Book Review: Shadow’s Claim by Kresley Cole
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist, book 1
Publisher: Pocket Books
Source: From author for review
Buy it here: Amazon | Book Depository
For more information visit Kresley Cole’s website
Review By: Stephanie
Trehan is a prince of Dacia and the assassin for the royal vampire family. It’s his duty to eliminate threats to his hidden kingdom, which brings him to the demon plane of Abaddon. There he finds his Bride in princess Bettina but learns that in order to have her, he’ll have to fight. There’s a tournament in Abaddon and the prize is the princess’ hand in marriage and the throne. Unfortunately, the tournament isn’t the only obstacle standing in Trehan’s way. Bettina is in love with her childhood friend Caspion, who just so happens to be the man Trehan was sent to kill. Each day he wins a piece of Bettina’s heart but when there can only be one left alive, it may not be enough.
If you’re like me and love the males of Immortals After Dark, you’ll fall for Trehan. He’s powerful, clever, alpha to the core, and when he finds his fated woman nothing will stop him from claiming her. He’s kept to himself for centuries, venturing out only when duty calls, so he’s learning as he goes with Bettina. He can be a little…medieval at times but he’s willing to change for his Bride. If I was to pick what I love most about this book, it would be Trehan.
Half demon-half Sorceri, princess Bettina followed her love of fashion into the mortal world but that had disastrous consequences. To get her powers and a sense of safety back, she agrees to a tournament where she’s the prize. Bettina hopes her childhood friend and longtime crush Caspion will join and win so they can be together. Problem is Cas will bed anything, expect her. I like Bettina because she’s feisty when pushed but her actions towards her best friend kept me from loving her. Cas makes it clear he doesn’t return her affections and wants a true mate. Knowing how he feels, she still pressures him to fight. I thought this was selfish and very unflattering.
In the way of romance, Trehan and Bettina follow a familiar IAD pattern. Teasing, chasing, one arguing why they don’t belong together, more teasing and “almost” moments leading to sexy times, and finally ending in an admission of love after more fighting. It’s predictable for an IAD fan but that didn’t make it any less hot. Well, when I wasn’t annoyed with Bettina.
The tournament for Bettina’s hand brings creatures from all over the Lore including a familiar soothsayer, Queen of Illusions, Enemy of Old and new characters in the form of a snarky peeping tom phantom and two very unhelpful guardians. Since it’s a spinoff you hear familiar news and see welcomed faces but the main focus is on Bettina and Trehan. I didn’t really see this book as a spinoff that leads to secret new lands being uncovered as much as an expansion of what I already know and love. I would’ve liked to “see” more of Dacia but overall, Shadow’s Claim was exciting and sexy. It’s very familiar, maybe too much for IAD fans looking for something new, but not for me. Sometimes I want a book I know I’ll enjoy before I ever pick it up and as usual, that was the case with this latest Kresley Cole release.