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The Shadow Soul

(A Dance of Dragons #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  1,270 ratings  ·  117 reviews
From bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis comes a fantasy adventure perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Kristin Cashore, and Tamora Pierce! Told in alternating male and female perspectives, THE SHADOW SOUL has been hailed as "an amazing start to a new series that is going to have people of all ages wanting so much more." (Happy Tails & Tales Reviews)

When Jinji's home is destroy
Paperback, 292 pages
Published January 22nd 2014 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published January 1st 2014)
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Kaitlyn Davis Thanks for your interest in my book! For most of the first book, the main female character is pretending to be a boy, so there is romance but it doesn…moreThanks for your interest in my book! For most of the first book, the main female character is pretending to be a boy, so there is romance but it doesn't get fully explored until the next book in the series! There is also a free prequel novella called The Golden Cage available for download, and in that story romance is a major focus! (less)

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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  1,270 ratings  ·  117 reviews

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Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽
3.5 stars. This YA fantasy is pretty solid, and it's a Kindle freebie if you want to check it out. Review first posted on Fantasy Literature:

The Shadow Soul came in first place of the 30 books that our Fantasy Literature team of reviewers read for Mark Lawrence’s 2016 Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off (SPFBO), in which 300 self-published science fiction and fantasy novels have been read and evaluated by ten blogs. The winner of the very first round, it managed to survive and prevail over all of th
Mark Lawrence
I haven't read this book (yet), but it is one of the 10 finalists in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. That's 10 out of 300 hopefuls!

Read about the competition here

See ratings and reviews of all the finalists here:
Kirsty (Amethyst Bookwyrm)
Thanks to Netgalley and Patchwork Press for giving me this book to review.

Jinji’s home is destroyed and everyone she has known has been killed by a mysterious shadow and she is left alone with nowhere to go, until a young man called Rhen finds her. However, both are hiding secrets, Jin is masquerading as a boy and has magic, meaning she can weave elements and create illusions, and Rhen is a prince on the search for foreign enemies and can pull flames into himself. While they go on a search to di
Jen • Just One More Page

This review is also posted on my blog.

I received a copy free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

(view spoiler)
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, kindle-read
This took a bit to get into after reading the prequel first. I can't figure out where/how it fits in properly. I really liked Jin's character but she is too secretive for her own good. She needed to try to trust someone but even Rhen who saves her, opens up his secrets she is silent. It takes a while to understand her relation to spirits in this too. Rhen I really liked. He too, wore a mask to the world. But he is a deeply caring, brave person with lots of depth. There seem to be a couple things ...more
The Shadow Soul was a good fantasy read. After reading the prequel I was really looking forward to continuing the series and this book did not disappoint. I liked the characters and found the story fascinating. There were a few moments where the story didn't hold my attention, but the ending made up for that. I'm undecided on whether or not I will continue the series...maybe one day? ...more
Jan 29, 2017 rated it liked it
“People are born to this world with their destiny already laid out before them, with a future already set—they only get to fill in the details.”

Jinji is a 16-year old girl with a unique bond to the elemental spirits. As she prepares for what should be one of the proudest moments in her life, she finds herself bound to darkness -- a shadow that moves from her waking dreams into her reality and steals everything from her. She is found by a prince of the new world who shuns his royal standing, pref
Read all my reviews on

I had read the prequel of the A Dance of Dragons series already, and was at first quite surprised that this story seemed to be about completely different characters. However, the princess does make an appearance in the book.

Jinji is the last of her people, which are massacred by a shadow force. When she's trying to survive by pretending to be a boy she meets up with Rhen, a prince who's onto a plot to destroy his family.

It was described
I, Spy, Books
I...It was so...HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!

fangirling photo: Fangirling tumblr_inline_mkgev9tY0j1qz4rgp_zpsaf8430de.gif


fangirling photo: fangirling fangirling-1.gif



read it! photo: read My-reaction-as-a-Mormon-Parent-EFY-Counselor-and-Korean-5_zps07f07fa3.gif
Sandra "Jeanz"
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing

As my thoughts upon finishing "The Golden Cage" were "I need the next one now!" I guess you could say I am really looking forward to reading this novel. I would like to know more about Orthuri and it's customs, maybe I will discover some less barbaric customs in this book than were revealed in the prequel in the Kings treatment of his daughter and her personal guard.

I downloaded this novel from Amazon UK when it was free! The cover's main element is a female depicted as
NAT.orious reads ☾
Um yeah, what should I say...It was a free ebook so I was glad to have something while I was traveling up and down the US east coast, but nonetheless, I feel like the story could have been more intruiging...
Jaime (Two Chicks on Books)
Loved!!! On to the next novella!!!
Nov 12, 2015 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, ya, paranormal, free
12 November 2015: $0.00 FREE on Kindle
Kindle freebie. Mixed feelings about this. The plot is interesting and it flows nicely, the writing is decent and it has some good elements but I can't really recommend it because of the following factors:

- Weak worldbuilding: The three socieies were thinly disguised from real life ones, the Arpapajos are inspired by a Native American society, Rhen is a prince in a kingdom similar to a medieval European one and the Ourthuro seemed to be inspired in an African tribe.

- Casual racism: The Ourthuros
Carrie Slager
Jan 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.]

Normally I’m extremely skeptical of any book hailed as similar to “Game of Thrones” or “Graceling” but to be compared to both in the same sentence? I was pretty skeptical. But I set that skepticism aside when I read the blurb because despite the overly aggrandizing opening the rest of it sounded pretty good. I will clear up one thing first: The Shadow Soul is not really like A Game of Thrones or Graceli
Stopped reading at 40%-ish so, no rating. Just not interesting enough for me.
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Filled with hidden demons

Yep, I'm already done with this book. There was just something about this storyline that kept me hooked. Once I sat down to read it, I just couldn't stop. Kaitlyn Davis knows how to write a good story. She was able to create to distinct point of view that even if you removed the name you knew exactly who was narrating that passage. Jinji's narration was very mystical and spiritual. She felt very connected to nature and the elements around her. You can just tell from the
Chris Torretta
Feb 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have to say I love Kaitlyn Davis and her books. I knew that I wanted to read this the second I saw it and the fact that she’s writing a sequel to this just makes me want to jump for joy!

Once again Kaitlyn is able to grab the reader with just a few words. Immediately I was enthralled and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to put this book down. Honestly I was also a little scared. This is about a girl who is raised in what we would call a Native American tribe. I had JUST finished a wonderful boo
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was so good!!!!
I already thought that the title and the cover was amazing so I was prepared. Obviously the two chapters were confusing as it introduced an entirely new world, new customs, and new religions, but it easily transitioned into the story, the setting artfully intergraded into the beginning plot.
This book is a split perspective which really added to the story. Dare I say it, I almost liked the boys perspective better. Rhen is amazing because he is a prince with a womanizing drunk
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A girl named Jinji lives in a Native American tribe called the Arapojo. Something is diffrent about Jinji. She has magic. She can weve allusions and and see the "sprits". On her marriage day, what seems to be the best day of her life, becomes the worst. Find out what happens in The Shadow Soul.

I loved this book. It was well written and really had its own personality. I would recomend it to any one who likes, sord fighting, magic, curses, ships, kingdoms, kings, queens, princes, and just plain aw
Beverly K
Mar 08, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF at 79%.

Eminently forgettable, this fantasy novel is in need of a good copy editor. Events happen in this book with scripted ease and whatever troubles the main characters encounter they escape with aplomb. It was as if the writer forced her will upon the characters without letting them tell the story.

I stopped when I realized that I was forcing myself through the book and no longer cared what became of any of the characters.
Kaitlyn Davis
I'm not finished writing the book yet, but I know it will be great! I hope you all love it too! ...more
Thibaut Nicodème
Jun 06, 2016 marked it as potential-snark  ·  review of another edition
It's called A Dance With Dragons, and the blurb goes "Game of Thrones meets Graceling". Why wouldn't I consider a snark. ...more
Jun 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Free 6/22/16
G.R. Matthews
I enjoyed this one. An SPFBO review to follow on Fantasy-Faction.
Jan 13, 2021 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Better than I thought it would be. Could have been better. The storyline and the character development could have used an upgrade.
It was good enough to exceed my expectations but it still didn't meet my standards.

Whylrhen aka Rhen:

He is the youngest prince in the kingdom after his younger brother died that shouldn't have been revealed.
Powers: Fire absorbtion
Uses: Puts out Forest fires in a jiffy.
Rhen is arrogant because he is a "master" spy for his king. For someone who is supp
DNF @ 40%

The Shadow Soul has an awesome plot that deals with some really culture heavy and sensitive themes such as genocide.

Additionally, the world building is just enrapturing. That being said, I was in the mood for a complex book with complex characters. This book does not have those elements. I felt like the main hero (Rhen) was Ron Weasley. Bright red hair and quite awkward.But he also carries along some deep dark emotional baggage. Our heroine, Jinji, is slightly better and has understan
Margaret Stevens
Great character development. The author knows all the characters very well and had a great talent for showing us who they are. It is pretty easy reading with lots of emotion. The final scene plays out with great power. Jinji and Rhen are two young people who come from different cultures within their island country. Jinji renames herself Jin to try to hid the fact that she is female when she meets Rhen. She disguises herself as her brother, weaving the spirits around her. She recognizes that Rhen ...more
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Bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Publishers Weekly has said, "Davis writes with confidence and poise," while USA Today has recommended her work as "must-read romance."

To learn more about her contemporary romance novels, visit her Goodreads author page for Kay Marie here: https:

Other books in the series

A Dance of Dragons (3 books)
  • The Spirit Heir (A Dance of Dragons, #2)
  • The Phoenix Born (A Dance of Dragons, #3)

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