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In the Shadow of the Sun

(In the Shadow of the Sun #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  420 ratings  ·  99 reviews
It’s 1661 in Paris, and magicians thrill nobles with enchanting illusions. Exiled in France, 17-year-old Henriette of England wishes she could use her magic to gain entry at court. Instead, her plan is to hide her magical talents, and accept an arranged marriage to the French king’s younger brother.

Henriette soon realizes her fiancé prefers the company of young men to hers
Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Published February 11th 2020 by Feiwel and Friends
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E.M. Castellan Thanks for your question!
The suggested age range from the publisher is 12-18. IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN is quite clean in terms of the romance between …more
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The suggested age range from the publisher is 12-18. IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN is quite clean in terms of the romance between the characters, with more innuendo of attraction between men/women and men/men, as befits the time and setting of the book, than anything more explicit. Of course, everyone has a different threshold, so if you are concerned about whether it is appropriate for a specific younger reader, one option would be to read it first-- or together.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.70  · 
Rating details
 ·  420 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Sarah Glenn Marsh
Jun 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-i-blurbed
An utterly enchanting story of intrigue and romance that seamlessly blends magic into history. IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN casts a spell that makes the past come alive in breathtaking new ways.

In short, I loved it!
Jun 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It took me a while to get really invested in the story. Don’t get me wrong, I adored the characters, especially Philippe and Armand. I don’t think I could adore Philippe anymore than I do. (view spoiler) ...more
Jennifer Gruenke
This book is an upended bottle of glitter. Stardust raining from the sky. An obscenely expensive highlighter at Sephora. I loved the magic system and all the gorgeous imagery. Historical fantasy fans, you’re going to want to add this one to your list!
Aug 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm one of Eve's critique partners and I can't properly put into words just how magical, romantic, epic, and beautiful this book is, because it's that and more (and has an amazing polyamorous relationship to boot!). Do yourselves a favor and add this to your TBR. I read it in a single day and it's stuck with me ever since, and now it has a gorgeous cover to match its gorgeous insides!
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars because I’m feeling generous to a first time published author even though i made it halfway and then skimmed to the end. mild spoilers ahoy

-a mediocre execution of a concept given an absolutely stunning cover. this had been on my tbr for a long time and what a disappointment

-the fortune teller with “kohl lined eyes” NEVER gets a name and the loaded gun of a first-chapter prophecy got dropped until the last 15 pages and never actually resolved 🙃 if you’re going to throw a tired, racist
Jul 20, 2020 rated it did not like it
1.5 bc I guess it could have been worse


No. Absolutely not.

While the first two chapters were admittedly okay, I couldn’t stand the rest of this book. I read this for Reading Rush bc it was the first book I touched at Barnes and noble and I only finished it so I could complete that challenge.

It feels like literally nothing happened. I mean I couldn’t give you a solid recap of the events in this book if I tried. It was so unremarkable.

The plot was so incredibly dry, not to mention the plot
Erin Arkin
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Full review to come!
A n n i e  ⚔
this book is so much the book that I want to read right now that I wonder if the author somehow snuck inside my head and read my mind.
Julia Ember
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have been a huge fan of EM Castellan's writing for literally years, so I was hugely excited when this book was announced!

I adored this book! In the Shadow of the Sun is a historical fantasy set in the opulent French Court, featuring characters you may have some familiarity with if you've ever read Dumas' books or watched The Man in the Iron Mask, but with a completely new magical spin. The romance went in a really unexpected but delightful direction.
Kalyn Josephson
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This debut is the perfect blend of history, magic, and court intrigue.

Mystery and magic combine to create a tense, interesting story filled with characters you'll root for to the end. I never knew quite who to trust, not just because anyone could be the killer, but because anyone could turn against Henriette at any time. Her place at court is precarious, her magic dangerous, and her friendships tenuous.

Throw in a super cool magic system, and this book is full of slow-burn tension and adventure.
Jun 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story takes place in the 1600s in the French Royal court. It masterfully follows King Louis' XIV sister-in-law, Henriette, through her trials and travails in the politics of the court: think Phillippa Gregory, Jean Plaidy or Alison Weir. The twist here is that the world is reimagined with magic in it. As a scientist, I felt like I wanted a little bit more detail on the magical system but basically it takes two people to perform spells; one to serve as the source of the magic and another to ...more
May 05, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
This is the magic + historical fiction book combo I've been waiting for. The book is set in France during the 1600s and features all the drama and intrigue of the French court that you could hope for -and that includes mysterious deaths of those who carry magic.

I struggled with this one a bit - I think the author does an incredible job of making the setting and magic accessible. I've never landed so solidly in a setting that has so much going on - a different time/place plus the nuance of the ma
Apr 22, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5/5 This was a good historical fantasy, but just missed the mark for me. Those who enjoy historical fantasy, me like this better than I did though.

I enjoyed going back into history, while having that twist of magic. The characters were interesting and the mystery was something that kept me wanting to read- at least in the beginning. Unfortunately, towards the middle and till the end, I found the plot a bit boring. The mystery unraveled early on and there really wasn’t anything pulling me throu
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
proper rtc but this was magic, pure magic, whole and alive and wondrous and dark and beautiful

A fun, engaging historical fantasy infused with more modern sensibilities.

Check out my full review at Forever Young Adult.
Rinda Reads
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: bb-ouabc
Overall not a bad read. I dropped my rating by a star because I couldn't get past some plot holes and very convenient situations to the point of ridiculousness just to move the story in the authors chosen direction.
Andria Sedig
I really enjoyed the overall premise of this book. The characters were enjoyable, although a bit flat at times and predictable. The plot twists were not surprising to me, but fit the story well. I thought that the pacing of this book was strong. Overall, this was a solid YA fantasy read.
Feb 28, 2020 rated it liked it
This book had so many good things! I love anything set in France, and I loved the bits of French throughout. And, the historical setting was interesting, since it seemed well-researched. I really like when authors use real part of history for their stories! I thought the magic was really fun, and a creative way to have it used, through two people. Still, there were other things I didn't like. Henriette was such a strong character in some ways, but weak in others, and it just seemed inconsistent ...more
Leta Patton
Oct 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This! Book!

As someone who is utterly obsessed with well done historical fiction books, this one left me mesmerized. Not only was the histroical detail woven in FLAWLESSLY throughout, it was done in such a way that entranced me and really made me feel like I was there. The descriptions were wonderful, the details were impeccable, and I was left in awe.

The story itself was also wonderful to read. I loved the spin on magic and how it was formed, and thought the way everything was thought up was s
Lissa Hawley
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

This was an intriguing magical reimagining of Louis XIV's court.
I really enjoyed Henriette's perspective and the descriptions of the glittering court, yet it didn't fall into the trap of many historicals where they over describe every outfit and every end table.

This seems to be a standalone, which is a rarity these days and I enjoyed having a complete story.

Only quibble, there is a weird verbal tic where the author uses the word "sat" incorrectly multiple times, but this was an ARC s
gwendalyn _books_
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

All included quotes have been taken from an ARC and may not match the finished publication.

We were royals. Our happiness was irrelevant.” Castellan,

Step into the stunning French royal life during 1661. A young English princess Henriette marries prince Philippe, the younger flamboyant brother to the newly crowned Sun King, Louis XIV of Fra
Jun 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 stars. First, I just have to say, LOOK AT THAT COVER. It is my favourite cover so far this year, and definitely an all-around fav. It perfectly encapsulates this book AND serves as wonderful eye candy.

This book was a very fun AU of a time very early in Louis XIV's reign but ~ make it magical ~. Despite being very guilty of anachronistic dialogue, I liked that the author stayed fairly accurate to the history even with the addition of *˚*magical powers*˚*. I would say that this book is a spirit
Avalon Love
Mar 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish I had read the historical note at the end of the book first because it made me respect this clever work so much more!! In the Shadow of the Sun weaves history with enchantment and magic flawlessly! From the hall of mirrors in Versailles to the king’s mistresses and beyond. I loved this story.
Jul 06, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-physical, lgbtq
That was superb! Also I am now low key inspired to finish the final season of Reign.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: by-women
almost gave it 2 stars but i did enjoy the first half... after that it became really boring and i stopped caring about it. for the topic it was about i really wished it would hold up to at least 4 stars
MS Zame
Nov 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Pam Clayton
Apr 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
Meh. I got this in Once Upon a Book Club box, and it is not a genre I normally enjoy, and this was no exception. Historical fantasy in France in 1661. The magic system is okay. The descriptions are tedious and okay. The characters have lots of adultery which I don't like. And the dialogue is meh. A solid 2 stars for me. If you like drama and gossip and this setting you might really enjoy this. It was a lot of elements I don't gravitate to, so it had an uphill battle anyway. At least it has a stu ...more
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I first talked about this book when I wrote up my France is for Romance post ( I'm happy to say that it was everything I wanted it to be. I live for the trashy people at the Sun King's court at Versailles and the addition of magic and an HEA was perfection. I'm also happy to say that Philippe's sexual and gender orientation was handled well. There's some jealousy but it's not about Philippe's relationships with men, but his relationships with... everyone ...more
Rachel O'Laughlin
In the Shadow of the Sun is stunning. Not only well-researched, but gorgeously crafted. Not a sentence is wasted. Not a character is forgettable. The magic system might sound familiar, but it had quite a fresh shine when channeled through the protagonist, whose first person voice is so honest and intimate that my curiosity held until I was immersed in her world full of complex relationships, frustrating physical limits, and a desperate cause. Ah, the friendships…the more than/less than friendshi ...more
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jessica by: Once Upon a Book Club
Shelves: book-club-book
I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I received this book from my book club, Once Upon A Book Club- which you are prompted to open gifts at certain times throughout the story to bring it to life.

I love historical fiction and enjoy fantasy, which is why I'm disappointed that I didn't enjoy this more.

The characters were okay. They did not seem fully flushed out as they could have been. Henriette was strong in some instances and weak in others (mainly when it came to her fee
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EM Castellan is a writer of YA Historical Fantasy novels. She grew up in France, but she now lives in London, where she’s an active member of SCBWI British Isles. A lover of all things historical, she has a particular fondness for 17th Century France and Ancient Rome.

Her debut IN THE SHADOW OF THE SUN, was published by Feiwel & Friends in 2020, with its sequel UNDER A STARLIT SKY scheduled for pu

Other books in the series

In the Shadow of the Sun (2 books)
  • Under a Starlit Sky (In the Shadow of the Sun, #2)

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