Friday, October 7, 2016

Reign of Shadows

Reign of Shadows By Sophie Jordan

Harper Collins, 2016. 304 pages. Young adult, fantasy.

The assassination of her royal parents and the onslaught of a sudden and permanent eclipse drove Luna and her guardians into hiding just moments after her birth. For seventeen years, they have lived in seclusion, hiding from both the tyrant who killed her parents and took their throne and from the monsters that erupted from the ground when the sun went black. Hidden in a tower in the middle of the Black Forest, Luna pines for the outside world until the day she rescues a triad of travelers, led by a boy she can't keep off her mind. Her choice to save their lives tears hers apart.

Loosely based on the idea of Rapunzel (rather than the story), Reign of Shadows is a fun blend of light horror, romance, and adventure. The romantic attraction between Luna and Fowler is self-admittedly contrived; Luna scolds herself for being attracted to literally the first boy she's ever met. The world Jordan creates is full of objectively terrifying creatures, but she shies away from delving deeply into that atmosphere. I think I would have liked Reign more if it had been a little less balanced and more focused on one aspect or another, but I still enjoyed it. The early description of Luna versus how Fowler describes her is one of my favorite moments because Fowler's observation changes the way the reader perceives Luna. Reign is a good introduction to horror as a genre, to see if you want more or less.


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