Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Shadowborn (Light & Shadow, #1)” as Want to Read:
Shadowborn (Light & Shadow, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Shadowborn (Light & Shadow #1)

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  1,493 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
It has been only two generations since Arthur Warden seized the throne of Heddred from the Conradines, and now the crown rests on the head of Garad, sickly and weak. Shadows gather: legacies of the centuries-long rivalries for power, old betrayals, the endless plots of the courtiers, and the murmur of rebellion in the southern provinces ...

Catwin, plucked from her life at
Paperback, 1, 266 pages
Published April 8th 2013 by Createspace
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Shadowborn, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Shadowborn

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
♛ Garima ♛
Aug 02, 2016 marked it as to-read
Shelves: kindle-unlimited

Why it has 'Vampire Academy' kind of feeling?
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: freebies, read-2013
(Source: Download for free on kindle from
14-year-old Catwin was only minutes old when her mother spoke a prophecy that one day she would be betrayed, and sent her to the castle to be raised by the wet nurse there. Now at the age of 14, Catwin has been selected by the Duke’s assassin Temar to become like him – a shadow.

Now Catwin stands to play a part in what will soon come to pass. She must become to the Duke’s niece and heir (Miriel –also 14), what the Temar is to the duke – his
Paul Little
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a medieval fantasy tale that does a great job of building a story that keeps the pages turning. The story builds relatively slowly with the introduction of the main characters, their various attributes, flaws, histories and choices. As the pace of the story builds, the layers of the plot become apparent and the intrigue plays out like a complex chess game.

The story is essential told from the perspective of Catwin and therefore we see the world and understand the choices through the eyes
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'd like to thank the author, Moira Katson for providing a copy of the book in exchange for a review.

Reviewing this book was hard a bit hard for me. On one hand, Shadowborn seems pretty standard fare for the fantasy genre; it's got all the elements that are typical of most of the YA fantasy books out there.

Hero/Heroine with dead/absent parents. (Catwin, the protagonist)

Prophecy about Heroine. (Mentioned by Catwin's mother)

Bitchy mistress (Miriel's mother)

Bitchy female foil (applies to heroine) o
K.S. Marsden
May 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Despite the fact that Catwin was rejected by her family as a baby, and lives in a cold castle in an inhospitable place, she has led a life of freedom and kindness. She only answers to Roine, the castle healer and her mother-figure; and spends the rest of the time causing mischief. Unfortunately, her ability to sneak into places she shouldn't, brings her to the attention of the Duke, a man keen to exploit the skills of those around him. He ties Catwin's fate to that of his niece, Lady Miriel Deve ...more
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I picked up Shadowborn during the Smashwords Summer Sale, but I had neglected to pick up the next two books...which I bitterly regretted late the other night when I didn't have the ability to connect to Amazon to order them.

To get the bad out of the way, Shadowborn had some very obvious gaffes in editing that would send me out of the story pretty quickly. There weren't a lot, but it was the sort of things that made reading the line awkward and made you pause (wayward "to" when it should be "the"
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
I received a copy from the author in return for an honest review.

I had a very tough problem with this book. There actually wasn't that much I liked about it. There was the first ten percent that first interested me, but then after awhile, when the characters moved to court, I quickly lost that interest. I felt like there was just one history lesson, training session, or court politics explanation after another. In the second half, there were a few parts that piqued my interest, but it didn't imp
May 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-published
What I liked:
-Catwin and Miriel. The main character of the story really connected with me. She was intelligent and resourceful—but not so smart that it was unbelievable for someone with no previous education or training. It was interesting to read about her life and her training under Temar, and how she saw the changing world around her. Catwin and Miriel both seemed like very complex characters. Just when I thought I got a read on Miriel, she did or said something that surprised me, especially
Aug 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
Fantasy has been my favorite genre to read for, like, forever. I go through spells where I'm not especially mentally prepared to read it, but every time I read one I get so happy and remember exactly why it's my favorite genre. Shadowborn is no exception. It promises court intrigue and assassin-y fun, and that's exactly what you get!

Catwin lives with a prophecy over her head, a prophecy that made her mother give her up the day she was born. Catwin will be betrayed, and that betrayal will change
Sarah Delacueva
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was ok
This is the story of a young servant girl who is forced to become a "shadow" for the Duke's niece, Miriel. As her shadow, our hero Catwin will be her bodygaurd, spy, and assassin. The Duke has plans for his niece to capture the heart of the king, and both must go to court at the age of 14 to put his plans into action. While Catwin must train physically and learn poison antidotes, observation skills, and the like, Miriel also endures constant lessons and practice related to the skill of being the ...more
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I’ve never been a big fan of the medieval genre before. No matter how much fantasy you throw in, Kings and Queens and the Court haven’t ever done it for me. So, when Moira contacted me about reviewing Shadowborn, I was pretty torn. Yes, the book has pretty good reviews… but would it be interesting enough to keep my attention?

Shadowborn moves a slow and steady pace. One thing I saw mentioned in a few reviews is that there isn’t a whole lot of action (danger, threat against Miriel) going on. Most
A medieval fantasy that focuses on Catwin, a young shadow (that is, bodyguard, assassin and spy) in training. Catwin is a peasant who comes to the attention of her Duke after trying to steal the dagger of the Duke's shadow. She is given a task, learn to be a shadow to protect the Duke's niece and heir, Mirel, from the Duke's enemies. Catwin and Mirel become the Duke's tools in his plans to keep favour with the young king. Both girls struggle to hold onto their ideals and their lives in the king' ...more
Kristen Walker
Nov 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, indie
I really liked this book! Political intrigue doesn't usually include such young characters in a believable way, but I enjoyed finding out how the two girls went from being pure pawns to having some small amount of power. I wish that they were better friends, but when push comes to shove, they did finally come to mutual terms as allies. I hope they grow closer in the following books. I can't wait to read the rest of this series!
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was fascinated by the concept of this book. Two girls are forced to spend their time together. One is well born, the other a peasant. The peasant is trained to be the bodyguard for the other who is being trained to capture the attention of the king. Lots of political intrigue and plotting takes place. The story dragged in a couple of places, but overall an enjoyable and quick read.
Andria Potter
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Politics and Power

Catwin is a fascinating character, and I loved this story-full of depth, mystery, politics, power, and what it means to be Queen. Moira Katson is a new favorite author, and I look forward to more of her excellent books.
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who like mystery, prophecies, medieval fantasy
Recommended to Claire by: saw posting in local coffee shop about local indie author
An enjoyable read that builds with intensity and intrigue!

In Shadowborn Katson introduces the reader to Catwin and Miriel, foils that develop together with the common goal to learn who they are up against and how to stay alive.

(cross-posted to Amazon and Barnes and Noble.)
Selena Yukino (The Lioness: hear me roar)
Oooh, I really like this. It's not special or anything.... but that ending. THIS will get more badass. I know it.
Sara Moore
Feb 01, 2018 rated it liked it
I am torn on this book, but the final verdict is that I will not continue with this series. For the most part, things are well-written throughout the book, but there were a few things that I cannot get past, even to give the author the benefit of the doubt that things improve later in the series or in their writing. 1) There was a smattering of periodic, heavy-handed, 'foreshadowing' bits. Like, 'if I had only known how this might doom us all' type stuff. It was so grating at points that it made ...more
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Voracious Readers Only.

I loved this book. It has everything you want in a YA fantasy: intrigue, danger, plot, beautiful dresses and, of course, assassins.

I really liked the relationship between Miriel and Catwin - it was true to how 14-year-olds interact. Occasionally, the adult in the writer peeped through, especially with regards to Miriel and her endeveours to gain a husband (slighlty inaccurate description but I'm trying not to spoil anything
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own, read-2017
Thanks to her penchant for sneaking around unseen, Catwin is chosen by the ambitious Duke of Voltur to serve as a Shadow, i.e. bodyguard, assassin, spy, and whatever else is currently needed, for his niece Lady Miriel, whom the Duke intends to take to Court to ensnare the heart of the young and sickly king. Both girls are nothing but pawns used to further the Duke's plans, and neither trusts the other... but only if they can overcome their differences and work together they might survive and per ...more
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway-books
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

And boy, was I glad that I did.

I'm a big fan of fantasy stories, especially if they have interesting female characters in the lead role. Shadowborn delivered on that and much much more.

It's a story about two girls, the low born Catwin and high born Miriel, who are thrown together against their will and become pawns in a larger game played by their Lord and Uncle the Duke. It's a story of political intrigue in a medieval fantasy setting
This is a solid fantasy read. I started it 4 years ago and never finished, but I went back to the beginning again a couple days ago and managed to read it relatively quickly. I like the author's writing style, and that no one character was a perfect person - either evil or good. 4 stars, and I am so happy the rest of the series is available through Kindle Unlimited :)
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Really interesting series, loved the story and the characters. There was too much detail about the families and the conduct of all the nobles in parts but overall I was really engaged throughout the series. The plot twists were unexpected and the characterization was good.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While it was a bit rambling at points, and the back-and-forth to trust or not to trust dynamic between Catwin and Miriel got a little old, as the drama started to build, I found myself getting more and more interested.
Pattie Robinson
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fun to read.
Rivalie (Le Petit Photograph)
Shadowborn takes place in a world that seems to come out of the Middle Ages, but it’s completely made up. The first couple of pages give a list of character names which is helpful because there are a lot of lords and dukes and people, but to be honest, who actually reads that? Well...I didn’t, maybe I’m the weird one. Anyway, but it was good to have it as a guide in the front.

The first chapter was definitely very interesting with the whole birthing scene and then Catwin’s mother throwing her ou
Aug 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I liked this book but I didn't love it. I have a huge soft spot when it comes to books with assassins, especially if it is in a medieval kind of setting. I really did want to love everything this book offered me, and for a while I did, but I gave up on love and settled on a like eventually.

The biggest problem I had with this book is that it is so repetitive. In the beginning it was interesting to watch as Catwin learned new skills, how she changed as a person, her fight within herself on if she
Ash (It's a Word Vomit World)
Nov 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: e-books
I feel that this is one of those books that is all about taste. I like my fantasies, I like my strong (but not too strong) heroines, and I like my complex politics; I feel that this book delivers on all three of these. In my opinion, this is one of the best self-published books I’ve read. In fact, I’m surprised it hasn’t been classically published, because it’s better than quite a few fantasy mainstream books I’ve read as well.

This is the story of a girl who had been originally taken in by a nob
Ken Baker
May 20, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3.5 Stars - Enjoyable and Worth the Read

At first, I was uncertain whether I would enjoy this book. It started off on a slow march, more exposition than action, the plot hinting at what was to come without truly laying down sufficient teasers to get me excited. I'm glad I didn't put the book down - because as the story began to unfold, I found myself drawn into the world Katson created. The writing is easy and manageable, her characterizations descriptive and you feel this is an author who has re
S.L. Saboviec
I was impressed by this series, the Light and Shadow trilogy, which was another one of my fabulous Bookbub bargains. (Er, by the way, since I talk about them so much, one might wonder if I’m affiliated, but I’m not. Though I’ve acquired enough $0.99 and free books from them, I should probably take out stock.)

This is both a fascinating character-driven and an interesting plot-driven story, wrapped in an engrossing fantasy world. Catwin, the main character, comes from a poor family, and until she’
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Story Content 1 5 Nov 12, 2014 01:24PM  
YA Buddy Readers'...: Shadowborn (Light & Shadow #1) by Moira Katson - Starting July 17th 2013 17 16 Jul 18, 2013 12:21AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Book Cover and Author 5 23 Apr 27, 2013 08:40AM  
Goodreads Authors...: Shadowborn (FREE!) 8 31 Apr 20, 2013 08:34AM  
  • The Dark Citadel (The Dark Citadel, #1)
  • Draykon (Draykon, #1)
  • The Eye of Divinity (Knights, #1)
  • City of Blaze (The Fireblade Array, #1)
  • Darkspire Reaches
  • An Oath of the Blood (Island Shifters, #1)
  • Brood of Bones
  • The Deliverer (The Marenon Chronicles, #1)
  • Cobweb Bride (Cobweb Bride Trilogy, #1)
  • Child of the Ghosts (Ghosts, #1)
  • The Sable City (Norothian Cycle, #1)
  • The Last Swordmage (The Swordmage Trilogy, #1)
  • Sword Bearer (Return of the Dragons, #1)
  • Mark of the Mage (Scribes of Medeisia, #1)
  • Ocean of Dust
  • Healer's Touch (Touch #1)
  • The Hidden Sun (Bariwon, #1)
  • Rua (Rua, #1)
I am a transplant to the frozen wastes of the midwest, learning to love fried food on a stick, hot dish, and the winters. Having recently bought a house, I am also learning everything from how to wire chandeliers to how best to paint a room. (Also, I spend too much time at Menard's.)

I have been writing since I was old enough to read, and I write on every scrap of paper I can get my hands on. In th
More about Moira Katson

Other books in the series

Light & Shadow (3 books)
  • Shadowforged (Light & Shadow, #2)
  • Shadow's End (Light & Shadow, #3)

Fantasy & Science Fiction Deals

  • Bright Smoke, Cold Fire (Bright Smoke, Cold Fire, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Gold-Son
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Trail of Dead (Scarlett Bernard, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Regulars
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Childhood's End
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Mirror
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Nyxia (The Nyxia Triad, #1)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • The Voyage to Magical North (The Accidental Pirates)
    $5.67 $2.99
  • Raven's Peak (World on Fire, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Swords and Deviltry (Lankhmar, 1)
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Rebel Wing (Rebel Wing #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Snow Like Ashes (Snow Like Ashes, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Garden of Stones (Echoes of Empire, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Dracula [Kindle in Motion]
    $1.99 $0.99
  • The Autumn Republic (Powder Mage #3)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Thickety: A Path Begins
    $6.24 $1.99
  • Stinger
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Lost Voices
    $5.99 $2.99
  • The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Extracted (Extracted Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Dragon Haven (Rain Wild Chronicles, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Isle of Blood and Stone
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Spirit Hunters
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Haven (War of the Princes, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Immortal Circus (Cirque des Immortels, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Moving Castle, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Brilliance (Brilliance Saga, #1)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The Immortal Circus: Act Two (Cirque des Immortels, #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • A Better World (Brilliance Saga, #2)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • Written in Fire (Brilliance Saga, #3)
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The Immortal Circus: Final Act (Cirque des Immortels, #3)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Secret of the Sirens (The Companions Quartet, #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • The Siren
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Dorothy Must Die (Dorothy Must Die #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Ocean of Storms
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Sword of Shannara Trilogy (Shannara, #1-3)
    $19.99 $2.99
  • Artful
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles, #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Chains of Command (Frontlines, #4)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Angles of Attack (Frontlines, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Lines of Departure (Frontlines, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Now I Rise (The Conqueror's Saga #2)
    $10.99 $1.99
  • Into the Dim
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Terms of Enlistment (Frontlines #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Perdido Street Station (New Crobuzon, #1)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Kull: Exile of Atlantis
    $8.99 $2.99
  • Fury (Blur Trilogy #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Oryx and Crake (MaddAddam, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Gears of War  Aspho Fields
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Midnight Robber
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Taken (Taken, #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Lion of Senet (Second Sons Trilogy, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • City
    $7.99 $1.99
  • You Suck (A Love Story, #2)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Chocolate Touch
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Storm (Elemental, #1)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • A Perfect Blood (The Hollows, #10)
    $6.99 $1.99
  • Mama Day
    $17.99 $1.99
  • Dreamfall (Dreamfall #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Imitation (Clone Chronicles #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Infinite
    $5.99 $2.49
  • Boundary Lines (Boundary Magic, #2)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Mermaid's Sister
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Space Between Heartbeats (Betwixt #1)
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Boundary Born (Boundary Magic, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Warded Man (Demon Cycle, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Kissed by Darkness (Sunwalker Saga, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Dragon Marked (Supernatural Prison, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Blood Kissed (Lizzie Grace, #1)
    $3.99 $1.49
  • A Glimmer of Hope (The Avalon Chronicles #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Celia and the Fairies
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Best Served Cold (First Law World, #4)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Valor (The Faithful and the Fallen, #2)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • The Last One
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Genesis
    $11.99 $1.99
  • To Honor You Call Us (Man of War, #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Hunter's Trail (Scarlett Bernard, #3)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Abyss Beyond Dreams (Commonwealth: Chronicle of the Fallers, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Wool: The Graphic Novel
    $7.99 $2.99
  • And I Darken (The Conqueror's Saga, #1)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Ticker
    $3.99 $0.99
  • Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard (Barsk, #1)
    $9.99 $2.99
  • Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard #1)
    $4.99 $1.99
  • The Concealed (Lakewood, #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
“Do you know, I used to feel special, like I would wake up in a fairytale and be a great hero. But now…I don’t know if I want to be in a story anymore. It’s like I am already, and I don’t think I like it. And what would it mean if it were true? What would it mean for you?” 2 likes
“You, Catwin, no longer exist. You no longer have a fate of your own, a will of your own, or indeed a soul of your own. Henceforth, you and Miriel are to be as one, she the light, and you the shadow. You are to cease thinking of yourself as other from my niece - you are to be her shadow, as Temar is mine. You will go where she goes, you will watch instead of being watched, you will hear instead of being heard. Do you understand me?" - Eral Celys, Duke of Voltur” 1 likes
More quotes…