- Beautiful cover.
I also recommend:
- Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
- Plain Kate by Erin Bow
Summary from GoodReads:
Orphaned, two sisters are left to find their own fortunes.
Sweet and proper, Karah’s future seems secure at a glamorous Flower House. She could be pampered for the rest of her life… if she agrees to play their game.
Nemienne, neither sweet nor proper, has fewer choices. Left with no alternative, she accepts a mysterious mage’s offer of an apprenticeship. Agreeing means a home and survival, but can Nemienne trust the mage?
With the arrival of a foreign bard into the quiet city, dangerous secrets are unearthed, and both sisters find themselves at the center of a plot that threatens not only to upset their newly found lives, but also to destroy their kingdom.
House of Shadows began beautifully for me. Rachel Neumeier, I’ve heard, is a master of beautiful description and world-building, and she did not disappoint with this story of eight sisters. Within just a few paragraphs I was enchanted by the story and excited to see it unfold. I even made the comment, 25% in, about how enchanted I was and broadcasted it to the world.
I should have waited a bit longer.
You see, while I loved certain aspects of this story, the politics of it all got too heavy for me. Instead of reading about what the story seemed to promise from the start, the education of both Karah and Nemienne, that foreign bard in the description of the story seems to step in and take over the bulk of the story. And with him, he brings politics and strangeness.
Unlike another fantasy I recently put down, unable to finish, however – I did manage to finish this one. My eyes glazed over once or twice as things got very, very complicated (and not explained well enough to salve that complication), but I was interested enough in both Karah and Nemienne to want to learn where their story would end up.
Another thing I did appreciate about House of Shadows was the lack of cliffhanger. As far as I can tell, this is a stand-alone fantasy. It’s a beautifully written one – but with the level of detail Rachel Neumeier was trying to go into, it might have been better as a 2 book set.(
Don’t just take my word for it! Check out what these bloggers say!
- The publisher provided this review copy via NetGalley.
- Published by: Orbit
- Release Date: 7/10/2012