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Court of Shadows

(Institute of the Shadow Fae #1)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  3,145 ratings  ·  183 reviews
A girls' night out means three things to me: drinking whiskey with my best friend, keeping my magic hidden, and trying not to kill anyone. A supernatural gladiator like me isn’t supposed to exist anymore.

But my Friday night takes a bad turn when a lethally gorgeous fae--Ruadan--tries to assassinate me. He's taken a vow of silence until he’s slaughtered the outlaws on his
Published August 22nd 2018 (first published August 9th 2018)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,145 ratings  ·  183 reviews

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Rhy Moore
Sympathetic back pains

These authors really need a different way to describe the physical sensations and responses their characters experience around magic. Take some time, sit down together, think about it, and make a list. You shouldn't stop until you have at least a dozen options on it you're happy with. Ideally more. But NONE of them should involve backs arching, okay? You've already incinerated that bridge. Seriously, you've used it way too much, and it barely made sense to start with. There

I don't even know what to say! This is a very solid urban fantasy with a heroine who is so lovable that she melts your heart right out of your chest.

Arianna is a former prized gladiator trying to recover from her captivity while keeping her head down. She has been forced to become a ruthless fighter and while she never forgets all the necessary tools for survival she has learned, she never loses her sense of honor or her vulnerability.

I already knew that this author has skill in writing
Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just loved this book. I really like these authors and all the books I’ve read by them, but this book was just wonderful. Great characters, intriguing plot, hot chemistry, and action so exciting your heart might stop lead to a book that was extremely hard to put down. I enjoyed every minute I spent reading this book. I love the hints that there are some things about Arianna’s past she needs to find out about, and I loved Ruadan, even when he didn’t talk for most of the book. His eyes were so ...more
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
As we fought, a dark smile curled my lips. My blood sang with the ancient beauty of warfare. It had been a long time since I’d been able to fight anyone who could keep up with me, and my heart thundered in my chest. Rain poured down hard, slicking my hair to my face. Was there anything more perfect than a beautiful fight?

The supernatural are outlawed but Arianna was a slave in the gladiator ring when the supernatural were carted off to their home realms. When she escaped, she found she was
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not my cup of tea.

The plot: like a 3 out of 5 until you get towards the end and realize.. what now? Then it dropped to a 1 out of 5. Lacked finesse.

The characters:
Ciara: we had barely any time to get to know her yet she was DIRE to the MC.
Arianna: ehhh, she didn’t draw me in at all. It was hard to sympathize for her.
Ruadan: O M G HOW do you say his name??
Is it like Roo-Ah-Dahn?
Or Roo-a-Dan?
I kept saying Roo-Dan in my head and had to correct myself every time.
Literally the mute factor was
I received the ARC of this book from Christine and Nick but this review is all mine!

I loved this book! Completely! Arianna lives in a world in which supernaturals are banned and hunted down by the Shadow Fae. Supernaturals just like Arianna who is a demi-fae, half fae, half something else that she really doesn't want to remember! All she wants to do is keep her head down and buy that bottle of whisky she so loves!

Unfortunately some others start some trouble and that trouble leads to even more
Briana Washington
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
*3.75* i'm rounding up because it was a really, really enjoyable read! I loved the two main characters and I flew through this book! I'm curious to see how this story progresses in the next book
Lynn's books
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my stars !!! Emoji star eyes even!

What a fantastic fantasy fiction paranormal trip!!! I'm just in a storyline high! So so so so beyond happy I read this! I read the synopsis and at the time I didn't see too many reviews. I decided to jump in anyway and I'm loving ALL of it! Exceptionally creative and fast moving storyline but not a short story feel. It just keeps moving and while it keeps moving we are fed another piece to the puzzle. I haven't read anything like this so for someone who
Court of Shadows begins when the heroine is discovered and she is offered a choice join the Shadow Fae or die. However, it isn't that easy, and it gets worse when her best friend is kidnapped, and her old master has her hostage.

This book was freakin' awesome! I loved the heroine a whole heck of a lot. She was strong, and hilarious. I also even enjoyed the hero and I loved the ending even then I felt kind of confused at first because it seemed to happen so quickly, but other than that I'm really
Nov 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Top class UF/PNR Full Series Review

This is an amazingly awesome series. So well written, the world, the characters and their development, the plot, the pacing, all brilliantly combine. I started reading the series 3 days ago, and I have lost sleep, neglected my family and ignored the pile of academic reading that I should have been doing. Seriously, read these books. But don't blame me when you end up with a new book boy/girlfriend at the end of it, and an urge to read every other thing CN
Jun 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars, adult
This book was advertised in my Instagram feed. Usually, I scroll right past these random book promos but this time around I was like "sure, why not? I'll give it a try."

After reading it, I'm kind of conflicted. For one, just about everything in this book goes against my moral beliefs, but on the other hand, I did enjoy it. Probably too much.

I'll probably check out the sequel, and continue to be conflicted about the reading material I am subjecting myself to. *sigh*
Heather Gilbert
Very enjoyable

I remember this world from other books, but not really? After delving into the institute with this novel, I want to go back and discover the other aspects of this new universe - after I finish this entire series, of course! Well written and intriguing, it has some twists and a few turns, along with a gut punch of a climax. Nicely done.
Carla Gouws
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm extremely happy that there's more to come!!
Moondust Moth
#1 Court of Shadows
#2 Court of Darkness
#3 Court of Night
#4 Court of Dreams

This book jumps right into the action, I am ALL FOR the opening chapter, hells yes! I love Arianna, she kinda gives off this sort of Juliet Sterling / Jessica Jones vibe; she's sultry in a cute-but-unhinged lollipop girl way, but also has demons from her past that she's battling in the form of sarcasm and poor life choices. Oh, and she's lethal as fuck...when she gives a fuck. A quick swish swish and you're D E A D,
Book Addict
Aug 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow...just wow! Once again CN Crawford has started off s new series with a bang! I throughly enjoyed reading Court of Shadows and as soon as I started my attention was fully captivated and was completely invested in Arianna’s life. And what an interesting FMC she is! Powerful, cunning, vulnerable and a fighter! You learn a bit about her in this book and about her past but I still have so many questions about her and who she actually is! And then let’s add in he is so intriguing, ...more
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liliana Tomas
Aug 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing

I was given an advanced copy for an honest review.
Very minor spoilers in this review!

I always have high hopes for any CN Crawford books as they are one of my favourite writing duo.
With Court of Shadows let me tell you something they did not disappoint. This book is very quickly becoming one of my favourites of the this amazing writing duo and that is largely accredited to one reason. The lead female character.

She is exactly up my street. Funny, brave, intelligent, and so unbelievable
Victoria (nocturnalintimacy)
Kindle Unlimited.

THIS! This is the series that I've been looking for to scratch my PNR itch until a new Ilona Andrews book arrives.

It's kind if like a grown-up version of the Sarah J. Maas series.
Andrea urban fantasy where humans commingle with magic, fae, vampires, and demons- all in the backdrop of London

This book had all the elements I love! Interesting characters and world building. I love the powers dynamics, and mythological class systems.

For the characters we have Arianna- a "gutter fae" bartender -who not suppose to be in this realm after the war, but is just trying to get by with her human best friend Ciara until two unruly vampires trying to start a bar brawl in her pub- and
Jennie Woods
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really fun

This was a really great light reading book. I am going to continue the series eventually. I loved the aesthetic of the characters and setting.
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two Warriors find Revenge

I enjoyed the character ofAriana. Ruandan surprised me.
The settings were interesting. I am still wondering who or what Ariana is.
Nov 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wish it was longer

The blurb caught my fancy so I decided to read it. Sooooo glad I did. The sexual tension between Arianna and Ruadan was so thick, you'd need more than a butter knife to cut it. Arianna is the kind of heroine we all need. She's lethal, strong, resilient, and she's got a great personality. Her one-sided conversations with Ruadan were the highlight of this book. I gave it four stars because I really wish it was longer. I also wish for more of the backstory between Arianna and
Mar 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Good start to a new series

Fast paced start to the series. Likeable female lead who is also flawed .None of the lead characters secrets are revealed in this book. So be prepared to read the series. I enjoyed the narrator on this one in audio. Her timing and pace was good. She did a great job delivering on some sarcastic commentary by the lead. I read and listened. I also read straight through in several hours. Ready to find out what happens next.
Sandra Wolfe
Oct 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book!

This was a really fast paced fun read! I normally go for more romance in my book but I really liked the storyline. Arianna is a great MC and I can’t wait to find out what her other half is. Also love Ruadan and really hope their relationship goes farther in the next books.
Nicole Burton
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

There were a few things that felt very over done and made me roll my eyes a bit, but overall this book surprised me by how much I really liked it and I'm excited to see where the next one goes. Good world building and interesting characters, a very enjoyable urban fantasy type book, blending the two well.
Jackie - Fire & Ice Book Reviews

This was actually pretty good. It was very unexpected, and very entertaining. There were some parts I wasn't a fan of, but all in all, it's pretty dang good. I'm excited to read the next book in this series.
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Really liking this series, but then this author rarely disappoints. We're back with demons and fae and demigods and demifae. Arianna was able to rescue her friend, but Ruadan is not going to let her go easily and he is going to be mad as fire.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I dislike someone who is silent... yes you can learn a lot about someone if you observe instead of talk which I get but it’s still unnerving.. can’t wait to find out what Arianna is... on to book 2... oh this book was really good. Kept me guessing.
beth m
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was surprisingly good, well written gave you enough mystery and intrigue to continue on. I’m excited to read the next one. I wish there was a little more info on the day to day life of this character, but for now I’m intrigued.
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C.N. Crawford is not one person but two. Christine (C) grew up in the historic town of Lexington, and has a lifelong interest in New England folklore - with a particular fondness for creepy old cemeteries. Nick (N) spent his childhood reading fantasy and science fiction further north during Vermont’s long winters.

Together they work to incorporate real historical events and figures into

Other books in the series

Institute of the Shadow Fae (4 books)
  • Court of Darkness (Institute of the Shadow Fae, #2)
  • Court of Night (Institute of the Shadow Fae, #3)
  • Court of Dreams (Institute of the Shadow Fae, #4)
“Now that you’re quiet, let’s get one thing straight. I will not have you slandering romance books in my bar.” Technically, it wasn’t my bar, but that was beside the point. This arsehole thought he was going to feed on Ciara. And moreover, I would not tolerate anyone banging on about Bukowski.” 0 likes
“Come with me, and I’ll teach you about reading real literature. Hemingway, Kerouac, Bukowski—” 0 likes
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