Dueling Reviews: The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

May Contain Spoilers

Poo Penny and I both read The Shadow Reader last December, and somehow I missed posting the reviews, so now you get Dueling Reviews!!

Poo Penny’s Take

Very solid start to this trilogy. This fae world was interesting and I liked the shadow reading aspect, although, besides the rebellion, I wasn’t sure how applicable it would be to have a shadow reader on the payroll. I also wondered why it took McKenzie so long to figure out that she shouldn’t have had to wait 10 years for someone. Hello?


McKenzie spent a lot of time flip flopping as well. After a singular kiss, a little time with the rebels suddenly she is questioning her time with Kyol, whom she supposedly has been in love with for 10 years. Even though the rebels weren’t exactly nice to her. I did like Aren a lot more than I liked Kyol, but I felt like Aren being in love with McKenzie was a little rushed. Also, why does the girl on the cover have a sword? I was expecting McKenzie to be super kick ass with a sword, turns out she just reads shadows.

Grade: 3.5 stars

My Take:

This was a great start to the series. The Shadow Reader is fast-paced and the action rarely lets up. McKenzie kicks ass and isn’t one to wait around to be saved; she saves herself, most of the time.

When she’s abducted by the rebels she’s been helping the king of the fae fight for the last ten years, she has many uncomfortable realizations. Maybe she’s fighting on the wrong side. Maybe the king isn’t as good as she thinks. And maybe she’s been pining after  the king’ Sword for ten, long, wasted years.

I enjoyed the world-building, and liked the rebels. Heck, I even liked Kyol, whose biggest fault was his unyielding loyalty to the king. The fight scenes were intense, McKenzie’s confusion made her relatable, and the pages flew by; I had a hard time putting this down. I think fans of Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series will find something to like here, and at only three volumes, it’s not as much of a time investment.

Grade: 4.25 stars

Review copy borrowed from our local library

About the book

There can only be one allegiance.
It’s her time to choose.

Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.
A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.
But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

3 thoughts on “Dueling Reviews: The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

  • May 4, 2017 at 10:56 am

    It was an entertaining read and I would like to finish the series. I just haven’t had time to pick up the other books.

  • May 6, 2017 at 7:58 pm

    The second book was GREAT, but the third was irritating.

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