Thursday, 25 August 2011

Review: Forged of Shadows

Book from AAD swag 
By Jessa Slade

After surviving the Irish Potato Famine, Liam Niall was possessed by a demon in search of redemption. Now, he heads the Chicago league of taylan in their fight against evil. Jilly Chan is a mentor to the local homeless youth-and warrior against the criminals who prey upon her charges. She's already half-taken by a demon, so Liam reluctantly tries to guide her into full power.

Even as the proudly independent Jilly tries to remain true to her own soul, Liam's fiercely passionate touch leaves a mark on her desirable flesh as enduring as her new demonic tattoo... from Goodreads

When I started to read this I did not realise it was book 2 in a series, not that it bothers me, I am not the type of person who must start at the beginning and work their way through, if you are, be aware this is book 2. Book 1 is Seduced by Shadows and it looks really good. Could Forged of Shadows stand alone as a book, absolutely and I will say this now, loud and clear, I liked it! There you go, no waiting till the end to find out what I thought... I liked it. Would I have liked it more had I read the first book? I can't answer that, I think having prior knowledge of events would have helped me flesh out some of the scenes more, but this did not mar my understanding.

This is a good book in my opinion, why? It has the ingredients I like in Sci Fi or Urban Fantasy or Paranormal Romance or... *insert own term here*  it is complicated with characters who embrace their complexities and push the boundaries of their story arc striving for more, for love, life a better existence. It is a book about hope, and how love can free you so hope can find you.

The main characters are Liam and Jilly: Liam, a 200 year old former Irish blacksmith who survived the famine but who became possessed by a repentant demon to become a warrior to fight evil and ultimately to lead his motley band of warriors. If you like your heroes lean, tall, mysterious and devilishly good looking (including facial markings) then Liam is the man for you. He takes his role as leader very seriously, determined to do a good job and slay evil with his hammer. When Jilly is thrown into the mix he doubts himself, wondering where this new path will take him, she is irreverent and exasperating and totally a match for him. When they meet explosions happen, physically, literally and metaphorically.

Jilly doesn't suffer fools gladly and after a difficult life and working as a social worker (youth worker) with street kids she has developed a thick skin, a wall about her emotions. She felt she couldn't 'save' her own family so she is trying to save others. Where Liam is the dark and the shadows Jilly is the fire and the speed, rushing in full force and learning as she goes. They truly compliment each other and through many trials develop their relationship. Jilly is a great female character endearing yet forceful and someone you come to care about.

The secondary characters are very interesting too, Archer and Sera who were the protagonists in the first story, and in particular the baddie Blackbird. I don't want to say too much and spoil anyone's reading. I  was lucky enough to meet Jessa Slade after a blogger panel at AAD and she gave me book 3! I shall be starting it soon.

On the whole this is a complicated tale, full of intrigue, stick with it and it will take you on a fantastic journey. A great read, I give it 4 frilly knickers out 5.


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