Title – The Shadow
Author – Sylvain Reynard
Publication Date – February 2, 2016
Series – The Florentine, #2
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…
I honestly am loving getting a completely different style and side of Sylvain Reynard’s writing in The Florentine series. It’s so intriguing for me to see the same world he has built with Gabriel Emerson, yet one so incredibly unique and different. As a reader, I love the sense of trust in the author that it builds because of delivering a level of comfort, while also being completely confident that I won’t be getting the same story I have already read in the Gabriel trilogy.
“You’re mine, now. No one touches you. No one hurts you. And everyone who has will pay.”
I felt like The Shadow was a lot more fast-paced than the prequel or first book in the series. There was so much going on in terms of storylines that I often felt my head spinning, but in a good way. Raven was dealing with her own personal scarring, as well as a complicated dynamic with her sister. Simultaneously, the Prince was trying to get to the bottom of several conflicts, and while all of this personal stuff was happening, they were dealing with the issues of their relationship and the consequences of it. For any reader, it could be a lot to handle, but it all seemed to flow together nicely, which resulted in a gripping story that I didn’t want to put down. One thing that I really appreciate is that Reynard is very thorough in his background and history so it’s easy to follow along with the events, even if it’s not a subject that would normally interest me. However, there were a few times that the text felt a little stiff in my eyes. This very well could just be the nature of who the characters are, but it felt very proper, which I was not expecting.
“I didn’t realize I would have to wait seven hundred years to find my soul mate.”
The Shadow overall just had the theme of more for me. It was more romance, more background information, and definitely more action. Everything was so jam packed that I had a very difficult time not reading it in one sitting. I am and will be on pins and needles waiting for the next part, especially with the way Reynard chose to end this story. There were some definite twists and surprises throughout that I could not have predicted! Not that it has any real bearing on my rating, but I was a bit disappointed thinking I had about 15% of the book left, and all the sudden, I was meeting the end. As always, however, the writing was superb and what I have come to expect from this talented author. I can’t wait to see where Reynard takes these two and how everything will truly come to a head!
“Raven watched as he efficiently disrobed, neatly folding every article of black clothing (with the exception of underwear, which he never wore) and placing them on the vanity.
She brushed imaginary lint from her dress as he stood in front of her, naked.
He was under six feet in height, his body lean and strong. Raven took a moment to appreciate the definition of his muscled chest and abdomen and the strong cast to his thighs. Not even a statue carved by the most talented sculptor could create a being with so much perfection. His face put her in mind of an angel, with its intense gray eyes that now looked at her expectantly.
She hid her face. “You said you loved me.”
“I did. What’s more, I meant it.”
“Love is a peculiar thing. I’ve seen it. I’ve even cheered for it. But I never believed it was for me.”
“Why shouldn’t a beautiful, fierce young woman hope for love?”
“Because, as you put it, human beings are shallow.”
“Love is deep.” His rich voice echoed in the bathroom.
“Love is having the power to destroy another person.”
William stepped closer. “Are you afraid of being destroyed?”
“Destroyed, consumed, betrayed.” She fidgeted with the neckline of her gown.
William placed his hand over hers, stilling it. “Love creates; it doesn’t destroy.”
Posted by arrangement with Berkley Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Sylvain Reynard, 2016.
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Don’t Miss the Rest of the Series!
The Prince (Florentine, #0.5)
The Raven (Florentine, #1)
The Roman (Florentine, #3)
I’m interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition – particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself.
I’m also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.
I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House.