Review: Circle of Shadows

Genre: Fantasty

Published: January 22nd, 2019

Pages: 454

Rating: ⭐⭐

Synopsis: Sora and her gemina Daemon are training to be Taigas, elite warriors chosen by the gods to defend the kingdom of Kichona. For hundreds of years, Kichona hasn’t had any outside threats, so when Sora and Daemon stumble upon a camp of soldiers during a scouting mission, everything changes.

Non-Spoiler Review:

I don’t even know where to start with this one. I listened to it on audio (which I kind of regret because I own the physical book as well), so it was easier for me to get through than if I had to sit down and read it. I started off really enjoying the story, with some minor issues, but by the end, I began to really dislike it.

The plot was pretty straightforward. Sora and Daemon discover a threat to Kichona and the book follows different characters in third person on both sides of this conflict. My problem with this plot was that most of it had to do with magic, and the magic system was so poorly explained. The Taigas have one type of magic while their enemies have another. The enemy magic was explained a little bit, but the Taiga magic had almost no explanation. It wasn’t clear how they performed it, why they were chosen to have it, and what it’s limits were. There was also some talk of gods in the beginning of the book, but any actual information about them was very sparse. At the end of the book, some big events happens but I felt like they came out of nowhere because I didn’t know if these events were realistic within the magic system because there was never a good explanation of the magic system.

Despite following characters on the other side of this conflict, I didn’t really understand what the actual conflict was. There was no real motivation for them to be doing what they were doing or to have people follow them and believe in them.

The characters in this book were okay. Sora started off as kind of a class clown, but then after one conversation with her mother, she decides that she’s actually going to care about being the best she can be. Daemon was nice but kind of bland to be quite honest. Broomstick and Fairy were another pair of geminas that were side characters and they both had their one thing that made them important to the plot. Virtuoso, a character with the opposition, really annoyed me because she was keeping grudges that really had no justification.

The romance in this book gave me whiplash. It starts out pretty obvious about where it is headed, then kind of gets pushed to the back while some family relationships get the focus. At the end though, something comes out of nowhere and I was left scratching my head because it just didn’t make sense.

I didn’t really like the writing in this book. The chapters were very short, so there were seventy chapters in this book (that’s an average of SIX PAGES PER CHAPTER). There were also phrases such as “like a guitar string that had just been plucked”. Are there guitars in this world? It didn’t really seem like it but who knows. Phrases like this in fantasy always feel out of place because it takes the reader out of that world to think of something from real life. It was super unclear what kind technology this world had, since some things were very advanced but then others were not. Also, whenever anyone traveled, especially at the beginning, the reader didn’t get to see any of the travel. I think they traveled mostly by horse, but I can’t even recall. These travelling scenes would have been good to show the world a little more, as well as build up the relationships between characters.

Overall, this book was just a mess. The world building just wasn’t there, the characters were boring, and the things that bothered me distracted me from anything that I could have enjoyed about it. This goes without saying, but I definitely will not be reading any other books in this series.

SPOILERS:

Okay, I just wanted to list out the questions I had while reading because maybe I missed something? Anyway, here they are:

  • How do gemina bonds form? Like how do they pick who bonds and how is the actual bond made?
  • Is one gemina more important than the other
  • What are the limits on Taiga magic?
  • Do the gods have anything to with the Taiga? Or the Taiga magic?
  • Is Ryu magic different or an extension of Taiga magic?
  • Did Gin discover it, or gain it? Is his mind control Ryu magic?
  • Why does Gin want to take over, other than for immortality?
  • Why does Hana care about Gin’s cause at all? Like other than the fact that he raised her even though she still remembers her family?
  • Demigods?????

One thought on “Review: Circle of Shadows

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