Stephanie G's Reviews > Born of Shadows

Born of Shadows by Sherrilyn Kenyon
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's review
Apr 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: reviewed-read-by-stephanie
Read from April 16 to 19, 2011

Each day is a fight for survival for Caillen Dagan. All too familiar with the taste of betrayal, Caillen risks his life for one of the few people he cares for. This leads to the unveiling of privileged birthright but no title or wealth can change who he really is. Caillen is a skilled fighter and when he learns of a deadly plot, nothing will stop him from uncovering the truth. Desideria Denaraii is from a race where women are warriors and nothing is given freely but earned. After recently receiving the position as a body guard to the queen, Desideria attempts to stop a murderous plan. When chaos hits, Caillen and Desideria must run to save their lives and learn to fight their enemies and not each other before both of their governments fall into the wrong hands.

Ever since he was young, Caillen looked out for his three sisters. They are a source of constant headaches but there is nothing he wouldn't do for them. After taking the blame for his sister's latest brush with the law, Caillen finds himself in jail and awaiting execution. He receives a last minute reprieve and is given unbelievable news. A couple months later Caillen is taking etiquette lessons and getting reacquainted with a world he never knew he was a part of. But he is not suddenly a different person. Ever the wise cracking, philandering, calculating fighter, Caillen does not give into demands to change or apologizes but sticks proudly to who he is and I was grateful for his stubbornness. This is what makes him one of my favorite characters in a series full of well developed, unconventional heroes.

When he learns of an attempt on his King, Caillen boards a ship of foreign dignitaries to stop the assassination and find the guilty party. There he meets Desideria. Desideria is from a society dominated by women and where emotions are considered a weakness and violence is a every day part of life. Desideria is aboard the ship as a guard for the queen and stumbles upon a plot to kill her ruler. Events take place that now have Caillen and Desideria working together to not only save their own lives but those of their leaders.

When I started this book I didn't think I'd care much for Desideria's character because I was expecting a woman who felt it necessary to constantly use violence as a means to get what she wants or prove she's stronger. Desideria is a skilled warrior like others of her kind but she's not cold and void of emotions. At times she was naive due to her kinds isolation and I saw it as a way to get a better picture of her people and their beliefs. Desideria was an appealing character from the start and my only complaint is in the irregularity of her fighting skills. At times she was feared and unmatched and then there would be moments I felt her strength was lacking. Together these two are a nice pair but nothing remarkable. I felt the affection and I thought they had nice chemistry but nothing occurred between them that will have me listing them as one of my favorite couples.

There is a lot of action in Born of Shadows as well as mystery surrounding the assassination attempts. I tried to guess the who and why but ended up being wrong, which was great because the story kept me guessing and wasn't completely predictable. There are some close calls for Caillen and Desideria that had me on the edge and of course, romance. I found myself more interested in the story and all its twists and turns, as well as the individual characters more than the actual romance. Returning characters from previous books, the Dagan sisters, Sin, Darling and Dancer are just a few, added a comforting familiarity to the story and it was great to reconnect with them while still feeling like this was Caillen's book. Born of Shadows is not as good as the first 2 books in The League series but I thought it was an improvement over Born of Ice and its odd time jump. Fans of Sci-Fi romance should enjoy.
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Megan Riverina Romantics/Meggerfly I can't wait to read this!

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