Title: The Shadow Soul
Series Title: A Dance of Dragons
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Date Added: June 15, 2016
Date Started: May 14, 2018
Date DNF: May 15, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult (YA), Paranormal
Publication Date: January 22, 2014
Publisher: Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
When Jinji’s home is destroyed, she is left with nowhere to run and no one to run to–until she meets Rhen, a prince chasing rumors that foreign enemies have landed on his shores. Masquerading as a boy, Jinji joins Rhen with vengeance in her heart. But traveling together doesn’t mean trusting one another, and both are keeping a deep secret–magic. Jinji can weave the elements to create master illusions and Rhen can pull burning flames into his flesh.
But while they struggle to hide the truth, a shadow lurks in the night. An ancient evil has reawakened, and unbeknownst to them, these two unlikely companions hold the key to its defeat. Because their meeting was not coincidence–it was fate. And their story has played out before, in a long forgotten time, an age of myth that is about to be reborn…
This is one of those books that initially seems like I’d tear through with alacrity based on the blurb, but I was extremely meh about the opening. It’s your typical destroyed people/vengeance fare, but I didn’t garner much deep emotion from it because I didn’t invest much in the characters due to that cataclysm being present in the blurb. Even so I liked what the author was setting up with Jinji’s story arc, an indigenous young woman whose home and culture is destroyed. I was here for that revenge story, but then…the male character is introduced.
Rhen is unlikable for a variety of reasons. He’s arrogant as fuck with an unearned know-it-all attitude. Davis tells us how smart he is through his own ruminations, which may be her way of disputing it, but it just comes off as pompous. I could forgive this slight, but I was pretty much done when he revealed he might be an unabashed rapist per the very act that introduces him.
He did however feel slightly uneasy. It really wasn’t the girl’s fault that he had slipped into her room just before dawn.
I won’t say it’s blatant, but it gave me an icky feeling. Pairing that with a lukewarm beginning sealed the deal. If Rhen had been interesting or reputable, I might have continued, but I had no interest in seeing a fairly decent character like Jinji paired with what can’t even be considered a mediocre man. Maybe he matures; maybe she “fixes” him (ugh), but she deserves better.