The Shadow (The Florentine #2) by Sylvain Reynard #mf #review @sylvainreynard @berkleynal


The Shadow

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel trilogy comes the hotly anticipated follow-up to The Raven, a sensual novel set in Florence featuring the dangerously intoxicating coupling of Raven and William…

Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her. In the wake of their reunion, Raven is faced with a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand. But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart…

A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery. And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy.

As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness… addtogoodreads_zps55cd15da16 Angela_s PonderingsTAG

Oh my goodness. That was a wild ride! Where The Raven was more focused on the development of the romance between Raven and William, the Prince of Florence, The Shadow is far more action-packed and filled with intrigue as those behind the prince’s assassination attempt in The Prince and the traitor(s) in The Raven step up their efforts to bring an end to William’s reign. We see William’s multitasking skills put to the test as his relationship with Raven resumes, he attempts to shield her from the other vampires to keep her safe, protect the humans of Florence from ferals, protect his people from the hunters, protect his people from the Curia, find the traitor(s), and keep his throne.

 

The action and adventure, the intrigue, the romance, and the steamy sex scenes all combine to make The Shadow a fascinating read. But what I really, really enjoyed about it was getting to know William better. Reynard has created a vampire who conforms with many of the popularly accepted vampire legends, but not only possesses traits that make the vampires of The Florentine series his own, but also make William an anomaly among them. But I can’t tell you what they are. We learned of at least one of the anomalies in The Raven, but more are revealed in The Shadow and some are spoilers – so mums the word. However, we also learn of the circumstances that lead to William becoming a vampire. Yet the most surprising revelation to me was the revelation of who William’s maker was and while I had my suspicions, it was still a shock to have them confirmed. I actually sat back in my seat and expelled a “Whoa!” breath.

 

As there is one more book to come in the series, I don’t believe it is too spoilery to reveal that the attempt to unseat William from the throne prove to be unsuccessful. Besides, it was witnessing the actual scenes of the coup itself that proved to be fascinating as I could not find it in myself to doubt William’s eventual success. No, seeing the lengths to which William would go to protect Raven were both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Even still, it was observing William address the physical embodiment of cowardice and deception that kept me glued to the final chapters of the book, on edge, prepared to bite the head off anyone who dared to interrupt me as I devoured it. Fortunately for those around me at the time, they either sensed the danger or were otherwise occupied, so no physical harm was felled upon anyone outside of the book. I cannot say the same for the traitors, several of whom I was glad to see their demise. The absolute worst part of reaching the end of The Shadow is that I now must wait for Reynard to gift us with the conclusion of The Florentine series. And thus the countdown begins…

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