!!)Evelyn Skye can do no wrong in my eyes. bold statement, but I am here for anything and everything she has ever and will ever write, and I’m not gonna lie, I’ve felt BEYOND giddy since the day I got approved for this ARC, and I’m so thrilled and thoroughly relieved that I can happily approve and endorse this b . : ☾⋆ — 4 ★ READ THIS REVIEW ON MY BLOG!!!https://bit.ly/2LoOOduARC provided from the publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review (thank you Balzer + Bray and HarperCollins!!)Evelyn Skye can do no wrong in my eyes. bold statement, but I am here for anything and everything she has ever and will ever write, and I’m not gonna lie, I’ve felt BEYOND giddy since the day I got approved for this ARC, and I’m so thrilled and thoroughly relieved that I can happily approve and endorse this book to absolutely everyone that ever asks for fantasy recommendations, let’s go!!!!! I couldn’t stop thinking about The Grisha Trilogy and An Ember in the Ashes while reading this book, and I say this in the best way possible. everything good about these two series, you can find in this book. in Circle of Shadows, Evelyn Skye builds a rich and gorgeous world full of magic and mythology and science, all in one of my favorite trope settings of all time: warrior academies. you’ve got tenacious characters, you’ve got age-old family feuds, you’ve got characters trying to stop a rebellion instead of starting one (!!!), you’ve got lively mythology and world building skills I would honestly DIE for, etc, etc. I feel like I could go on forever about all the good stuff in this book, like, honestly? Evelyn Skye is a treasure. however my one and only complaint, and the reason why I’m giving this book four stars instead of five, might be the constant switching of POVs? I found no issue related to switching POVs when I read The Crown’s Game, but for some reason Circle of Shadows doesn’t work as efficiently as The Crown’s Game did, and (other than Sora and Daemon) I had a hard time connecting to some of the characters because we got to know so little of them, and their chapters were so few and far between. constantly switching POVs meant that some characters only got a moment in the spotlight before immediately switching to the next character’s POV, and then the same thing would happen again with the next character, and the next. I would LOVE to know more about Hana and Prince Gin’s story, I love me some good villains and they have COPIOUS amounts of potential. also Fairy and Broomstick!! this is not by any means a completely bad thing because I very obviously loved the characters still, I just wish I could’ve gotten to know them a little bit better. perhaps all shall be fixed once book 2 rolls around.all in all, though, Circle of Shadows is an absolute gem. it’s enjoyable and fun and beautifully crafted—and I say this wholeheartedly, I can’t wait to get my hands on a finished copy. thanks again to Edelweiss+, Balzer + Bray and HarperCollins!!
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  • Alana • thebookishchick
    January 1, 1970
    The premise of the this story sounded SO incredibly good but GAHHHH this was just so overly descriptive. Like, Strange the Dreamer descriptive. Which now that I look back on I also should have DNF'ed.I was about 25% of the way through when I started skimming this, because I really wasn't missing much, just the color of everyones clothes. I was also extremely thrown by the names of the characters in this book. Every character has their name given to them at birth and then their name given to them The premise of the this story sounded SO incredibly good but GAHHHH this was just so overly descriptive. Like, Strange the Dreamer descriptive. Which now that I look back on I also should have DNF'ed.I was about 25% of the way through when I started skimming this, because I really wasn't missing much, just the color of everyones clothes. I was also extremely thrown by the names of the characters in this book. Every character has their name given to them at birth and then their name given to them at school, which okay no big deal. Except the names were things like Fairy, Spirit, Broomstick, and Wolf - so just, no thanks, I'm good. Right before I decided to put this down, the MC's were calling one of the enemies "bug boy" and I just couldn't take it anymore. The magic was odd. You could basically think of whatever you needed to do and mumble a few words like "climb like a spider" and BAM! you're climbing up a tree like a spider. At 35% I decided this just wasn't for me because I honestly can't think about another 65% of this book being descriptions. thank u, next.Blog | Twitter | Instagram
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  • Cindy ✩☽ Savage Queen ♔
    January 1, 1970
    Not a huge fan of the cover =/---Pushed back to January 22, 2019...:(----OMG, this sounds great!
  • Noura Khalid (theperksofbeingnoura)
    January 1, 1970
    I've been waiting for an arc approval! 😭❤
  • Scrill
    January 1, 1970
    This review and others like it can be found on my blog, Vicariously & VoraciouslyARC provided through Edelweiss for a fair review. No star rating due to DNF status.Sora and Daemon, her gemina, or bonded warrior are about to graduate to be taiga warriors. But before they graduate the once thought to be dead Prince Gin is spotted by the pair.The Story-This book sounded so good. I am not sure if it's just me, but I just can't read it anymore. At 30% I was already starting to speed read and skim This review and others like it can be found on my blog, Vicariously & VoraciouslyARC provided through Edelweiss for a fair review. No star rating due to DNF status.Sora and Daemon, her gemina, or bonded warrior are about to graduate to be taiga warriors. But before they graduate the once thought to be dead Prince Gin is spotted by the pair.The Story-This book sounded so good. I am not sure if it's just me, but I just can't read it anymore. At 30% I was already starting to speed read and skim as I just didn't even care anymore. Partly because there was so much repetition of the character's thoughts, histories, and how their relationship was. On top of all that the writing was drowning in similes. As much as I like vast descriptive worlds, too much time was spent describing all the details of areas being passed through, or outfits being worn. Less time could have been spent describing buildings and floors that weren't necessary as to moving the plot along. With that being said, the story also felt choppy. The chapters were very short and were split between at least 5 people so the story felt disjointed.The World Building-I am a sucker for Japanese culture, and I love that this fantasy world was derived from Japanese inspiration. From the taiga's seeming like a ninja/samurai combo with magic, to the names, and mannerisms. My favorite part was that the warriors were each in pairs that they were bonded too so they could feel their emotions and can help calm them, etc. I am not exactly sure if it's all that beneficial to be honest, but I loved the companionship. Maybe there was more to the bonds, but I didn't get far enough to see. But that was the only thing I did like in the world building. The magic itself was interesting, but was a little obscure. The taigas would simply place their thumb to their fourth finger and say something like "eyes like a hawk" two or three times and it would enhance their magic to see farther (or other animal like traits). However, there was at one point where the commander of the taiga's didn't even use the magic but asked for a spyglass. I thought that was a little strange.The Characters-I hate all their nicknames. I just can't. What is the purpose of them? Broomstick? Seriously? Even though he grows up to be a big teddy bear, to me that just encourages young kids to tease others. As someone who was really thin as a kid (no matter what I ate, though I was asked if I was fed at home a few times) I can tell you that it can be hurtful to call someone a stick or anything relating to that. I'm not going to go on a rant here, just thought the nicknames were unnecessary. Considering the characters are kids in a special warrior school they seemed rather immature at times, I guess I expected more from them. But not everyone can be Elias Veturious.
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  • Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 Stars “The Council pressed their fists over their chests. Every single apprentice and warrior rose from their seats and followed. ‘Cloak of night. Heart of light,’ they shouted in unison. It was a pledge of love and loyalty. And it was a battle cry.” I was hoping to find a new favorite with Circle of Shadows becuase The Crown’s Game is one of my favorite books. Unfortunately, I just didn’t quite connect with the world or these characters enough for me to enjoy the story. We follow Sora and 2.5 Stars “The Council pressed their fists over their chests. Every single apprentice and warrior rose from their seats and followed. ‘Cloak of night. Heart of light,’ they shouted in unison. It was a pledge of love and loyalty. And it was a battle cry.” I was hoping to find a new favorite with Circle of Shadows becuase The Crown’s Game is one of my favorite books. Unfortunately, I just didn’t quite connect with the world or these characters enough for me to enjoy the story. We follow Sora and Daemon, elite warriors bond together, as they defy every rule to investigate an impossible threat facing their kingdom and threatening thier home. Things I Liked I’m a sucker for Mythology-based worldbuilding of any kind. Give me demigods and gods-blessed powers and I’m a happy camper. And I did like that part of the story. Though I did find the setting to be a little lacking, I really liked the myths and stories surrounding the magic and world history.The action scenes were so clear and easy to follow without being repetitive or dull which was fantastic because I find that action is very hit or miss for me. Either I like it and I’m engaged, following along with every beat, heart racing. Or it’s messy, unoriginal, and boring. Happy to say I liked the action here. Things I Didn’t Like I didn’t really like the whole ‘Monikers as names’ thing that was going on in the story. I honestly never really enjoy it (It was one of the problems I had with Mask of Shadows too.) It just makes it way hard for me to connect/care about the characters.So while I did like the history behind the magic system, I found that the way magic as actually utilized was so boring and kinda dumb. I don’t know, the repeating phrases felt bland and I just didn’t connect with it. It didn’t really *feel* magical.There were so many plot points - especially given this is the first book in a series. Things could easily have been stretched to really allow for some impact and consequences, but resolutions happened so quickly because the plot moved at breakneck speed. All the romances were unsatisfying to me. I new that there would be some level of unrequited feelings between Sora/Daemon because they’re partners who aren’t supposed to be in romantic relationships - it was bound to happen. And while I didn’t particularly care for it, I didn’t hate it either. What I did hate was the stupid romance that popped out of left field in the last 5 chapters of the book. So overall, not that great of an experience with this book. My expectations could have been too high, but I still left the book feeling underwhelmed and let down. I liked the world history and the magical origins, but found the present day practicality lacking. Circle of Shadows had a lot of promise, I just didn’t buy in. I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Duncan
    January 1, 1970
    WARNING: SPOILERS In my opinion, this book is very interesting but it personally feels a little undeveloped/short on details about the world. For instance, the characters who wield magic are known as Taigas. These taigas have access to magic which allows them to do things such as move quicker, be silent, leap massive heights, swim faster, hold their breath longer, stick to walls. Each is named after an animal, and I was left wondering if they could just chant about any aspect of an animal and be WARNING: SPOILERS In my opinion, this book is very interesting but it personally feels a little undeveloped/short on details about the world. For instance, the characters who wield magic are known as Taigas. These taigas have access to magic which allows them to do things such as move quicker, be silent, leap massive heights, swim faster, hold their breath longer, stick to walls. Each is named after an animal, and I was left wondering if they could just chant about any aspect of an animal and be able to create a spell. They are performed by chanting a quick mantra and gestures with their hands. It is stated that their magic only affects the casters, as told when everyone is surprised when someone can use magic to change the world around them. However, there is mention of an armadillo spell being cast on the taigas clothes in order to make them like flexible armor. Which is it? Internal or external magic? Then there are the geminas. They can feel the emotions of another person who is also a taiga after they are bonded as kids. Does everyone have this bond? None of the adults are mentioned having one, only the four main characters. And it seems almost as if this bond is in place only to keep Wolf from confessing that he likes Sora, since geminas are not allowed to be together romantically for some reason that's never explained. And any time Wolf feels attraction towards her hes able to block her from feeling it through their link. Apparently Sora does the same because at the end it's suddenly revealed that she likes him too. It comes with no warning. Literally. Wolf is holding hands with another girl and suddenly Sora is in love with him.It feels like the magic was changed part way through the writing and certain items weren't caught. I'm not even going to mention ryuu magic because it is simultaneously overpowered but is also handicapped because apparently each person gets a unique power even through it all works the same way? And are we ever given an explanation of how this magic was really found? Nope. I enjoy the thought of the gods being true beings which respond to summons and give advice/their blessing to an emporer, but in the finale, the God that is summoned literally pops up, grabs some hearts on the ground, gives his blessing, and disappears. I get that gods are not super into mortal affairs, but this one was just summoned with 200 people ripping out their own hearts. I was expecting a bit more ceremony than:"a giant with green skin burst out of the ground. His otherworldly laugh shook all of Kichona. Sora could only stare, jaw open. Zomuri swooped down and began tossing hearts in a sack, as if they were potatoes." One of the fears of the current ruler is that if the one hoping to usurp her succeeds, he will attack other nations, and they will attack back. Do these other nations have magic? It's said that the patron gods of Kichona are what give the taiga their powers. Does that mean only they have magic? If so, they have basically nothing to fear from other nations, unless they have guns and Kichona is technologically behind. As much as I've been bagging on this all so far, I do enjoy the characters. They're all unique and have individual personalities. It's easy to keep track of them all when they have special names given to them (Bullfrog croaks, Fairy flits from guy to guy, Wolf is a wolf-raised badass, Broomstick is the ironic one because he's built like a brick wall). Also it was an interesting reveal as to Wolf's true nature. To me, the characters were one of the redeeming qualities, but it just couldn't save it for me. I didn't really enjoy much beyond the characters' interactions among each other.
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  • Brittany (Brittany's Book Rambles)
    January 1, 1970
    THAT ENDING THOUGH
  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
    January 1, 1970
    You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I hadn't DNFed a book in a year and a half before I dove into this one. And I can honestly say I've never been sadder to not finish a book. But it simply was not going well. And I think this could very much be a case of "it isn't the book, it's me", so please take this into account. Sometimes I don't get along with fantasy as much as other genres, and sometimes it's definitely me!  I mad You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight I hadn't DNFed a book in a year and a half before I dove into this one. And I can honestly say I've never been sadder to not finish a book. But it simply was not going well. And I think this could very much be a case of "it isn't the book, it's me", so please take this into account. Sometimes I don't get along with fantasy as much as other genres, and sometimes it's definitely me!  I made it to about.... 20% before I called it. And I hate calling it, as you know.But I just couldn't. I didn't care about the magic or the characters. And it felt kind of similar to the author's first series? Different location and such, but yeah. I could also tell where the romance was headed, the whole "we're bonded so rules say we can't be in love" bit, and I find that incredibly frustrating to read, so that didn't help. Bottom Line: I just couldn't care, try as I might. So I stopped, rather than hate it and being more sad.
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  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    This book really surprised me.  I knew it sounded good, but I'm shocked at how much I loved it.  The pacing was great and I read it way faster than most fantasies. The characters were what stood out most.  Sora (spirit) had so much strength.  She never gave up and wanted to be the best person she could be.  Her gemina, Daemon (Wolf) was so supportive of Sora.  His strength was fighting, but he wasn't very good at magic.  Daemon didn't know who his family was and he definitely made Sora and the o This book really surprised me.  I knew it sounded good, but I'm shocked at how much I loved it.  The pacing was great and I read it way faster than most fantasies. The characters were what stood out most.  Sora (spirit) had so much strength.  She never gave up and wanted to be the best person she could be.  Her gemina, Daemon (Wolf) was so supportive of Sora.  His strength was fighting, but he wasn't very good at magic.  Daemon didn't know who his family was and he definitely made Sora and the others family.  Fairy was my favorite.  She's Sora's roommate and is good with poisons/potions.  Broomstick is Fairy's gemina and he was good with fire.  This friendship was so strong and I adored each of them."Work hard.  Mischief Harder."The Taigas are warriors that use magic and fighting to protect the Empress and the Imperial City.  Ten years ago, The Empress Aki had to fight and kill her twin brother, Prince Gin.  He let power get to his head and would have destroyed everything.  However, Prince Gin isn't really dead.  He has been teaching others a new type of magic and creating Ryuus.  They can see particles in the air and manipulate them for their magic.  It makes them more deadly than the taiga.  Prince Gin can also hypnotize others to do his will.  He is planning on killing his sister and taking over the palace.The old ways won't stop the ryuu and Prince Gin.  Sora and Daemon decide that they need to do something, even if it gets them killed.  They decide to follow Prince Gin and sneak onto his boat.  Things don't go well and Sora is under the prince's spell.  But for some reason, it doesn't affect Daemon.  He's able to get word back to the Empress, but they are unprepared for how bad this battle will be.The book has myths and wonderful storytelling.  I enjoyed the writing and the fast pace.  There is a focus on friendship and family along with all the fighting and magic.  I cannot wait for book two.I gave this book 5 stars.  I won an arc from Evelyn and I can't thank her enough for my beautiful personalized copy (with letter and swag).   I also have a finished copy ordered and can't wait to get it.  This cover is gorgeous! Review will be up on my blog 1/26.
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  • Ricky
    January 1, 1970
    Another ARC found at work, and another story greatly enjoyed.The latest from Evelyn Skye gets a lot of comparisons to the works of Leigh Bardugo and Renée Ahdieh, but I'm also going to offer up some comparison to Julie Kagawa's recent feudal Japanese-inspired dark fantasy, Shadow of the Fox. Especially since both books highlight main characters with some kind of affinity for a certain canid beast. And since both involve some seriously nasty magic that certain nobles shouldn't have hold of, and y Another ARC found at work, and another story greatly enjoyed.The latest from Evelyn Skye gets a lot of comparisons to the works of Leigh Bardugo and Renée Ahdieh, but I'm also going to offer up some comparison to Julie Kagawa's recent feudal Japanese-inspired dark fantasy, Shadow of the Fox. Especially since both books highlight main characters with some kind of affinity for a certain canid beast. And since both involve some seriously nasty magic that certain nobles shouldn't have hold of, and yet that's how the story really kicks off the drama, no?Sora and Daemon are a pretty strong pair of main characters - recognizably Skye due to how much they remind me of Vika and Nikolai in The Crown's Game, and also forming a bond which, from a social standpoint, should in theory severely limit their ability to pair up romantically. Like if they were a pair of Cassandra Clare's parabatai. But again, there's gotta be a way to kick up the drama, no?Daemon's my favorite character by far, though. Mostly because he reminds me very strongly of my dear friend Koda - tall, with a propensity for strangely colored hair, a certain blue aura (not for nothing does Koda self-describe in his song "Sakura" as "the ocean-eyed boy with too many dreams in his head"), and the aforementioned strong canid affinity. Specifically, wolves. He can even bark like a wolf, that's how well they raised him.If nothing else, Daemon's my #1 reason for being desperate to read the sequel immediately. Especially with how he ties into the story's ending and taps into one of my own greatest paranormal-power fantasies.Next stop: bring this ARC to Kepler's when Skye starts her next tour!
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  • Deekay
    January 1, 1970
    *I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss for review purposes*I finally got a chance to read this book!!! It was very different than any other fantasy books I’ve read and I really loved it. I enjoyed the story from the beginning to the end, it was original and very new. Never been done before, so that’s something interesting to read.It follows the journey of two Taiga warriors Sora and Daemon who have an extraordinary skills and magical powers. These two went on a *I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss for review purposes*I finally got a chance to read this book!!! It was very different than any other fantasy books I’ve read and I really loved it. I enjoyed the story from the beginning to the end, it was original and very new. Never been done before, so that’s something interesting to read.It follows the journey of two Taiga warriors Sora and Daemon who have an extraordinary skills and magical powers. These two went on a deadly mission on their own in order to protect their kingdom, Kingdom of Kichona. Facing off a deadly & dangerous enemy The Dragon Prince and his ryuu army.The actions were great, I loved every single one of it. It was epic, deadly and it will make readers feel nervous, scared and terrified of the outcome. I feel very-very scared and had been panicking the whole time I was reading the book. I can’t sit still since the very first chapter. There are lots of actions and it obviously won’t make readers feel bored, you will get the intense feeling once you start reading the story.The pacing was fast and it just straight up get to the point. There’s no unnecessary or filler scenes or moments in the story which is very rare to find in most fantasy books. And that’s what makes this book interesting. I never get bored of it.The plot was interesting, everything makes sense, everything is connected and it wasn’t like any other fantasy books out there. The plot and the story has been consistent throughout the whole book. It was very incredible.As for the characters, there are lots of badass characters. Both Taigas and Ryuu are so powerful and strong in their own way even though Ryuu is considered as the most powerful one. Taigas are the good warriors whereas Ryuu are the evil warrior under the rule of The Dragon Prince.Sora is the main protagonist of this story. She’s a Taiga warrior along with her gemina Daemon (sort of like a parabatai), and also her two friends Broomstick and Fairy. Sora done so many things in this one and she can master the power of Ryuu. She made lots of sacrifices in order to help the Kingdom of Kichona and keep her friends safe. She’s tough and lot more fiercer, very wise and clever too. She knew how to make a good plan work successfully and I admired her skills and the way she thinks. She’s very careful in all the steps she’d taken, making her almost invincible.Daemon is a very strong character too, but he’s different than the Taigas, even though he is a Taiga warrior but where he came from was very surprising. At least he’s not an ordinary Taiga and that makes him unique and also an advantage on their League of Rogues side. He does help Sora a lot in this one and never leave her side, unless when Sora got caught redhanded.Fairy and Broomstick are part of Sora & Daemon’s League of Rogues and these four usually had the best plans that are very trickier than most. Fairy and Broomstick are the gemina of each other just like Sora and Daemon, and gemina bond are so strong and don’t easily break. Fairy has her unique abilities and so does Broomstick. The four of them are very clever and the plan has been successful.This is also the first ever book I’ve read that doesn’t focus much on romance and the romance part only existed in the story for like 2%. And the pairing was unexpected and the one I don’t fully support!!! I still want Daemon and Sora to get together tho...I think the rule about geminas can’t date each other was a nonsense. There’s no actual and strong reason behind it. So it kind of bother me a little bit.The enemies and the main villain was very cruel and evil and it has always been hard to get the villains right but this story does get it right. The way the author described them and write their characters, I can feel a lot of hatred from the characters and it wasn’t easy to get them on the good side. And it was pretty interesting to see how cruel they are.I wonder what’s gonna happen next and how the story gonna play out in the sequel since the villain claimed their victory already. And what will happen to Sora and her League of Rogues. And also what more can Daemon do after knowing who he really is and finally get to have a magical and otherworld power. I can’t wait for the sequel and totally looking forward to read it.
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  • Denia Books & Baubles
    January 1, 1970
    Guys, this book was really good. I enjoyed it very much. It was very different and at least for me, I got introduced to a world I've never heard of. Circle of Shadows follows the story of the Kingdom of Kichona (I still don't know how to pronounce that). The book is written in the third person narrative and it follows a lot of characters throughout the book, which was very nice and appreciated because if you are going to write in the third person, I want to know about every character, not just o Guys, this book was really good. I enjoyed it very much. It was very different and at least for me, I got introduced to a world I've never heard of. Circle of Shadows follows the story of the Kingdom of Kichona (I still don't know how to pronounce that). The book is written in the third person narrative and it follows a lot of characters throughout the book, which was very nice and appreciated because if you are going to write in the third person, I want to know about every character, not just one. So, it is not just a story about the main characters, which are Daemon and Sora aka Spirit and Wolf. It is the story of a whole country and its battle against itself.A quick rundown of the story, Aki is the empress who defeated her evil brother who wanted to take the kingdom for himself and do some sort of bloody sacrifice to this weird bloodthirsty god.  Aki and her Taigas (which are the soldiers of the kingdom) beat her brother and he flew out of the kingdom heavily wounded never to be seen again. During the upcoming years, Kichona grew to prosper and rich. Now there are new Taigas graduating the training school and in this category is where Sora and Daemon come in.Sora and Daemon are geminas. Geminas share a special connection through an invisible bond that only the pair can feel. They were assigned to be geminas when they were very young and since then, they've been inseparable. Same for Fairy and Broomstick. Every Taiga has a Gemina. The evil prince somehow survived and now, ten years later he's come back to take the kingdom that belongs to him and he'll do anything to take it. Now the characters were very well developed and Skye can write. Her world-building is on point and I enjoyed reading this book through and through. Sora and Deamon are compliments to each other. Where Deamon is strong in physical combat, Sora is good with magic, and so on and so forth. The Demon Prince has come back stronger than ever and now it's up to them to fight him with everything they've got, no matter how fair it is. I would recommend this book to anyone that likes Throne of Glass series, Truthwitch series, Girls of Paper and Fire, Flame in the Mist. If you are 13 years old and older you can read this book. Thank you guys once again for taking the time to read my review.Now tell me, have you read this book yet? Will you read it now? What do you think about it?
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  • ella ✨
    January 1, 1970
    2.5 🌟 out of 5I’m so sad that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I expected! I don’t think I connected with any of the characters very well and for some reason the plot/world seemed to fell flat throughout the book. I can’t say I dislike Circle of Shadows but nothing about it made me like it either... The romance was also super shallow and I would have preferred it to have been left out altogether rather than the random little bits dropped into the plot. I did like the aspects of feudal Japan th 2.5 🌟 out of 5I’m so sad that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I expected! I don’t think I connected with any of the characters very well and for some reason the plot/world seemed to fell flat throughout the book. I can’t say I dislike Circle of Shadows but nothing about it made me like it either... The romance was also super shallow and I would have preferred it to have been left out altogether rather than the random little bits dropped into the plot. I did like the aspects of feudal Japan that shaped the story though x
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Putting this down. So far the characters are pretty flat and something about the dialogue seems especially juvenile.
  • Olivia (The Candid Cover)
    January 1, 1970
    I have had Evelyn Skye’s The Crown’s Game series on my bookshelf for so long now. It is one series that I am really excited to read because I have heard nothing but praise for it. I have a feeling that this new series is going to be just as well-loved.
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  • Rendz
    January 1, 1970
    This was a mess.I'm so disappointed.RTC
  • Teigan
    January 1, 1970
    Just waiting not-so-patiently for this - this is exactly the type of book that I'm craving RIGHT NOW!
  • Emily (emilykatereads)
    January 1, 1970
    "I always knew you and your friends had the potential for greatness. I was just waiting for you to believe in it yourselves." This was fun and different. And the perfect example of why we need half star ratings, because this isn't an average 3 star books, but it just wasn't quite up to a 4-star rating. It was fun and enjoyable, but I didn't love it. But if a few things were slightly different, it'd be a book I could really love.This story follows mainly a group of four friends, Spirit (Sora), W "I always knew you and your friends had the potential for greatness. I was just waiting for you to believe in it yourselves." This was fun and different. And the perfect example of why we need half star ratings, because this isn't an average 3 star books, but it just wasn't quite up to a 4-star rating. It was fun and enjoyable, but I didn't love it. But if a few things were slightly different, it'd be a book I could really love.This story follows mainly a group of four friends, Spirit (Sora), Wolf (Daemon), Fairy, and Broomstick. They're all Taigas a part of their Society trained to fight and defend their Kingdom of Kichona. They also can wield magic, but with limitations. And then a family feud between the Empress and her brother is revealed, and he's creating an army with a whole new method of magic unknown to the Taigas. The old, traditional ways of magic are no longer enough to fight back. So this book is a story of friendship, family feuds, magic, and fighting for what's right. I enjoyed the world created within this book, and overall it was well done. There are gaps here and there, but nothing that impaired my enjoyment of the story. The main thing that made this an enjoyable fantasy was its cast of characters. I loved the main two, Sora and Daemon, and we got to spend a good deal of time with them as they develop throughout the story. I did like what I saw from Fairy and Broomstick, but we didn't get as much time with them. I would've loved to see these characters developed more.The switching of POVs was sometimes confusing, because for the most part we were with just Sora and Daemon, but then it'd switch to another character for an important scene, then we wouldn't hear from them again for a while. So I saw enough of characters to get to know them a bit more, but not as much as I'd like. Either I'd have wanted this to switch POVs more and even it up between the characters, or to not have switched to theirs at all and kept it more consistent. It felt like just a tease of getting these snippets from other characters, but not quite getting to know them well. The plot for a bit in the beginning was a bit slow, but the second half had perfect pacing, and the ending didn't feel rushed. It was a powerful ending and sets us up for the next book and leaves you wanting more.Review can also be found on my blog!*ARC provided by the publisher for an honest review*
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  • Madison
    January 1, 1970
    Circle of Shadows is the first book in a new fantasy series by Evelyn Skye. Despite the intriguing synopsis, I did not enjoy Circle of Shadows as I anticipated I would. While the latter half of the book is more engaging with a quickly moving plot, the first half of the book is slow, with little action to grab my attention. A juvenile writing style more befitting a different kind of story, characters with quickly changing motives and a lack of explanation for the magic in this book meant I never Circle of Shadows is the first book in a new fantasy series by Evelyn Skye. Despite the intriguing synopsis, I did not enjoy Circle of Shadows as I anticipated I would. While the latter half of the book is more engaging with a quickly moving plot, the first half of the book is slow, with little action to grab my attention. A juvenile writing style more befitting a different kind of story, characters with quickly changing motives and a lack of explanation for the magic in this book meant I never became invested in the characters nor their quest. Sora and Daemon are gemina, a bonded pair training as apprentices in the Society of Taigas. But when the safety of their kingdom of Kichona and the Empress Aki is threatened by an old enemy, Sora, Daemon and their friends must risk everything to first prove to their leaders that the threat exists and then fight to protect the lives of all who live in Kichona and beyond.Unfortunately, there are so many little details in Circle of Shadows that could have been brilliant but instead were missing or left unfulfilled to their full potential. The setting, the Taigas’ magic and the gemina bonds were all intriguing but the setting never becomes anything more than a simple backdrop, the magic is never explored or explained, and the details about the gemina bond, how it is formed, how the bond pair is chosen or how it is so easy for Daemon to hide his feelings for Sora but not everything else is never explored or explained. And how exactly does the Taiga magic work? It seems like they just repeat a simple phrase and voila, magic! The lack of explanation also makes everything seem a little bit too convenient. Need to climb something? Easy. Want to control the minds of thousands of people? Sure. Easy peasy. But there is no mention of how this is done, sustained or the cost. And that makes it very unbelievable.Sadly, the characters in Circle of Shadows never gripped me. Daemon and his story of being raised by wolves, his conflict over feelings for Sora and his struggle with mastering magic was the only character I really cared about. Sora on the other hand moves immediately from uncaring about her purpose in life to determined to be the best she can simply with one conversation from her mother. It was hard to believe someone who had witnessed the brutal destruction she describes and the guilt she later draws upon to fuel her anger for revenge would previously be so uncaring about her future and training. Sadly, she is not the only character with a very quick change in characteristics, with the romance thread taking a wild turn right at the end that didn’t make sense. Speaking of the ending, it’s not a happy one and while there is clearly going to be a sequel, I am not at all invested in reading any further.Overall, while there was much possibility for this story to be hugely intriguing, and some characters did hold promise to be unique and captivating, it will be easy to pass over Circle of Shadows when recommending a good fantasy YA novel to readers as there are so many other excellent examples in this genre.The publishers provided an advanced readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes. All opinions are my own.Find more reviews, reading age guides, content advisory, and recommendations on my blog Madison's Library
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  • Shelley
    January 1, 1970
    *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy*Rating* 4.0*Thoughts*Circle of Shadows is the start of a new duology from author Evelyn Skye. From the dangerous and talented fighter Sora and her partner, Daemon, a powerful boy who was raised by wolves, to Fairy, Sora’s best friend, a relentless flirt and brilliant poison-master, and Hana, Sora’s long-lost sister who is fighting for an evil cause but perhaps is still connected to the sister she once adored, the cast of Circle of Shadows is full of *Source* Publisher*Genre* Young Adult, Fantasy*Rating* 4.0*Thoughts*Circle of Shadows is the start of a new duology from author Evelyn Skye. From the dangerous and talented fighter Sora and her partner, Daemon, a powerful boy who was raised by wolves, to Fairy, Sora’s best friend, a relentless flirt and brilliant poison-master, and Hana, Sora’s long-lost sister who is fighting for an evil cause but perhaps is still connected to the sister she once adored, the cast of Circle of Shadows is full of complicated, fun, and unforgettable characters.*Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews*https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...
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  • Cillian
    January 1, 1970
    Kingdom of Kichona?Kichona? WTF name is that?KICHONA? I'm thinking of John Leguizamo in To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.(I know his name was Ms. Chi-Chi.)
  •  Lorien Rhys ~ Live for tomorrow
    January 1, 1970
    WHAT?!?! A new book by Evelyn Skye is coming out?!?! *fist pump* Yes!
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