Review: The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams

Title:  The Shadow Reader
Author:  Sandy Williams
Series:  McKenzie Lewis, #1
Publisher:  Ace
Release Date:  October 25, 2010
Pages:  307

There can only be one allegiance.
It’s her time to choose.

Some humans can see the fae. McKenzie Lewis can track them, reading the shadows they leave behind. But some shadows lead to danger. Others lead to lies.

A Houston college student trying to finish her degree, McKenzie has been working for the fae king for years, tracking vicious rebels who would claim the Realm. Her job isn’t her only secret. For just as long, she’s been in love with Kyol, the king’s sword-master—and relationships between humans and fae are forbidden.

But any hope for a normal life is shattered when she’s captured by Aren, the fierce and uncompromising rebel leader. He teaches her the forbidden fae language and tells her dark truths about the Court, all to persuade her to turn against the king. Time is running out, and as the fight starts to claim human lives, McKenzie has no choice but to decide once and for all whom to trust and where she ultimately stands in the face of a cataclysmic civil war.

I went into  The Shadow Reader not really knowing what to expect and came out blown away by the this incredible fae story. This was a really a intriguing world to be thrown into and I enjoyed every minute of it.

All McKenzie wants is to be normal. She is a "Shadow Reader", a person able to read shadows left behind from fae who travel from one place to another. For about 10 years she has worked for the court and thought she was working for the good guys and then she is kidnapped by the rebels who are thought to be the bad guys, but are they really?

"I don't want to hurt you," the fae's leader says. "I'd like to talk to you." He takes a step toward me. I take a step back."Look." He sheaths his sword, then holds his hands out, palms up like he's harmless.Screw him. I won't let them take me.  

And what's an incredible fae story without some steamy hot love interests? Aren is the rebel leader who wants to keep McKenzie alive because he believes she can be brought over to the rebels side, but McKenzie proves to be quite a stubborn woman. Aren is every woman's wet dream. McKenzie is in love with someone else but Aren doesn't care, he plans to win her over anyway.

"If I were a good man," he says, "I'd acknowledge that Taltrayn is an honorable fae, that he loves you and would take care of you. I'd step down and let you have the man you've always wanted, but, McKenzie, I'm not as good as Taltrayn. I never will be, and I can't step down. I'll fight for the chance to be with you."   

Mackenzie was really a stubborn heroine and I really liked no matter how much so got threatened by the rebels that she never changed her loyalty, that she really thought about some of her decisions. Even with the decisions with both of the love interests. I really felt her determination and strong will. I think that is one reason our Aren is quite smitten with her.

"Fine," he says, his words coming out breathless. "I'll save your precious sword-master, McKenzie. But I will never, ever give you back to him." 

Kyol is the king's sword-master, the man McKenzie truly loves. The thing here is the 10 year wait and still no action between the two. I like Kyol, but I want my hero's in the story to take action and not let their heroine slip from their fingers. Kyol is a good man and dedicated to his king and the court, but I wish he would be a little selfish sometimes for himself.

All and all 
The Shadow Reader actually turned out to be quite a exciting and thrilling read. I am really looking forward to see where this story goes in the sequel.


  1. Great review! I'm hoping this book shows up in my mailbox today :-) Really looking forward to reading it!

  2. Shadow Reader sounds awesome, Mariya! Thanks for the review =)

    -Wendy from A Cupcake and a Latte: YA Reviews

  3. Great review! This is one of my favorite reads of the year!

  4. I really enjoyed this one too. Same as you, went in not really knowing what to expect and was surprised by the 'adventure' side. Nice review!