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In the Shadow of the Sun

(In the Shadow of the Sun #1)

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3.76  ·  Rating details ·  242 ratings  ·  64 reviews
Its 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 kings younger brother.

Henriette soon realizes her fiancé prefers the company of young men to hers,
...more
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
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 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)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.76  · 
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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!
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, youre going to want to add this one to your list! ...more
Kat
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!
melanie
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars because Im 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 youre going to throw a tired, racist
...more
Erin Arkin
Feb 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Full review to come!
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.
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.
Mandy
3.5/5

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

Check out my full review at Forever Young Adult.
Rinda
Feb 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 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.
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Chelsea
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
thi
Mar 03, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5/5
- first off, that cover is absolutely Stunning
- It perfectly matches the story in being understatedly dazzling and romantic
- Magical lore was kind of shaky but it makes up for it in overall intrigue in the likeable characters meant to be followed
- Definitely interesting and Ill probably check the next book(s)!!

- a minor, practically insignificant gripe .. the synopsis brushes off Henriettes husband as being gay .. when he literally says hes bi .. Im just ???
...more
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 kings mistresses and beyond. I loved this story. ...more
karo
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
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
UGGGHHHH I CAN'T WAIT FOR THIS
Suzanne
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I first talked about this book when I wrote up my France is for Romance post (http://www.loveinpanels.com/prose/fra...). 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... ...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 friendshipsthe more than/less than ...more
Jennifer
In 1661 Paris, magic needs three things to work: a wielder, a conduit, and a Source. Henriette has long hidden her identity as a Source and she is more determined to do so following her arranged marriage to the brother of Louis XVI, King of France because royal court Sources are dying, their magic being sucked from their bodies using an old, dark form of magic. But when a tragic accident forces Henriette to reveal her power, King Louis asks for her help: to catch a murderer and to transform ...more
Becki (millerreads)
Feb 23, 2020 rated it liked it
In the Shadow of the Sun is the first installment of a new YA fantasy series of the same name by E.M. Castellan. Set in 1661 France, the book reimagines life at the court of a 22-year-old Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King. In this version, the world is made up of magiciens, sources, and those without magical abilities. A magicien can wield magic, but the source has to provide it so one cannot cast spells without the other.

The book revolves around Princess Henrietta of England who is set to
...more
Emi Cat =^..^=
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've had a casual interest in French history and Versailles specifically for a little while now, so I picked up In the Shadow of the Sun mainly because the plot involved those two things, but I ended up liking it more than I thought I would. The world seemed more fleshed out than I expected it would be. Sometimes in historical fiction, the historical setting becomes more of a backdrop, but the Versailles-era France setting here seemed like it was an important aspect to the story.

I'm not an
...more
Tristan Munoz
Mar 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
In the Shadow of the Sun is a historical fantasy set in 1661. Featuring a very well documented piece of history regarding Henriette of England, the book is centered around her time in the court of King Louis XIV, also known as the Sun King. Henriette was married to Phillipe d'Orleans, the King's brother. This story examines the fall of Nicolas Fouquet and the building of Versailles. EM Castellan did a fantastic job weaving magic into the backdrop of this time period.

In this version of events,
...more
Antoinette
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: won-giveaways
A really enjoyable, quick read. I received a ARC from a Goodreads giveaway, but this is my honest opinion. I enjoyed the characters and the plot, though I felt like the push to make this a series was a bit...contrived. It starts with a prophecy that only one piece gets fulfilled in the course of the book (I guess?That prophecy doesn't effect the story at all other than to act as a justification for writing sequels so when it tried to close the book back up by evoking it felt really jarring ...more
Amelia Crider
First of all, I loved the idea of adding magic to the story! I thought that was a great touch and pretty much the only part I enjoyed (the title and cover were great too though). Since the story was written about real people the author had to maintain some of the facts. I love history and historical novels. That being said, Neither Louie XIV or his brother Philippe were very good guys in real life. With their countless affairs, it is hard to write a convincing love story about either of them. ...more
Jessica
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
2.5
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
...more
Francesca
This was a historical fantasy fiction based off very real characters during King Louis XIV reign in the the 1600s, but with a magical twist. The author did an amazing job keeping true to each characters very real personalities and the setting and locations for the stories backdrop was also all real. There were very few exceptions to characters/locations etc and she explains it all in her author notes at the end and I loved having that glimpse of the past because even though this was a fantasy it ...more
Alexandria Kaplan
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Who said being a bookworm couldnt have its rewards?
Just finished this beautiful arc! It takes place in the time of King Louis XIV but with a bit of magic. There are magicians who have the power to use magic, and sources, who have the magic. Neither can do anything magical alone. Henrietta is bestowed to Prince Philippe, the Sun Kongs brother, however he seemed to be more interested in males. And then theres a dark magician out there whos out to kill.
I really enjoyed this book, and after just
...more
John Clark
Feb 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Start with a very interesting point in history, mix in magic, intrigue, many real players of that time, simmer and stir carefully. What results is a most interesting story, one that takes readers back to 1661 and drops them into palace intrigue they will enter the lives and inner thoughts of English princess Henriette, Louis, the King of France, Henriette's betrothed, Louis younger brother Phillippe, ladies in waiting, and more, before dragging them through murder, magic and suspense. When ...more
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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. A lover of all things historical, she has a particular fondness for 17th Century France and Ancient Rome. Her stories on Wattpad have been featured twice and read over 350,000 times, with THE BRIGHT AND THE LOST the winner of the 2017 Wattpad Awards (Wattys) in the Newcomers category. Her ...more

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