Soul of Shadows


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A captivating, magical sequel to "Shadows' Apprentice" that beautifully expands on the protagonist's journey of discovering his abilities.

The Soul of Shadows is the spellbinding sequel to K.L. Alexander's debut novel, The Shadows' Apprentice, which was a breathtaking, epic young adult fantasy novel that transported me into the character's world. In the first novel, we learned about the five-year rebellion between the Kingdom of Availa and the Night Emperor, ruler of the Land of Andromendor. The Night Emperor defeated the rebel leader Markus in combat, leaving the people of Availa distraught and in chaos. Buildings were destroyed, children were sick and hungry, and people ran for their lives. The Emperor took over The Kingdom of Availa and its people. He created a dystopian society, creating different factions involving children born with a seed of shadow magic.

The reader will continue to explore the story through the story's protagonist Nick, a teenager who continues to be brave despite the loss, heartache, and challenges he has faced. Nick continues to thrive with the support of his friends. The secondary characters genuinely add to the story's plot and serve a purpose in the story. As we saw in the first book, Nick, his cousins Braawen and Lorcan, and friends Rohana, Kaius, and Takara have been taken to Equinox House. This school focuses on providing the necessary training to develop their physical abilities and bring out their unique abilities. A teacher named Volodimir has worked closely with Nick for almost a year, helping him learn shadow magic. Nick and his teacher have been meeting after dark in secret. He has taught Nick to listen to the shadows, shadow jump, and hone his magical abilities. Everything Nick has learned about his teacher changes when he learns the truth. Volodimir, his teacher, is the Emperor, the man who took over his kingdom and killed his father—the person who turned his world upside down.

Nick questions the Emperor's reasons for training him. Although the Emperor keeps telling Nick that he saw his gift and proved his potential, Volodimir has an agenda. The Night Emperor wishes to eliminate all of the rebellion's leaders, including Nick's Uncle Tybalt. The Night Emperor claims if the rebellion's leaders surrendered as he requested, they could have held important positions under the Emperor—the possibility of rebel leaders leading the kingdom. If the Kingdom of Availa had obeyed the Emperor's request, Nick's father would be alive, and the war could have been prevented. Nick and his friends believe Tybalt could be the answer to restoring the kingdom, but they need to find him before his cousin, the shadow assassins, and the Night Emperor does. With final exams and the spring festival fast approaching, Nick and his friends devise a plan to rescue his uncle. Will Nick and his friends be able to save Tybalt and return home?

The story's setting is dynamic with the author's creative ideas and the beautiful sensory details, literary elements, and description of the characters, The Kingdom of Availa, Equinox House, and the mastery of crafting a magical world within a controlled government that mirrors a historical time period of kings and queens. Alexander's writing style is very descriptive, which I absolutely love because the author includes many details about the setting and characters, so the reader can get a clear and complete idea of what is happening in the character's world and create imagery in the story. The concept of shadow magic still amazes me and provokes mystery into the story's plot. It keeps the reader invested in the story and wants to know more about the character's abilities and how they will use their abilities to protect themselves and save their home.

I love that the sequel provided more background information on the Kingdom of Availa and Nick's parents. I felt like the added context gave me a better understanding of the protagonist and his journey. It also contributed to the endgame of The Night Emperor and explained why the war happened in book one. I also enjoyed seeing the characters grow. Each character seemed more mature and goal-oriented, growing into the person the author hoped they would become by learning their special gifts and who they are.

Soul of Shadows is a captivating coming-of-age story that keeps your interest with the twist of shadow magic and mystery. It truly makes you not want to put the book down with the battle between kingdoms and the protagonist discovering the truth about the Night Emperor. Can Nick and his friends save his uncle? Can his uncle be the answer to saving the Kingdom of Availa and stopping the Night Emperor's plans? If you are a fan of Cassandra Clare, Veronica Roth, and Kim Richardson, you will love reading K.L. Alexander's sequel to her debut young adult fantasy novel, The Shadows' Apprentice.

Reviewed by

Destiny Constantin has been passionate about teaching and writing since she was a little girl. She holds a Master's Degree in English and Creative Writing and loves sharing her knowledge and background with her students and other writers to help them build their writing skills.


About the author

Hello Everyone! I have loved reading and writing for as long as I can remember. I love to read YA fantasy, historical novels, and Epic fantasies. However, I'm willing to broaden my usual genres to read amazing stories. Also, I'm currently publishing my first YA Fantasy book. view profile

Published on June 12, 2023

Published by

150000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Fantasy

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