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Shadow Crown

(Shadow Crown #1)

2.81  ·  Rating details ·  198 ratings  ·  66 reviews
For most people, the act of killing is intangible. Unfathomable.

But not for seventeen-year-old Arden Eliri.

Having been involved in Cruex assassination attempts as a mere child, killing is a natural disposition for her. Growing up without parents, in a castle ruled by an iron-fisted king, is the furthest thing from a fairy tale, as is being forced into the Cruex, the king
Paperback, 434 pages
Published October 3rd 2017 by Black Falcon Press
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Daniel Jacobs I'm only like 18% in, but I'm sorry, I won't be able to give this book more than 1 star. Grammatical errors on every page, misused words, zero…moreI'm only like 18% in, but I'm sorry, I won't be able to give this book more than 1 star. Grammatical errors on every page, misused words, zero research (the author seems to believe that if you burn a village and surrounding crops that means there will be smog around that area forever and the area becomes a wasteland, for example) and ridiculous foreshadowing, for example a character discovers she massaged her injury away and that's impossible and we're supposed to be shocked when we find out she has healing powers.
On top of that, the author offers very expensive writing courses on her website, when she clearly has no idea what she's doing. That rubs me the wrong way, because it's very easy to see her devoted YouTube followers getting tricked into paying exorbitant amounts for a worthless product.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 2.81  · 
Rating details
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Nov 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Dreadful. Absolutely dreadful. For all the reasons mentioned by other readers on this platform. I am flabbergasted at the low quality of this book. I've watched quite a few of Kristen's "writing advice" videos (which, to be honest, at this stage are reminiscent of a home shopping channel with all the advertising and mediocre content) and it's blatantly obvious that she herself does not understand what she is preaching (at least as far as writing fiction is concerned).

Frankly, it's quite
Edit: WARNING: this is unedited because KM doesn't deserve anymore of my time. Also my original review was too long for goodreads. It was at 4.5k.

You can’t really review this work as a piece of work anymore. Plenty of people have done it. What I want to know is where the hell this series is going to go. So here’s some thoughts before I inevitably read Renegade Cruex.
Which is what I would have said if I actually bothered to finish the book.
Here’s a long story about why I hate this thing and
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I found this absolutely impossible to put down! The way all the characters were connected in some way was amazing, and how one or two characters worked to link the four different plot threads going on was extremely well done. I can tell there's so much potential with the world and the characters now that they've discovered who they are and what's really going on in their society, and can't wait for the next book to find out what happens next.

This also works really well as a beginner's book for
Oct 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
I follow the author on youtube and she is really good at marketing and producing video content.
Overall a sweet woman.
I ordered this book from abroad trusting her as a writer (so not only I have paid the book but also the expedition of it to my country - about 30 euros!!!).
I really trusted her and not only i wasted money but also I got so angry and offended.
How can she call herself a bestselling author when she barely can write? How can she offer OVERLY EXPENSIVE WRITING SERVICES - not to talk
Bee (Heart Full of Books)
Oct 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: indie
I've been following Kristen's channel for a while, and was desperate to read one of her books, and 'Shadow Crown' sounded like something I'd love!

It was a great introduction to the characters and set the tone for the rest of the series. I was a little confused by Arden's chapters being in first person and everyone else being in third, and I feel like Arden moved very quickly through her emotions, but I still really enjoyed it. It's fast paced, with so many things going for it, and overall felt
Oct 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
Spoilers-I was hesitant to post a 'negative' comment because I do follow Kristen on youtube and respect her hard work but there were just so many plot holes in the book. Like Xerin can shape shift to visit his sister but he can't use his powers to then break her out of prison. He supposedly knows everything but for years his sister has been dying to know where he is and he just decides to show up when she gets into trouble even though she too is Caldari. So why did he leave her to work in the ...more
Vaiva Vareikaitė
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
Sadly, it wasn't good. And I'm even more sad about the fact that after reading the book I can't really watch Kristen's videos anymore as I no longer trust her opinion and "wisdom".
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was fooled y’all.

The cover to this book is freaking beautiful and I really love the author. I started watching her Authortube channel back when I first started working on my current WIP. She is an indie author, has a podcast, works in the coporate world, and a whole bunch of other things. She has self-published 4 books and they have all made the best sellers list on Amazon. Needless to say I was really excited to finally pick up one of her books.

In a sitution like this it’s really hard to
rebeccca elane (pistachiobooks)
DNF @ 25%So I read this author's last book and it was, rough to say the least. However I flew through it, so I thought even if I didn't enjoy her next book, I'd be able to soldier on. I was about as wrong as my mothers failed pregnancy test. This was bloody awful, and I'm putting that lightly.

This is like a low budget version of the first Throne of Glass book, and if you've read the first book in that series you'll know how iffy the writing style was. This book follows our main character Arden,
Raven_Blake (dreamy addictions)
Same Review Also Posted On My Blog: Dreamy Addictions

This book was so disappointing! Its appealing cover is the first thing that grabbed my attention and when I read its premise I totally fell for it cause I love reading assassin books. I really expected this to be a good read because it has an intriguing synopsis and it was written by an amazon bestselling author. Kristen Martin is a famous booktuber. I don’t follow her channel and I never read her Alpha trilogy so I didn’t know what to expect
Dec 03, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
I enjoy Kristen. She's sweet, clearly very successful and has a great Youtube channel, but I didn't enjoy this book. That's why it has a 1 from me. I got this on a free 30-day subscription to Kindle Unlimited and I didn't finish. However, I still plan to start reading The Alpha Drive so perhaps that could inspire me to pick this book back up again!

I'm just going to explain why I couldn't finish. To me, the perspectives changed too quickly, which was jarring. It also made the book seem rushed.
Sabrina Rose
Aug 05, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: No One
Like many of the other reviewers, I am completely disappointed with this book. It has potential, but it feels like a little kid wrote a book about what they think a girl assassin would do if she had to go on a mission. I tried to read it through, but by page 55, I just had to put it down. Here's why:


First, the book has a very weak premise. The book is about 17-year-old assassin named Arden being assigned to a mission. We find out within the next few chapters that this mission is a
McCaid Paul
Sep 21, 2018 rated it liked it
2.5 stars

This was a promising fantasy epic that ultimately fell flat.

Having read Kristen Martin's debut novel, I was completely on board for her new series. I couldn't wait to see how much her writing had improved and what creativity and magic she would incorporate in her world.

To say I'm disappointed is an understatement. While the writing seems to have improved slightly, it could still use several more rounds of editing. Sentences don't flow, and tend to come across as choppy, stilted, and
Hannah (booklattes)
Feb 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
I am in complete shock... I paid $25 for this book and it is completely horrible. I’m heartbroken. I used to watch Kristen’s writing videos but not anymore. She obviously has no experience to be giving advice. I can’t even begin to explain how bad this book is I literally couldn’t even make it to 20 pages. Did she even bother to hire a professional editor? Books like this are why self published works have such a bad stigma around them.

She’s 1000% scamming people. Save your time, save your
How did I not come across this before release day??? It's beautiful!
Heather Venkat
Feb 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Overall I liked the complexity of the plot and world, the weaving together of subplots, and for the most part the characters. However, there were a lot of issues that distracted me from just reading and enjoying the story. I kept stopping throughout the book to question plot points, character inconsistencies, and wording or grammar mistakes.

Here's a summary of some of the major reasons why I knocked this down two stars, with examples *WARNING, SPOILERS GALORE*:

1.) Character
Holly Davis
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
I've never been so conflicted when reading a book. There were times I was really into the plot and characters and other times I wanted to flip a table at all the writing errors. I found myself editing the book as I read, which is a very bad thing.

I'll start with the good. I thought the illusie's powers were cool and liked how Kristen weaved all the characters and subplots together. There were also quite a few surprises in the plot I didn't see coming. I think I enjoyed the chapters with Cerylia
Marufa Hoque
Dec 18, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book was SO difficult to read and it was my first book by Kristen Martin. I've watched this woman's YT videos and I'll just keep it short. She is a businesswoman and like all business people, they're job is to SELL. And that's what she does. She markets the HECK out of her products. It's only until you open the box of chocolates you were "persuaded" to buy and find that they're caramels (no offense to caramel-lovers BTW). It's truly disappointing and SAD that the AWESOME cover and an ...more
Daphne (Signé Daphné) Kelly
I'm a HUGE fan of Kristen Martin and love her YouTube channel, as well as her podcasts. I was super excited to win an ARC of Shadow Crown after reading an excerpt from the first chapter in her monthly newsletter.

I liked the book. I thought the descriptions were great and gave me a clear image of the world Kristen created. The pace was good and the author has a great imagination. After finishing it, I wonder what's going to happen next.

However, some things kept me from completely loving it.

M.J.A. Peters
Oct 21, 2018 rated it did not like it
I don't want to be mean but I gave this book one star because I couldn't give it less. It's filled with awkward phrasings and spelling mistakes. The characters all sound similar and the plot plods along, leaving me wishing it would end. It felt like it was published too early and should have gone through several re-writes. I finished it only to close it out of my kindle library without cheating.
Erin M
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2017
Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Dark fantasy is one of my favorite genres, and this reminds me why. Loved every minute and couldn't put it down.

If you love YA now. :-) I need book two NOW!
Jul 11, 2018 rated it liked it

How do you know the beautiful book you are holding in your hands is a letdown? Is it the summary? Or do you judge by the cover?
You can know for sure what a disappointment a book is when you start reading it and you know the full extent of that disappointment when you actually pull through the end. The signs were there from the beginning but it's not my policy to leave a book unfinished. Now, thanks to that, I can list all the reasons why this book went from intriguing to plainly boring.


(hide spoiler)]

May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm glad I finally finished this!! This was one of my most anticipated releases of last year and I'm glad I finally got a chance to enjoy the rest of it. Definitely enjoyed this more than the authors previous series and I'm excited to see how the rest of the series plays out. The writing wasn't my favorite, but the plot kept me engaged enough to keep my attention the entire time.
Jul 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Like Kristen's other books, Shadow Crown did not end up on my favorites shelf, but I found it quite satisfying to read. (You know those books that have a combination of elements working in their favor that make you want to read and finish them? This was one of those for me.)

For starters, the cover is absolutely gorgeous. I’m not usually one to stylistically arrange my bookshelves, but this is a book whose cover looks good displayed on my shelf. Shadow Crown is also large enough and thick enough
A. J. Douglas
Apr 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2018-reads, dnf
I did it. I broke my "I won't DNF a book" rule. That is saying something, because I never DNF. Never. I've seen Kristen Martin on authortube. Her advice is sound, sure. This book is about a kickass lady assassin, I too have a project on the side about a kickass lady assassin, and I firmly believe in reading books relevant to what you are working on. But I learned my lesson with self published author-tubers after reading Eve, and checked this out on kindle unlimited. So let's dive in.

Too many
Mady DeJulio
Feb 09, 2019 marked it as dnf
Shelves: dnf-in-2019
Oh boy...I'm so disappointed. I love Kristen and her videos, but this just wasn't it. The lack of character and world development lead me to dnf it. And the writing wasn't for me. Way too many grammar and spelling errors. I'll try the Alpha Drive series though and I hope I'll enjoy that more!
Sam Lee Hill
Sep 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 19, 2018 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Samantha Davidson
Jan 02, 2018 rated it liked it
There have been quite a few reviews of Kristen's book that highlight the negative, but as a fellow author, I have to say that it's really discouraging to read some of these reviews.

Being completely transparent, I could understand a few of the points that those neigh-sayers have pointed out, and maybe there are some spelling or grammatical errors, but Kristen is truly an inspiration. I can sit here all day and pick apart author's work, whether it's a self published, indie author like Martin, or
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Kristen Martin is the International Amazon Bestselling Author of THE ALPHA DRIVE trilogy and SHADOW CROWN series. She lives in Southeast Texas and loves all things young adult, science fiction, and fantasy.

An avid YouTuber, Kristen joined the AuthorTube community in March 2015 and films weekly videos offering aspiring authors writing advice, inspiration, ways to live a balanced lifestyle, and

Other books in the series

Shadow Crown (2 books)
  • Renegade Cruex (Shadow Crown, #2)