Monday, November 26, 2012

[Archive] LITERAL ADDICTION's Review of Shadow's Claim

Kresley Cole  is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the electrifying Immortals After Dark paranormal series and the young adult Arcana Chronicles. She has also written five award-winning historical romances.

Since her first novel was released in 2003, Kresley has published nineteen books with Simon & Schuster and has seen her releases translated into more than eighteen foreign languages. She has traveled over much of the world and draws from those experiences to create her memorable characters and settings. Two of her favorite places to visit include the rain forests of Central America and the Queensland area of Australia.

Cole’s trademark action, sensuality, and humor are exemplified in her popular Immortals After Dark Series, which revolves around the Lore, a secret stratum of hundreds of immortal creatures--ranging from Vampires to Lykae, Furies to Shifters, and Fey to Valkyrie--that each have their strengths, weaknesses, and age old prejudices against the others. Though they secretly live among humans, they constantly war among themselves, which gives her a lot of material.

In 2007, Kresley won the prestigious Romance Writers of America RITA award for best paranormal for her novel A Hunger Like No Other, and in January 2009, she became a #1 New York Times and Publishers Weekly bestseller with her sixth IAD installment, Kiss of a Demon King. In 2010, Kiss of a Demon King earned Kresley her second RITA award. 2011 brought Cole her second #1 NYT bestseller with Dreams of a Dark Warrior.

She lives in Florida with her husband and far too many animals. She spends any free time traveling and enjoys all things related to boats and water. You can learn more about Kresley at

Shadow's Claim - THE DACIANS: REALM OF BLOOD & MIST Book #1
Author: Kresley Cole

#1 New York Times bestseller Kresley Cole introduces The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist, a new paranormal series following the royal bloodline of Dacia, a vampire kingdom hidden within the Lore of the Immortals After Dark. Shadow’s Claim features Prince Trehan, a ruthless master assassin who will do anything to possess Bettina, his beautiful sorceress mate, even compete for her hand in a blood-sport tournament— to the death.


Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people—striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself—until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore’s most fearsome villains.


Desperate to earn her guardians’ approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she’s lost her heart to another. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure.


Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina’s heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium’s worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away—or stoke Bettina’s own desires to a fever pitch. . . .

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:
*ARC received from the author in exchange for an honest review

Shadow’s Claim was an amazing blend of the best of the IAD series.  It included some of my favorites of the Lore and overlaps beautifully with the timeline of the last release, Lothaire.

Unlike other ‘spin-off’ series that I’ve read recently, wherein the plot of the debut book picks up where the last book of the previous series left off, Shadow’s Claim takes a subset of characters and actually happens in parallel with the events of Lothaire. This was made even more enjoyable when the timelines mesh at the end of the book.

Our hero and heroine: Trehan and Bettina are phenomenal together and easily worked their way into my top 3 IAD power couples. Their journey is intense, riddled with emotion, sexy as sin, and full of surprises.  I loved how it wasn’t a foregone conclusion that things were going to work out and give us that “Happily Ever After” that we expect from Paranormal Romances, and I actually wondered if Kresley might make us wait for Book #2 to find out what would ultimately happen.

The world: The realm of blood and mist was magical and complex, and Shadow’s Claim was made even more intricate by the fact that it took place in several different locales. Kresley painted the set beautifully with her descriptive prose, impeccable timing, and enthralling character interaction.

Overall story: The book was chock full of danger, intrigue, action, and romance.  The multiple twists and turns that were introduced made things fabulously unpredictable and extremely entertaining.

Some of my favorite things...
1)  Simply put, the depth of Trehan! It was completely mystifying, and he may very well have become one of my favorite PNR heroes.  Yes he’s a ruthless, detached assassin, but he’s also a somewhat vulnerable, bookish introvert. He shows indications of being a closet romantic, an art aficionado, and a loyal family man, and somehow manages to perfectly balance being an uber alpha male with having a surprising and wonderful soft side.

2)  The fact that Bettina’s entire future hinged on the outcome of a gladiator style life and death tournament was unique and made for high anxiety reading. It also paved the way for some very interesting little surprises that Kresley introduced, as well as some wonderful dialogue.

3)  The supporting characters were solid and felt necessary to the story. I found myself finding favorites among them outside of our leading couple and hoping that we find out even more in future releases. In addition, we get cameos from some great IAD veterans and more storyline on a couple that were only briefly mentioned before, therefore making me yearn for the future releases because there is just so much potential with these characters in play.

All in all, LITERAL ADDICTION gives Shadow’s Claim 5 Skulls and would recommend it to ALL Kresley Cole IMMORTALS AFTER DARK fans.

While I don’t think it’s 100% necessary to read the entire IAD series before reading Shadow’s Claim, I do feel that having done so made Shadow’s Claim more enjoyable. Reading Lothaire before Shadow’s Claim was a definite plus. With that said, IMMORTALS AFTER DARK is an incredible series and should be devoured by paranormal romance lovers far and wide, so take the plunge and get lost in the Lore. You won’t be disappointed! :)

Shadow's Claim

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