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3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  814 ratings  ·  144 reviews
Long ago, in a kingdom far away, it was prophesied that the queen would die before her sixteenth birthday. So Shadow, an orphan girl the same age as the young queen, was given the duty of watching her every move. Shadow remains confined in the fortress-like castle, virtually a slave to the queen. But when tragedy strikes, Shadow suddenly finds herself escaping under the pr...more
Paperback, 378 pages
Published January 2011 by Scholastic (first published April 1st 2010)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,639)
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Shadow has always lived with the queen. She's supposed to protect her. A prophecy told when the queen was born warns that she will be killed by her sixteenth birthday. So Shadow is supposed to be there to take the arrow or sword in her stead.

But when Shadow fails and the queen dies anyway, she's taken by a young knight on a journey of magic and discovery.

Her world isn't what she thought it was.

Final thoughts: Awful, awful book. It's obvious from the beginning what the "twist" is and it's dull in...more
This was an impulse grab at the local library, on a day when I needed fun reading to distract me from life, and all my novels were packed already. It was a good choice. Not brilliant, but oddly compelling and hard to put down. Shadow had some serious emotional/ psychological issues, probably of the attachment kind. then again, it would be hard not to have those kind of issues, given her life thus far. Her relationship with Sir Kenway is odd, tentative, annoyed, fond, concerned, and lots of other...more
Shadow is a different sort of book entirely, and while there were elements of the story that I found intriguing, I just didn't connect with this book the way I'd hoped I would.

Shadow, by all accounts, has had a really crappy life. She takes basically nonstop abuse from the people around her at the royal palace, has no friends or allies to speak of, and, when she does deign to have an opinion or an original thought, experiences such fantastic adventures as being locked in the dungeon. Shadow, nee...more
Jul 27, 2009 Jenny rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book. :)
Shadow has always been what her name implies. Seen by no one, following the queen around for her protection. But when the castle is invaded and the queen poisoned, Shadow must run away with Sir Kenway. She does not know where they are going, nor why, nor for what reason. She must trust him and those she meets. That's hard for a shadow with no feelings to do. How will she save her kingdom and those she loves?

Shadow was a good read. While I didn't find it to be unbelievably spectacular, it had a g...more
I rarely rate a one star.

Everything felt so rushed, forced and pushed in this novel. I knew what was going to happen before that, and there was very little time spent allowing the reader to get to know Shadow. It was like BOOM get to know her and like her.

If you read the flap of the book you already know what's going to happen in the first half of the book. Which flaps are good to read but really don't spoil the vast majority of the book.

I found the characters, stiff, stilted, boring and just...more
Really hated this book. Not for the plot: I thought that was the interesting thing. There was a lot of potential but the result was aggravating. I couldn't connect with any character, they were all one-dimensional, I was unclear about any person's true motivation (for as much as the word "duty" was thrown around, I didn't see it much). The entire book is written in passive voice: "The door was opened," "the sword was lifted" such that a lot of the action felt anticlimactic. I didn't see any chem...more
May 23, 2011 Fairwind rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA people in need of a light fantasy read
Shelves: fairy-tales
I admit, I was a little bit disappointed in this book. I liked it, and reading it wasn't a waste of time, but it could've been so much better. At times it felt rushed, and some scenes needed more details. Although some of the author's emotional descriptors were good and original, she also had a habit of telling you what Shadow was feeling instead of showing you and some times I didn't really understand why she was feeling that way . . . there was just a lot of stuff that needed more explaining a...more
Shadow has lived with Queen Audrey from birth. Both girls are orphans of the same age. Shadow is not a lady in waiting, her task is to be an inseparable companion to an increasingly mad and unpleasant queen who is surrounded by equally abusive and unpleasant ladies in waiting. Shadow's dream is to escape the castle and her grim life.
The sudden death of Queen Audrey turns Shadow's life upside down as her try destiny and identity are slowly revealed.
Palace intrigue, mysterious visions, alarming...more
Sunny Little
Sep 12, 2014 Sunny Little rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Hopeless Romantics
Recommended to Sunny by: Scholastic's Random Error
Warning: Reviewer might unconsciously give away spoilers because she is severely scatterbrained.

Scratch That: The official blurb of the book has more spoilers than this review.

Once upon a time, I ordered a bunch of books from Scholastic through my school... but I never got them. After a year of staring off into the sunset and hopelessly waiting for my life support books to show up, my teacher’s incoherent excuses led me to believe that Scholastic had either lost them to a) terrorists or b) the k...more
Lauren (Likes Literature)
Feb 17, 2014 Lauren (Likes Literature) rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like to be bored and confused out of their minds
Recommended to Lauren by: i found it on my english teacher's shelf.
I cracked this puppy open under the illusion that it would be a fun romantic fantasy with a headstrong heroine.
Assumptions can be dangerous.

The first thing that bothered me about this book was the simple writing. I don't mind some simply-written novels. I kind of enjoy it when a book doesn't reek of prose-fairy vomit. However, this was ridiculous. Everything was narrated so bluntly that it felt quite anti-climatic.

The slew of charaters [even the heroine herself!] were all very one-dimensional an...more
Kat Heckenbach
OK, so I admit I didn't read all the way to the end. I stopped at about the 2/3 mark. Normally, I'd give a DNF two stars, but the writing was actually pretty good, and I think there are plenty of readers who would have much less issue with the things I didn't like.

First of all, the characterization just wasn't quite there, especially at the beginning. It took too long for me to get a real sense of character for Shadow and Kenway, and the rest of the characters never really took full form for me....more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Reading Vacation

Shadow reminds me of a classic fairy tale. There is royalty, a suffering country, good vs evil, enchantment, and a strong heroine. I love fairy tales! That special, magical feel is captured by Jenny Moss with her words and beautiful descriptions.

Most fairy tales have a strong heroine. In this book, Shadow is that character. Perhaps she drew some of her strength from the years she was imprisoned in the castle and forced to follow the queen. Maybe she was actually born with an inner strength...more
I like this book more than I thought I would. It's the sort of book I tend to like, though, you know with royalty types and romance and adventure and a fairy tale-ish feel. Though, this book has a darker feel than Shannon Hale's books (to give you a point of comparison).

The main character, Shadow, is the personal companion/bodyguard of the Queen. She is the only one who stays with the queen all the time--and everyone's paranoid about the Queen because it's been foretold that she'll be killed bef...more
This book is not available until spring 2010. I read a prepublished readers copy. It is for young adults. It is about a young girl who is to always be near the side of the young girl who is to be the next queen. She doesn't know her own name as she is only called "Shadow".
After the untimely death of the young queen, Shadow escapes with a young prince, and travels the countryside. They discover burned out villages and destruction everywhere as new factions try to overturn the governing parties. A...more
Fiona Steele
In this fairy-tale like book, a prophecy was given that the queen was to die before her sixteenth birthday. An orphan girl, named Shadow, is the same age as the queen and has been by the Queen's side since birth. She watches the Queen's every move, and it set to protect her. Shadow has never set foot outside of the castle walls. When something terrible happens she escapes from the castle, with the help of a knight names Sir Kenway. As Shadow and Sir Kenway travel further from the castle, she fin...more
An orphan girl, Shadow, has been with Queen Audrey ever since she can remember. She is the same age as the young queen. It is prophecied that the queen will die before her sixteenth birthday. Mysteriously, the queen is murdered in her sleep. Shadow feels it is partly her fault because Shadow knew the queen was having painful nightmares and did not wake her. Sir Kenway, who Shadow believes was betrothed to the queen, takes her away along with another girl named Ingen. Filled with romance and adve...more
Not bad. Not bad at all. A few parts were a little pointless, but hey, it was good. The 'twist' made me feel stupid, like 'How did I not see that coming?' and the only thing I didn't like about it was the names. (the next part is spoilerish, so I hid it. (view spoiler) I did like the fake Queen Audrey's real name, Devona or whatever it was, though. I also didn't lik...more
A prophesy speaks of a princess who would be murdered before her 16th birthday and coronation to become queen, Shadow has lived all her life as just that...a shadow following the princess to every event, sleeping on the floor next to her, and watching her every move. When the princess is poisoned Shadow flees the castle with a young knight. Will they be able to save this kingdom that is on the way to ruin?
Overall, an interesting story with lots of action, there was more religion/goddess stuff i...more
A fascinating fantasy read, I enjoyed this book throughout.

Shadow has always been just that, a shadow to the young queen who is the same age she is. She has been told to protect the queen at all costs, so she very rarely gets to move far from the queen. And the queen doesn't get to move because she has been told she will die before her official coronation. So all Shadow wants to do is explore the outside world. She cherishes moments she can spend outside, and she also treasures moments when Sir...more
As the appointed "shadow" of a young queen, our protagonist has been the subject of unmerited scorn and mistreatment at the hands of Queen Audrey and her court. She dreams of life far away from the castle that is her, and the queen's, prison. Unfortunately for her, freedom is constantly out of reach. Shadow's duty is to always be at the side of the queen. For what reason, no one knows. They can only speculate that it has something to do with the mysterious prophecy that foretells Audrey's death...more
Ellz Readz
My thoughts...I adored this story. The story has a fairytale feel, complete with a queen, a knight, beautiful castles, and silk dresses. However, it surprised me with a dark side full of dungeons, dark secrets, betrayals and lies. The heroine Shadow, is just that, a Shadow to the beautiful queen. Queen Audrey treats Shadow very poorly, as do her ladies. Despite her situation, Shadow keeps her head held high and demands respect, even though it usually results in her punishment. Her character grew...more
In a dying kingdom, prophecy said that the young queen would die before her 16th birthday, and so an orphaned girl was given the task to be the queen's shadow, in the hopes that the queen's fate could be averted and fall on the shadow instead. But Shadow, for she has no given name, could careless for the prophecy. Friendless and close-hearted, all Shadow wants is a chance at freedom, freedom from the queen's spite as she is never allowed to be away from the queen's side, but for a few stolen mom...more
K. Bird
Shadow is the servant of a the queen of Deor, forced to "shadow" the queen by the elders of the kingdom because of a prophecy about the queen's death.

Treated badly by all, Shadow nurses her grudges in silence until one day she awakes...and the queen is dead.

Of course Shadow isn't the lowly servant she has seemed all these years, and her actions will determine the fate of a kingdom.

Shadow was great. Her foil, Lord Kenway, was refreshingly unperfect (he's classist and alternates between being look...more
Madeleine Rex

Review Sent to Scholastic*:

Mystic and adventurous, Shadow is a book that will keep boys and girls flipping pages rapidly beneath their bed-cover tents, flashlights suspended above their heads by weary arms shaking from overuse. Realistic in its troubles and characters, and fantastic in its magic, you’ll find that this novel is full of just about everything – political intrigue, love, awkwardness, faith and the lack thereof, and duty. N...more
I probably should start this out by saying I'm not a big fantasy person. I love watching movies that are set in any sort of fantasy realm or medieval times, but I never could get into reading about them. I blame it on the names and the butt load of history that comes with it. But I told myself that I was going to try out new genres so I gave Shadow a stab.

Jenny Moss's writing is very easy going. I never felt myself getting lost in the storyline. The plot was kind of mild. I enjoyed Shadow as a c...more
 Tina (Fantastic Book Review)
Always in the background, Shadow longs for freedom outside the walls of the cruel Queen Audrey. Defiance against her Queen and her Queen’s maidens has lead Shadow to many harsh punishments. Her inner strength comforts her in the face of misery at the hands of nobility. If it wasn’t for her strong will, I don’t know how Shadow would have fared if she had to endure more of the Queen’s cruelty. She was pretty much treated like a dog with only scraps to eat and straw to sleep on, while everyone else...more
Shadow was a good book, in my opinion. The author’s purpose was to entertain the reader. I believe the author’s purpose was to entertain because reading about a girl who all her life was a protector of the young queen and now trying to figure out who she really is and who her mother is, leaves you wanting to read more. In other words, I think the author, Jenny Moss, wrote this book to entertain the reader of her character’s adventures, discoveries, and a little bit of her love life.

The theme was...more
Shadow takes me back to the fantasies and young adult novels I read as a teenager and younger. I would very much classify this with tales like Ella Enchanted or Goose Girl because it delivered very much the same sort of story. Regardless of anything else Shadow was a strong and complex character. No matter what she says she is not a carelessly cruel person or cold-hearted. She had to learn to be like that, to survive the torment of being the Queen's whipping girl, but in her heart of hearts she...more
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Jenny Moss lives in Austin and writes.

She is the author of SHADOW (Scholastic Press) and WINNIE'S WAR and TAKING OFF (Walker/Bloomsbury).
More about Jenny Moss...
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