Empire of Shadows: The House of Crimson & Clover #5 by Sarah M. Cradit

Two dynasties clash for power. Only one empire can emerge.25057936

In a time now legend, a sacred vow united the Farværdig and the Tuatha Dé Danann. One race born of fire, the other risen from nature. Together, they enjoyed centuries of peace and prosperity, under the protective blanket of this hallowed oath.

But when war came to the doorstep of the Tuatha, the Farværdig turned their backs. Expelled from their lands, those Tuatha who were not extinguished went into hiding, later re-emerging in secret as the Quinlans. The broken vow took its toll on the Farværdig, dividing the race into two factions: those willing to fall to heel of new restrictive laws, and rebels determined to restore the peaceful values of their kind.

In the midst of years of strife that follows, a Prophecy emerged, promising hope. Unite the races once more, and right the ancient wrong.

As the shadows of age and myth are exposed, the Deschanels find themselves deeply enmeshed in this war. Their bloodline and futures closely intertwined with both races, each member of the family must uncover their own vital role in fulfilling the Prophecy or risk decimation. – Goodreads.com

So.  Much.  Information.  Which really shouldn’t have surprised me, given the daunting length of this book.  Empire of Shadows has taken this series to new places – some expected, some not so much.

Saying the pace of this book is almost break-neck may be an understatement.  I was thrilled to see so many familiar characters and have the opportunity to continue with them on their journey (some more than others – Nicolas!)  A multitude of new characters were introduced as well, but their trustworthiness and motivations are still in question in some cases.  As usual, characterization continues to be a strength for this author.

The scope and complexity of the plot continue to increase in this book, with some storylines veering off in unanticipated directions.  Admittedly, certain parts of this novel were difficult and heartbreaking to read, especially one horrific scene in particular.  As a writer, I understand this character had to be put in an extreme situation to advance the storyline, but that didn’t make it any easier for me as a reader.

If you’re new to this series, this isn’t your starting place, as it is definitely not a stand alone novel.  If you’re a follower, you can expect some colossal plot developments and emotions spanning the range of the spectrum while reading.  You don’t want to miss this one.

I received a digital ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.




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