King of the Shadow Realm…
Beyond the Twixt, just past the Unlit Forest lies a realm so gravely perilous, it has been cut off from the mortal world for thousands of years. The powerful man who rules this tangled, twisted land is as dark and merciless as his realm. That darkness in him calls out, endlessly hunts, and searches far and wide – ever seeking the soul that can make it complete, the one who can end the loneliness that threatens his entire kingdom.
Warlock of the fae…
Violet Kellen is one of two Tuath unseelie fae to have studied the rare art of dark magic to become a warlock, and now she must use those skills to save the other one – her sister. She foolishly ventures into the forbidden Dark on a rescue mission, and is ultimately thrust into a world she couldn’t fathom – and into the arms of a tall, dark savior who fills her with a fierce desire nearly as brutal as his own.
The Shadow King is the seventh book in the best selling 13-book series, The Kings, spin-off of the NYT and USA Today bestselling paranormal romance series, The Big Bad Wolf, by Heather Killough-Walden.
Even though it’s been about seven months since I read The Unseelie King, it didn’t take long for me to get sucked back into the author’s world of The Kings. And because Lalura’s actions have previously given the reader a clue as to which king will be the next to find his queen, I was really looking forward to the release of The Shadow King because I had no idea what a shadow was. Other than the Phantom King, I had at least some exposure to what the previous kings were, but the Shadow King was a complete unknown for me. And I strongly recommend that you take the author’s advice in the note to read the Prologue and the Introduction because there is information that will help you along the way and, if you’re like me and quite a bit of time has elapsed since reading the previous book, then they also serve as a reminder of what happened.
The Shadow King picks up shortly after the end of The Unseelie King and we find that Violet has been making preparations to travel to the Dark in the Shadow Realm to find and rescue her sister, Dahlia, from the Entity. To be honest, I’m not sure if the true depth of Violet’s powers were shared previously, but I don’t believe they were and I was fascinated by what we learn about her and the abilities she possesses. As with all the queens who have come before her, Violet is special and it is what makes her special that makes her the perfect match for Keeran, the Shadow King. As for Keeran, the man had so many secrets it was a wonder he didn’t crumble under the weight of them, and his secrets were so closely entwined, that the slow revelation of each worked to add to his mystery, instead of feeling contrived just to heighten the tension. It is the depth of his secrets that was the only reason the Vampire King considered that Keeran might be the traitor among them, but the discovery of his queen cleared any suspicion Roman had. Like the kings before him, Keeran hopes to give Violet time to get to know him before claiming her, wanting her to know who he was and what he had done over the millennia. But when the Entity steps up the fight and wipes out an entire race of magical beings, the Shadow King ends up claiming his queen sooner than he planned, unknowingly falling right into the Entity’s trap. When the Entity brings the fight to the Shadow King’s realm, it is only the knowledge that we have 13 kings who must find their queens that kept me from worrying the Shadow King would lose the fight. But the murder of a king in this novel did have me worrying about the fate of the newly added Nightmare King.
Once again Killough-Walden has delivered another action-packed installment in The Kings series. Although we don’t learn the true extent of why Violet and Keeran are perfect for another until the end of the book, their connection felt different to me than that of the previous kings and queens. In the beginning, I felt like things between them were moving faster than I expected them to, but once all was revealed it made complete sense because their match was possibly even stronger than that of those before them. As a result of what Dahlia endured while being held by the Entity, the kings learned a lot about what they are fighting against. But the knowledge also brings with it a multitude of new questions and concerns. Even though I hate why his introduction was needed, I cannot wait to learn more about the Nightmare King. But until his story comes, I’m looking forward to reading The Winter King next to see what will befall Kristopher as he claims his queen and what the Entity has in store for the kings and queens.