Shadow Crusade by Jessaca Willis
YA Fantasy, Independently Published in 2020, 356 Pages
What I Didn’t Like:
- Slower pace than I was expecting. I honestly think this has a lot to do with this being the first book in the trilogy. It’s setting up the world, which takes time. The back half of the book moved faster, leading me to believe the second and third book will do the same.
- Male lead wasn’t my favorite. That, of course, is only a problem if he was supposed to be. I just didn’t trust or particularly like him from the get go. We’ll see how his arc progresses but right now I’m skeptical of this guy.
- Damsel in distress vibes. Halira has a lot of moments where she’s sort of caught in a bad situation and waits to be rescued. Again, I’m hopeful this will change as she matures through the series.
What I Did Like:
- Flawed characters. I love characters that are imperfect and flawed. This group comes with ready made prejudices that they’ll have to confront as the book progresses, which I adore.
- Found family. Both Halira and Dimitri have no real family remaining in their lives. They need people. So when they join up with other young recruits the found family dynamic is amazing. I want all the best things for this little group.
- Dark concept in an interesting direction. Demons walk the Earth, humans are hunted, Mages are the enemy. What’s not to love about that concept? It’s dark and foreboding but the author gives you just enough light to keep you reading. That spark of hope is why we read dark fantasy, afterall.
Who Should Read This One:
- Dark fantasy fans who like a bit of light romance in their stories.
My Rating: 3 Stars.
This is a good fantasy story and I think it sets up the sequels to be even better.
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