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3.72  ·  Rating details ·  125 ratings  ·  47 reviews
A young sword prodigy must impersonate a lost princess and throw her life into a deadly political game, in this kinetic epic fantasy novel by the author of the award-winning Majat Code series

Naia dreams of becoming a Jaihar Blademaster, but after assaulting a teacher, her future seems ruined. The timely intervention of a powerful stranger suddenly elevates her into elite U
Paperback, 432 pages
Published May 21st 2019 by Angry Robot (first published May 14th 2019)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  125 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Athena (OneReadingNurse)
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thank you to Angry Robot and NetGalley for the eARC of Shadowblade by Anna Kashina! Received in exchange for an honest review - all opinions are my own.

From the Goodreads blurb:
"A young sword prodigy must impersonate a lost princess and throw her life into a deadly political game, in this kinetic epic fantasy novel by the author of the award-winning Majat Code series"

This book had me completely addicted from start to finish. I read it in two sittings and just couldn't get the next answer fast en
Feb 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a complimentary copy of this eBook from the author, publisher, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Naia is a trainee for the Jaiha order who is almost expelled from the stronghold after a fight with a superior. When she is tested for her rank, she passes and becomes a Shadowblade one of the fiercest warriors in the Jaiha order. Now Jai Naia is able to fight for her comrades and the empire. It is only when the Daljeer order decides to have her take over the empire as the le
May 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Having enjoyed Kashina's previous offerings I was eager to read Shadowblade, however, it was an oddly disappointing tale. I felt feisty protagonist Naia was an interesting character, but I would've liked for there to be more background about her as she remains enigmatic the whole time.

I am not a fan of reading about romantic liaisons at the best of times and it was difficult to accept here because it came out of nowhere; I really don't like insta-love. On the other hand, it is a fun, fast-paced,
Kara Babcock
So you want to stage a soft-coup and manipulate the succession, but you have one problem: you need some kind of plausible heir. Fortunately for you, about 17 years ago you encountered a baby at the same time there was a royal massacre, and well, you know, one thing led to another, and you ended up stashing her with some super skilled warrior so she would grow up all big and strong. Also, you read this play called Anastasia you found lying around near that weird door that leads to another dimensi ...more
Alex (HEABookNerd)
Rating: 3 stars - it was good

Naia has been training for years to become an elite Jaihar Blademaster but she never expects her first mission to involve impersonating a long lost royal in an attempt to overthrow a deadly empire.

Shadowblade was an interesting fantasy adventure that follows the plucky and determined Naia as she gains her Jaihair status and then embarks on her first mission. I enjoyed the world that Anna Kashina has created; it's filled with intrigue, manipulations, and several power
May 25, 2019 rated it liked it
3 Stars

You can read all of my book reviews at http://www.NerdGirlLovesBooks.wordpre....

This was a fun book to read if you just take it for what it is and don't dig too deep into it. There was plenty of action and intrigue to keep my attention. I liked the main character, Naia, a young girl that dreams of becoming a Jaihar Blademaster. After she assaults a teacher at her school, her future seems uncertain. Unexpectedly, an important stranger intervenes on her behalf and she is elevated to train i
Mar 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Review: ARC of Shadowblade by Anna Kashina
I received this book on Netgalley for free in exchange for an honest review. If you like this book review and/or my writing style, you can find more of both at my blog

I wanted to love this book. In theory it sounded like it would be perfectly suited to my tastes. The idea—Anastasia (the movie version), only Anastasia is a ninja as well as a princess who thinks she’s a con artist. The reality is pretty different.
Jul 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
'Shadowblade' by Anna Kashina is a fantastic heroic fantasy saga, complete with; politics, assassins, royalty and romance that surpasses itself. Akin to 'Throne of glass' series by Sarah J Maas, I was thrown into a world of splendid courtly life, proud warriors and a setting akin to that of Herbert's 'Dune' series. Piquant, fresh and action-packed this highly original tale was a real gripping page-turner and one that I would certainly read again. It is a story about fierce loyalty, bravery and o ...more
(e ARC received from the publisher Angry Robot via Netgalley)

Quite an enjoyable fantasy novel with a sexy heroine. I finished it in two sittings. It has action, intrigue, politicking, and a subtle amount of magic. I enjoyed the middle-eastern setting. The book has a YA feel to it on account of the romance strewn into the story, but, it is not central to the story. The linear narrative with short chapters makes up for the good pacing, and keeps up the tension in regard to the plot. The writing is
Sep 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: own, fantasy
It was okay but less than I had expected, especially since it doesn't fall under YA, which it might have. The writing is fluent and speaks to the imagination, I liked that a lot and it became one of the only reasons I pushed through. The plot was rather transparent, except for one twist that truly came as a surprise.
It's rare for there to be fantasy romances right now, so I am so disappointed that Shadowblade missed the mark for me. Insta romance is just not my thing, although the audio narrator did keep me invested much longer than I would have had I read this exclusively in print. Not a bad book, just a "meh" for me.
Traveling Cloak
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book has almost everything you want in a fantasy novel: great fights, awesome weapons, likeable characters, unlikeable characters, sensuality, an intriguing world, and enough twists and turns to keep it interesting.

It does have a few drawbacks that held it back from a perfect score. First, it is not what I would consider "epic" fantasy, and I usually reserve perfect scores for books that are a little more complex. The plot was a touch more simplistic than that. There were a few phrases use
thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
This is an amazing read, Anastasia retelling and I love it so much. Fast paced, full of action. Keeps you guessing all the time with lots f twists and turns. Great characters and chemistry. A highly recommended read

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
Angie Gaule
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This is an excellent read. It is fast-paced and very smooth. In fact, I was surprised to come to the end, as I did not feel that I have been reading nearly long enough. The story takes some interesting twists and turns, some more unexpected than others, and made sense every step on the way. The characters were fun to get to know and showed appropriate growth. All in all, I absolutely recommend this title. Oh, and the best part ...more
Helen Wawrejko
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
The massacre of the entire royal line. Or so it's believed. An orphaned child raised in a warrior training ground when she shows an affinity for weapons. When her first assignment brings her to impersonate the long lost child that can contest the succession of the emperors line that killed the only ones that could claim the throne, the twisty's are big. And bold. And made for a great ending. Great book for YA on up. I enjoyed it. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC form Netgalley.
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this book in exchange of honest review.
Every second in this book I have to hold my breath. Never fully sure how the events will turn and what should I expect.
Interesting, fast pace and pure joy. I hope there will be book 2.
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

This was another book that I read at least a couple of weeks before I wrote this review, and for the same reason as the last time – because I was a bit disappointed.

(I’ve discovered that this happens for one of two reasons – either because the book disappointed me and I don’t want to write about it – or that I loved it so much that I need a few days to let the urge to squee tone down a bit. I’ve also discovered that the disappointment generally lingers whil
Dabbling Madman
Jun 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Gayatri Saikia   | per_fictionist
Extremely unpredictable and unputdownable Shadowblade by Anna Kashina has definitely own a spot on my top fantasies of 2019. Shadowblade has all the elements of a perfect fantasy betrayals, plot twists, strong characters, brilliant writing and a gripping storyline you name it.

Shadowblade centers around our protagonist Naia,the who is in the verge of to be expelled from her training academy on the pretext of attacking her mentor. But a visit from Dal Gassan,a honorary member of the Daljeer circle
Jennifer Dawson
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
In her newest epic fantasy novel, SHADOWBLADE, Anna Kashina mixes sword fighting, political intrigue, and romance with practiced finesse. Her action scenes are beautifully written with a skill few authors can replicate. The sword fighting is never tedious, never too complicated to follow. It’s also integral to the story.

The main character, Naia, is a seventeen-year-old orphan with the sun-kissed eyes of the Challimar, given over to the Jaihar Order because of her affinity for swords. She hopes
Jan 18, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.75 Stars

This is the first book of this author that I have tired and although I have a few issues with this book I might try some of her other books as the plot was right up my alley.

Shadowblade is a standalone fantasy, but the story it has to tell is too big and I think it would have benefited from being a series. In order to fit into a single volume it feels like too much was cut out, there were points where we the time period jumps and I would have liked a bot more world building. I would
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
This was a fun book to read as long as you don't dig too deep into it.
I liked the main character, Naia, a young girl that dreams of becoming a Jaihar Blademaster. After she assaults a teacher at her school, her future seems uncertain. Unexpectedly, an important stranger intervenes on her behalf and she is elevated to train in the elite Upper Grounds training facility.
The author makes a big deal about Naia being an exceptionally skilled fighter who could be a great Blademaster once trained, but
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
Enjoyable and another fairly strong argument for picking a book at semi-random off a library shelf (although prior picks The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet and Lightless are significantly stronger). It went quickly, but I don't think I'll really remember much about it in a year. The crystal leech plot thread was the most interesting and the only piece I didn't find standard fare for a lost heir, young woman coming-of-age and being good at swords kind of book. Because it's well-written and mad ...more
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book at the start. The characters were interesting and the relationships were solid. I did fail to appreciate the tangents into erotic episodes however. A bit of romance is usually passable but the story goes a bit too far in that regard for me albeit brief occurances. I kinda felt they were a bit out of place but would not be interesting to me anyway. Likely that's just what I wasn't expecting and is purely personal. The story has descriptions of different cultures which could be ...more
Roxy Fox
Nov 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
I liked at least the first book of the Majat code series better, haven’t read the others yet. The question of who Nya is was an interesting plot line to follow and the conclusion, though not surprising, was okay. I wasn’t a fan of the romance at all though. Seemed built on nothing. I’m never a fan of “love” at first sight. There also wasn’t much character growth for Nya. She kinda spontaneously gets this (view spoiler) Attitude which becomes key for the conclusion, where ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it liked it
It doesn't initially appear to be so but it's hard to classify this as anything but a romance.
The book starts of suggesting that there's going to be all sorts of grand intrigue but by the time it kicks into gear in the second part of the book it's all rather rushed and hastily resolved.
I was actually convinced there were going to be more twists/reveals than there were because of how quickly and neatly the central plot gets resolved, the rest of the book ends up just being a tying up of loose end
Jul 03, 2019 added it
Shelves: did-not-finish, 2019
The bookjacket describes Shadowblade as "an epic romantic fantasy about a young sword prodigy who must impersonate a lost princess and throw her life into a deadly political game." This really sounds like my jam!

But halfway through the book and the main character was not yet impersonating anyway or throwing her life into a deadly political game. There was some decent fighting. There were some weird swords and weirder memory sessions. But mostly the book dragged, so I gave it up.

(Note: I receive
May 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, 2019
I found this book to be a very light read. It was easy to get into. I didn't have a convoluted plot line and was pretty easy to see how it would end. There were places where things didn't make sense like time skips and lack of backstory of characters. The main character started out strong but somehow ended up being influenced by others which I found disappointing. I would almost consider it more of a romance than fantasy.
Aug 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, fantasy
There are moments I enjoyed elements of this, but overall I found the romance forced and unlikely and the political machinations could have been much more interesting. I never found I learned or cared much for Naia as the main character. I kept thinking how Jacqueline Carey told a similar story in “Starless” to fat greater effect.

Overall, disappointing, as it had elements that could have made an engrossing novel, but failed to deliver for me.
Aaron Byers
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was ok
The protagonist doesn't have the depth to really connect or carry the story. Brent Weeks and Kelly McCullough have the characters and action that really engage and enthrall. I had to force myself to get to the end. It almost has pseudo-science fantasy elements like Brandon Sanderson, but with less explanation and less logical outcomes. It was just... Okay. The fallen blade series is significantly more engaging for both characters and plot.
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Anna Kashina grew up in Russia and moved to the United States in 1994 after receiving her Ph.D. in cell biology from the Russian Academy of Sciences. She works as a biomedical researcher and combines career in science with her passion for writing.

Anna's interests in ballroom dancing, world mythologies and folklore feed her high-level interest in martial arts of the Majat warriors. She lives in Ph

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