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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

Overall rating

3.6 out of 5
5 Stars
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3 Stars
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All Book Reviews

  • good start to an interesting series

    A high fantasy that involves gods and an empire divided, with magical warriors fighting to serve the one they are sworn to, Circle of Shadows has an interesting magical system for its world-building, but the plot is quite predictable. This book had caught my eye because, well, magical ninjas. However, it does not really have much of Japanese culture in it beyond the warriors, some names, and the clothing is ambiguously Asian? The main characters, Sora and Daemon, are the top warriors in their graduating class, in an Academy where kids are trained to be the Empress' sworn warriors as well as the central law enforcement. They are young, and thus not entirely believed when they come back with a report (from their first mission) of the rise of a supposedly dead prince, who had caused a massacre a decade ago, and may be rising to challenge his sister, the Empress again. Armed with new magic, the Dragon Prince Gin is recruiting warriors to his cause via mind control. The native magic of the warriors is to use mudras to get animalistic abilites like enhanced sight, speed and strength, but the new ryuu magic is much more versatile and expansive. Sora and Daemon first have to spy, then fight him with the help of whatever warriors are left untouched by the mind control, which has them at a disadvantage as ryuu magic is more powerful. Coupled with that, Sora has a personal stake in the matter as Gin was the cause of the nursery fire in which she lost her sister. Daemon, meanwhile has a mysterious past that gets hinted at the end of the book. The magic of the book is its strong point, as it is explored in different aspects. The plotline, however, is predictable, with most twists clued in quite a while ago. Still, it benefits from engaging writing and a good pace, so you are enjoying the story nevertheless. The antagonist could be developed better, in my opinion, because right now he is just Generic Bad Royal #23.

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    8 person found this review helpful

    8 people found this review helpful

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Choices unfortunately have consequences

    The main characters Sora and Daemon are training to be taigas of the island of Kichona. Taigas are the soldiers and police of the island but more like ninjas with magic. When they are visiting a forest that Daemon’s sees as home they stumble across an enemy that threatens Kichona and all they hold dear. Do you ever read a book and think you love it but then start to think about it and realize you had more problems with it then you thought. Circle of Shadows is that book for me. I really loved the friendships in this book between the 4 main characters especially the bond between Sora and Daemon. They were my favorite parts of the book. That and the author’s description of the island and it’s people. You really fall in love with the island. But my problems are four fold. The enemies and there magic is not explained very well. I need more of an explanation because the whole time I was thinking who gave it to you, why can only this person give it, why has no one ever come to take the island with this magic before, ect… The magic of the Taigas was sad and one of the most childish magic systems I have ever read. Eyes like a Hawk, Eyes like a Hawk is NOT a spell. Neither is I am a Spider over and over again. The love triangle the author added at the end. It is a pointless one and I hate it when authors just add it for no reason and out of the blue I might add. Last but not least I need a lot more information on the Gemina bond like why do they have it, do they all have one, and few other questions and every time I was like finally an explanation nope no explanation. Saying all this I did enjoy the characters and parts of the story. Will I read it again no. Did I have fun reading it yes. Will I read the sequel no but I will look up how it ends. Rating: 3 stars

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    8 person found this review helpful

    8 people found this review helpful

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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