Review: Reign of Shadows – Sophie Jordan

reign of shadowsSeventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet.

With lush writing and a star–crossed romance, Reign of Shadowsis Sophie Jordan at her best.

Rating: 1/5

Woo. My first DNF of the year. I stopped at 25%, and skimmed the rest of the way through.

This was one of those times when I looked at other reviews, and I was left wondering if we read the same book.

Firstly, our MC Luna is lacking one of her senses – it’s not really a spoiler, since it’s brought up early in the book, but I’ll leave out specifics here – but she has essentially has unrealistic, super-powered other senses to compensate – she can sense the air moving, ffs.

And can smell when someone is naked, apparently.

“I inhaled his scent and it was stronger, proof that not a stitch of clothing covered his body.”

Also, the plants and forests that can still supposedly grow with like one hour of pale light per day?

But the writing is what got to me the most. It’s saturated with contrived figures of speech.

“They’re coming,” she announced in a voice as smooth as water-polished stones.

“The small eyes turned glassy, reminding me of an oynx-beaded necklace my mother had always worn.” (Really? In the middle of a fight for his life, our love interest Fowler is thinking about his mother’s necklace?)

“I bit my lip, my teeth sinking in and clinging deep to sensitive flesh until I tasted the copper tang of blood.”

My stomach knotted like a thousand butterflies were rioting inside of me. (How would Luna know what a butterfly was? Later on in the book, she doesn’t even know what a firefly is.)

With regards to Fowler’s laugh: It rippled over my skin like the stroke of a fine ribbon.

His deep, rumbling voice wrapped around me, squeezing like a fist.

His voice hit me like sparks popping and flying from a fire.

I mean, I don’t mind descriptive language and similes in writing, but every second sentence was written like the examples.

A giant, fat, NOPE from me.

ARC received from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from uncorrected proof and may differ from final publication. 

12 thoughts on “Review: Reign of Shadows – Sophie Jordan

  1. I liked this book a lot more than you, but your review gave me a good chuckle, especially this part:

    And can smell when someone is naked, apparently.


    I’m sorry this was a miss for you.


  2. lol …I have not had great luck with this author’s prior YA books, so I’m probably taking a pass on this one….
    Jen @ YA Romantics


  3. Not gonna lie, I love negative reviews, and this was a great one! I was really excited for this book, but now, not so much! I think I’m going to stay away no matter how pretty it is! Great review!!


  4. omg this breaks my heart. WAH. That cover is so so beautiful and I really like retellings?! But this sounds painful. I mean, I love descriptive language too…but you said that happens all. the. time? CUE ANNOYING. o_O Also smelling people to be naked is just….weird. hah. AHEM.
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!


    1. Haha, if you do end up reading it, I’d love to see what you think of it! But yeah, there have been so many YA covers that are just on point, but with content that just doesn’t measure up. :(


  5. Sophie Jordan never did do much for me. I think her first book showed promise, but everything went downhill afterward. And I guess this is rock bottom… Happy Valentine’s Day, Hannah! Wishing you chocolate :D


    1. I’ve never read a Sophie Jordan book, and I think I shall probably be avoiding her work in the future after this traumatising experience, tbh. Happy Valentines day back atcha! <3 <3 <3


  6. Ick. It sounds like the author tried very hard, but too much of purple prose is never a good thing. That’s just painful.


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