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Adventure, romance, and magic fill this tale of a girl who longs for love and freedom, and above all, to know herself.

In a time of kings, queens, and conspiracy, it's impossible to know whom one can trust. . . .

In a kingdom far away and long ago, it was prophesied at her birth that the queen would die before her sixteenth birthday. So Shadow, an orphan girl the same age as the young queen, was given the duty to watch her every move. And as prophesies do tend to come true, the queen is poisoned days before her birthday. When the castle is thrown into chaos, Shadow escapes with a young knight, whom she believes was betrothed to the queen.

Unsure of why she is following Sir Kenway, but determined to run as far from her longtime prison as possible, Shadow sets off on an adventure with the handsome knight.

But the kingdom is dying around them, and Shadow senses there are unknown forces at work. As mystery and romantic tension build, will Shadow uncover her own destiny?

384 pages, Hardcover

First published April 1, 2010

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About the author

Jenny Moss

12 books142 followers
Jenny Moss lives in Texas and writes.

She is the author of SHADOW (Scholastic Press) and WINNIE'S WAR and TAKING OFF (Walker/Bloomsbury). She also writes under her birth name, Jennifer McKissack (the YA Gothic SANCTUARY, Scholastic Press).

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5 stars
391 (29%)
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391 (29%)
3 stars
350 (26%)
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125 (9%)
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48 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 210 reviews
Profile Image for Seanean.
513 reviews8 followers
May 22, 2010
Shadow has always lived with the queen. She's supposed to protect her. A prophecy told when the queen was born warns that she will be killed by her sixteenth birthday. So Shadow is supposed to be there to take the arrow or sword in her stead.

But when Shadow fails and the queen dies anyway, she's taken by a young knight on a journey of magic and discovery.

Her world isn't what she thought it was.

Final thoughts: Awful, awful book. It's obvious from the beginning what the "twist" is and it's dull in the extreme getting there. The writing is poor and the story even more so. Moss spends no time on any one, single aspect of the story or the world it's set in. She can't make up her mind about the characters and their motivations. They love each other, despise each other, like each other, can't stand each other... So annoying. It's not a progression of one emotion to the other; it's relationship ADD or schizophrenia. Not worth the trouble.
Profile Image for Sunny Little.
6 reviews10 followers
September 12, 2014
Warning: Reviewer might unconsciously give away spoilers because she is severely scatterbrained.

Scratch That: The official blurb of the book has more spoilers than this review.

Once upon a time, I ordered a bunch of books from Scholastic through my school... but I never got them. After a year of staring off into the sunset and hopelessly waiting for my life support books to show up, my teacher’s incoherent excuses led me to believe that Scholastic had either lost them to a) terrorists or b) the kraken. A few months after that revelation, I finally got my replacement books, none of which I found particularly interesting. “Shadow” by Jenny Moss was among them. To be honest, I only picked it up because the fonts they used in the book gave me an eyegasm.

To my surprise, I found several things that I simply loved about “Shadow” but as I read on, I realized that whenever I point out a pro, a con immediately follows because inconsistency is the main problem of this book.


Jenny Moss is a good writer. I was only a few pages in when I started folding the edges of the book to remind me where the well-written bits were (yes, I am a brute who doesn't believe in the power of sticky notes and highlighters). Unfortunately, this phenomena only happened in the beginning (when Shadow’s character was slowly revealed to us) and around the ending (when Shadow made a beautiful conclusion to everything that had happened). Don’t expect the writing to be good all the way – especially in the middle. I disliked that part for many reasons apart from the average writing.

Here are some quotes I liked:

Was it only beauty they saw in each other? The perfection of their skin, the easy blueness of their eyes, the hair entwining his finger a moment ago the color of his own? Were they in love with beauty itself, or each other’s beauty, or even their own, perhaps?

“You imagined a frail human mother whose body couldn’t survive your birth? That was an easier mother to love.”
Tears pricked my eyes. “An easier one to understand, at least.”


I found the perfect gif to describe what Moss did with the plot.

Allow me to explain. According to its marketing team, “Shadow” is a fast-paced adventure filled with mystery, magic, honor, and romance that will lead readers on an incredible journey. But the truth is: “Shadow” is a fast-paced adventure long walk in the forest filled with mystery, a tad bit of magic, honor, and romance that will lead readers on an incredible incredibly long journey.

If you seek hardcore adventure, you’re better off without this book. It’s really just a dragged out romance wedged between what is a very good introduction and a somewhat satisfying ending. It’s like you’re eating a sinfully greasy bacon sammich just to find Brussels sprouts in it.

There is no real adventure. There are no intense battles. All Shadow and Sir Kenway did for a few hundred pages were ride through the forest, meet random (usually unimportant) people and you know, get to know each other better while the entire kingdom was succumbing to poverty. And at least one of them knew Shadow was the key to saving the kingdom. Everything else that happened after the assassination of felt like they were there so our two protagonists can have all the time to fall in love with each other.

The most intense thing you’ll get out of this is the giants. They had a cameo in this. It seems like their sole purpose was to steal Sir Kenway’s sword and horse. They never appear again after running off with the knight’s toys.

I’d be lying though, if I said I wasn’t completely absorbed by the mystery surrounding Shadow’s true identity. I was curious/anxious/excited to find out how Shadow ended up with the shittiest life ever; and what each minor character did that contributed to Shadow ending up with the shittiest life ever. That said, I’m not going to give anything away about this matter because quite frankly, it’s the most entertaining aspect of the story. Take that away and you’ll be left with a pointless novel about people hanging out in the forest/mountains, and some giants.


Shadow – I love her character. She is smart, brave, compassionate and independent, but sometimes she can’t stop herself from being selfish and stubborn. And you know what, I get it. Shadow had a shitty life. Her reasons for every emotion she felt and everything she did were justified. This is what I gathered from her monologues which were my favourite parts of the story, no doubt about that. She thinks and reacts like a normal person. However, this was another problem that showed in the middle of the story: her monologues became long-winded and repetitive. It wasn’t long before my touchy feels turned into this:

Also, she was thisclose to being accepted into the Bella Swan School of Boy Protocol. When it comes to Sir Kenway, she thinks with her vagina, but let's not venture into those waters. I think saying "Bella Swan" is enough of an explanation.

Although their romance was not based on the infamous instalove concept, I still think it’s contrived. I mean, the adventure aspect of the book was completely sacrificed so they could have more time with each other. It felt like Moss was forcing them to fall in love. I admit that I rooted for them to fall in love too, but it’s mostly because they were good people and I want good people to have good things, simple as that. But hey, there’s no “his eyes capture the beauty of multi-coloured unicorn poop” or “I can’t live without him” shit going on, so you’ll have that to look forward to.

Sir Kenway – This is a character who wants to redeem his family, and because of that his loyalty to the kingdom and who he thought was its true monarch was to the point of obsessive extreme. This is a character with depth, torn between his duty and his heart. He, too, thinks with his reproductive organ when it comes to the Shadow. The only difference between them is that Sir Kenway continuously tried to stop his penis from taking complete control of his brain. But I was a little annoyed that he could jump from “my god Shadow, you’re the traitor who killed the queen” to “my god Shadow, you have amazing unicorn eyes” in twenty-three seconds. Sir Kenway, please choose one of those two phases and go along with it for at least a day. We don’t have time for your manly mood swings.


It is a slow-paced novel that’s heavy on the romance and self-discovery stuff which drags on for too long. However, the unraveling of the truth makes it worth reading, but only if you’re a really patient reader, then you might enjoy this story like I sort of did.
Profile Image for Crystal.
1,360 reviews51 followers
July 4, 2011
This was an impulse grab at the local library, on a day when I needed fun reading to distract me from life, and all my novels were packed already. It was a good choice. Not brilliant, but oddly compelling and hard to put down. Shadow had some serious emotional/ psychological issues, probably of the attachment kind. then again, it would be hard not to have those kind of issues, given her life thus far. Her relationship with Sir Kenway is odd, tentative, annoyed, fond, concerned, and lots of other contradictory (and therefore human) characteristics. Kenway himself was a bit of a stiff character sometimes. It wasn't for lack of development. He was just a boy/ man obsessed, and it made him a bit hard to know. The writing in general was good, although the story dragged a bit after the conversations with Kendra and Erce, until back at the castle. reminded me a bit of Eclipse, where the characters just kept rehashing the same emotions and opinions over and over and over and over. but it picked back up, for a fairly satisfying ending. No, no huge surprises in the story, but still enjoyable. I don't know if this is meant to begin a series or stand alone, but I'd read more if there were sequels. It may have been a little Harry Potter, a little Percy Jackson, and a lot teen fantasy romance, written in a fairy tale style, but the sum of the parts ended up much greater than the individual parts would seem to suggest.

lots of side thoughts, though:
I think Jenny Moss is a great name for a fantasy writer. or a history writer. Just has a good sound to it.
Is Kendra the new go-to name for writers, especially YA fantasy? I just read Beastly, which had a major character named Kendra, and saw the name in some other book (that I can't remember) too. Funny, because before a few years ago, I'd only ever met one or two Kendras. I really hope it's not all due to some gross Playboy bunny. ick.
Also, this book, and the Percy Jackson books, and any others dealing with dogs and/or demi-gods, does make me awfully glad to be a Christian. Dealing with a weak, selfish, human-like god and/or goddess as your only resource would seem awfully discouraging. My God is an awesome God, and I appreciate that more all the time.
Profile Image for Emily.
268 reviews99 followers
December 10, 2009
Shadow is a different sort of book entirely, and while there were elements of the story that I found intriguing, I just didn't connect with this book the way I'd hoped I would.

Shadow, by all accounts, has had a really crappy life. She takes basically nonstop abuse from the people around her at the royal palace, has no friends or allies to speak of, and, when she does deign to have an opinion or an original thought, experiences such fantastic adventures as being locked in the dungeon. Shadow, needless to say, does not feel any particular loyalty to anyone or anything, least of all the queen she's supposed to protect or the country that queen represents.

Enter Sir Kenway, a terribly noble and loyal knight who doesn't like the queen all that much but has an almost fanatical devotion to her and her office. Shadow admires him from afar but gets pretty much nothing but condescension and judgment from him. This is the hero and heroine, mind you, so the fact that they seem to not get along was a barrier to me seeing the relationship develop.

Not only does Shadow have to deal with nonstop attacks on her integrity from Sir Douchebag...I mean Sir Kenway, she also has to deal with multiple jaw-dropping revelations about not only her own family, but her own past and her role in the ruling of her country going forward. Shadow's lack of enthusiasm about all of this is palpable throughout the book, and, frankly, her disinterest in the political games of the people around her is pretty understandable. I mean, she's a teenager, coming out of an abusive situation, and nobody can seem to understand why she doesn't want to MAN UP AND SAVE THESE PEOPLE. I probably would have left them to rot too if I'd been in her shoes.

There is an interesting side plot to the story involving who Shadow's mother actually is and how Shadow came to live in the royal palace, but it was lukewarm at best, as was the information about the religious facets of this nation and the role of religion in maintaining peace and prosperity in the land. The romance, when it did develop, was kind of ugly; Sir Kenway was a mean, judgmental, spiteful, bitter idiot most of the time, and the fact that he didn't really warm up to Shadow until it became apparent how important she was did not endear him to me at all. When she was a lowly servant of the queen, she was an ignoramus who should be grateful for receiving so much as a scrap from ye olde royale table; when her role as powerful woman who just might pull their collective fat out of the fire is presented, suddenly, he's all attracted to her. Not cool, Sir Kenway, not cool. I don't care how sweet your final scene is.

The most memorable thing about this book for me was the crushing sense of responsibility that seems to follow Shadow around throughout the book. She's responsible for the safety of the queen because of some dumb prophecy. She's responsible for everything that goes on around her. She's responsible on a god-and-sovereign level for the safety and well being of an entire country. All of this happened without her consent, without her knowledge, without her awareness in most cases. Shadow does the right thing, sure, but I found the ending to not be as satisfying as I'd hoped, and I feel like even after shouldering these tremendous burdens, Shadow still ends up with nothing in the end.

I've read lots of positive reviews for this book so I know there are definitely people out there who liked it and enjoyed the story and the romance and all that; I really wish I could count myself among them but sadly, I can't.

Overall Grade: D

Read more reviews at What Book is That?
Profile Image for Cindy.
854 reviews93 followers
January 2, 2016
I rarely rate a one star.

Everything felt so rushed, forced and pushed in this novel. I knew what was going to happen before that, and there was very little time spent allowing the reader to get to know Shadow. It was like BOOM get to know her and like her.

If you read the flap of the book you already know what's going to happen in the first half of the book. Which flaps are good to read but really don't spoil the vast majority of the book.

I found the characters, stiff, stilted, boring and just plain dull. The internal dialog as Shadow didn't do anything for me, it didn't make me like her or intensely dislike her. I can honestly say I felt NOTHING for the characters.

The action jumped around. There were times where I'd read something and wonder where it was going and then we were taken another direction. Meanwhile I'm sitting there going "But what about.....". Very jumpy and not in a good way.

I forced myself to read the whole book just to prove that I was right on this book and that it really was as bad as I thought it would be.
Profile Image for Shannan.
280 reviews
May 23, 2011
I admit, I was a little bit disappointed in this book. I liked it, and reading it wasn't a waste of time, but it could've been so much better. At times it felt rushed, and some scenes needed more details. Although some of the author's emotional descriptors were good and original, she also had a habit of telling you what Shadow was feeling instead of showing you and some times I didn't really understand why she was feeling that way . . . there was just a lot of stuff that needed more explaining and some scenes that weren't really given the attention they deserved.

I got a little annoyed with the love story too. It was fun in the beginning, but I've noticed that in some stories, the author will make the guy all needy and . . . well, move of a highly protective lover. I mean, its nice of him to want to protect her all the time and all, but wouldn't that get annoying. That some times bothers me in books. Plus, I think a love story is always more fun if its less of them as lovers and more of them as best friends because that's very important in a relationship. I didn't see that much in this book.

This story really had so much potential and could've been so great, but I think this author's talent is best suited out of the fantasy genre. I can't really say as I haven't read any of her other books, but that's what I think.

But that's enough of the negative. Let's look at some positive.

Like I said, at the beginning, the love story was just sort of fun because of Shadow's lack of social skills, their opposites, and the sheer annoyance going on between them at first. It was fun to read knowing how they'd end up and knowing that it'd be such a great thing for Shadow who hasn't exactly had the greatest life ever. So that was always fun to read.

This book was also a really light read, easy to understand, which was nice. I have a habit of choosing big complexish books, so whenever I read books like this . . . well, its just nice. A good break. Its probably part of the reason I liked this book

Every now and then scenes would come up where I'd think something like, "Ah, Shadow really needs to talk to this character right now," or "[something] really needs to happen here," stuff like that. Then I'd read the scene and realize I was an idiot and the author was just overall smarter then me. :) I like it when that happens, makes me more aware of things.

The characters were overall individual, which was nice. I've never liked books where all the characters mush together into one and there's no variety. This one did though. There's Shadow with her desperate desire for freedom, Kenway with his firm belief in duty, Inged with her . . . odd behavior I suppose, etc. I loved it! Little things like that always make a book more interesting.

So my overall opinion: yeah, it was good, could've been better, but it was good and I had fun reading it despite my occasional annoyances with certain phrases and such. I think this author has great potential. If this is just her getting started then who knows what she'll be able to do in the future! :)
1 review
January 22, 2016
Shadow has lived in the castle her whole life, but always behind the queen. When she finally gets her chance at freedom and possibly a handsome knight, will she be up for it? This book is Shadow by Jenny Moss. I read this book because 1) I adore fantasy books and they are some of my favorite things to read (ahem, Harry Potter) and 2) This was an impulse grab from the school book fair. However, this book turned out to be one of my favorites in nothing flat. It has adventure, romance, mystery and much more.
Shadow is, well, a shadow for Queen Audrey in this riveting tale of adventure and romance. The queen suddenly gets killed and Sir Kenway (the handsome knight) has taken Shadow with him to flee the castle on a long journey to find the answers they need. They make friends and foes along the road and find out some deep and dark secrets about Shadow’s past. The setting of this book is in the country named Deor. The conflict in the story is mostly between Shadow and Fyren, a man taking over Deor in his search for power. However, Shadow also finds out some big secrets about herself along the way, which leads to her learning about Erce, the mother of Earth. The first conflict between Shadow and Fyren is character vs character, and the conflict between Shadow and Erce, which is character vs nature.
In my opinion, the book ended very well. Obviously, I did want more of an epilogue, but I really just wanted more of Shadow and Kenway’s relationship. You can’t blame me, they were cute… and confusing. But I digress. I think the conclusion was very satisfying and I really thought it worked out the way it should. My favorite part in the book was probably when Shadow, Kenway, Ingrid, Rowe, and Roe were at the river/stream and Shadow was explaining (in her head) how truly happy she felt with the only friends she’d ever let herself have. I loved that moment because you could really feel the emotion in it and it made me feel the same as her. I remember as I was reading that scene, I just felt elated and like I wanted to jump into the river with them and just live.
My personal opinion about the book was that it was like nothing I had read before, and I loved it enough to read it a few times. I know that if there were any sequels, I would read them. Since first reading the book, I have found a series that is similar. The first book of the series is The Girl of Fire and Thorns. I truly adored these books also. I greatly recommend those if you’re up for a book you can’t put down. I think people who take pleasure in fantasy books and such will love this book and I hope you appreciate this book as much as me.
9 reviews
November 8, 2016
Shadow by Jenny Moss

The book ''Shadow'' by Jenny Moss follows the story of a fifteen (turning sixteen) year old girl who is the ''shadow'' or ''look-out'' of a young queen because it was once prophesied that the queen would die before her sixteenth birthday. After an unfortunate turn of events, Shadow and a handsome young knight head of on a quest into the woods to find a third person in order to save the kingdom of Deor from the unrightful rule of the queen's power seeking uncle. I very much enjoyed reading this book because it had a great plot, was easy to read, and had a perfect balance of romance and adventure. This book kept me glued to what will happen next because there were certainly a nice amount of character development and suspense along with plot twists. The only problem that I had was that some of the twists were a little too predictable and that is why I rated the book four stars out of five.

For example (SPOILER ALERT), it was kinda obvious that Shadow was Queen Audrey because she looked out for the queen ever since she was one, and she had no clue about who her parents were and why she was significant to Eldred (end of spoiler).

I’m a person who very much enjoys suspense so this is the only weakness I found for the book. The medieval setting plays an important part in how the characters act and talk so this would definitely be a great book to read if you enjoy the medieval fantasy type setting. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys to read a fantasy book with romance and adventure set in a medieval setting. I honestly picked this book up and really didn’t expect much but after I started reading it, I realized it was worth the read. I hope this review helped the reader know more about the genre of the book and my general feelings about the book.
Profile Image for Rachael.
611 reviews46 followers
August 23, 2010
All Shadow wants is to run away to freedom. But alas, she does not have that luxury. Years ago, it was prophesized that the young queen Audrey would die before her sixteenth birthday, and so Shadow, an orphan girl, was given the duty of being the queen’s companion and protector. When tragedy and murder strike, Shadow is forced to flee the castle under the protection of young Sir Kenway. She does not know why she must follow the knight’s orders or where she is going, yet she continues on, determined to enjoy her freedom. But with the kingdom in shambles, secrets and conspiracies abounding in the royal court, and a mysterious force at work, Shadow finds out that she has more power to save her country than she ever thought possible.

Shadow is a lovely and thoroughly enjoyable fantasy. I just adore stories that can effectively combine palace intrigue, a quest, and some kind of supernatural element, because this combination usually leads to a fascinating story. Shadow is no different. Although it’s possible that it makes this story seem a little less original, it’s still a great read. Protagonist Shadow is a strong and stubborn girl that readers will identify with, especially during her internal struggle between her desires and her duties. There were several instances where characterization seemed a little off or certain situations were too bizarre or made no sense, but overall, the characters and plot were very well done. This is a light and fun read with a clean, sweet ending that will bring a smile to readers’ faces.

Shadow is sure to be enjoyed by fans of Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock, The Keepers’ Tattoo by Gill Arbuthnott, and Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley.

reposted from http://thebookmuncher.blogspot.com
Profile Image for Reading Vacation.
524 reviews104 followers
March 9, 2011

Shadow reminds me of a classic fairy tale. There is royalty, a suffering country, good vs evil, enchantment, and a strong heroine. I love fairy tales! That special, magical feel is captured by Jenny Moss with her words and beautiful descriptions.

Most fairy tales have a strong heroine. In this book, Shadow is that character. Perhaps she drew some of her strength from the years she was imprisoned in the castle and forced to follow the queen. Maybe she was actually born with an inner strength that emerged once she escaped with Sir Kenway. Either way, Shadow is one fierce girl.

The magical element in Shadow is presented ever so slowly. It begins very innocently when Shadow can sense the feelings of those closest to her. How that magical element grows took my breath away. A sprinkling of other humans with magical gifts adds to the flavor.

I enjoyed the way the good vs evil plot played out. Just because a character appears to be good, doesn’t mean they really are. Sometimes it turns out that they are actually evil characters in disguise. I learned that you must be careful who you trust.

Shadow is not a retelling of a classic, but it could be a fairy tale on its own. Filled with everything you would expect in a fairy tale, Shadow is a charming read. Thank you to Jenny Moss for sending this book for review.


4 Plot

4 Characters

4 Attention Grabbing

5 Girlie Meter

5 Ending


Profile Image for Kat Heckenbach.
Author 31 books228 followers
July 7, 2013
OK, so I admit I didn't read all the way to the end. I stopped at about the 2/3 mark. Normally, I'd give a DNF two stars, but the writing was actually pretty good, and I think there are plenty of readers who would have much less issue with the things I didn't like.

First of all, the characterization just wasn't quite there, especially at the beginning. It took too long for me to get a real sense of character for Shadow and Kenway, and the rest of the characters never really took full form for me. And I didn't particularly like Shadow. I found her selfish and inconsistent emotionally.

I found the writing good, but the story-telling a bit disjointed. Overall, I could follow it, but too many places left me confused.

One of my pet peeves in books is the creation of false tension when characters simply refuse to be straight with each other. There was too much obvious withholding of information in this book for me. It started getting on my nerves.

Also, the romance. While I LIKED that this was NOT a romance-focused story, I thought the romance parts were forced. Inconsistent to what was actually happening between Shadow and Kenway.

The final straw that made me give up was Shadow being confronted with the answers to her questions--answers I saw coming a mile away, I might add--and being all too accepting of them.

All that said, if it weren't that the gripes I had about this novel happened to be the things that are some of my biggest pet peeves, I could see enjoying the story. I think many readers would enjoy it, and I can't honestly say I wouldn't recommend they give it a try. There is some lovely writing, and I would likely try reading another novel by this author.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
584 reviews147 followers
April 4, 2010
For as long as she can remember, the orphaned peasant girl called Shadow has spent every moment of her life following around Queen Audrey, the young queen of Deor, their kingdom. She has no memory of her real name or of her life before she became the queen’s “shadow.” The young queen was prophesized to die before her sixteenth birthday, and Shadow’s presence is supposed to somehow protect her, but Shadow doesn’t understand how, and longs to escape the dreary castle and the queen’s cruelty.

Shadow gets her wish in a different way than she had hoped when tragedy strikes and Shadow is sent away from the castle under the protection of Sir Kenway, a handsome young knight that Shadow believes was in love with Queen Audrey. She doesn’t understand why she is special, why her life was saved, and why she must go on this journey with Sir Kenway. On their quest, they find danger, mystery, romance, long-buried secrets, and a destiny that Shadow never could have imagined.

Shadow, the second book by talented and versatile new young adult writer Jenny Moss, was a delight to read. It is a traditional fantasy set in a medieval world with knights and princesses, castles and evil wizards, and a quest to discover the main character’s destiny and save the kingdom. Most young adult fantasy books these days are urban fantasy, set in our modern world, so it was such a refreshing change to read a book set in a faraway and magical kingdom. I highly recommend this book to readers who are looking to read a story that is different from the typical young adult fantasy.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Natalia.
77 reviews9 followers
March 17, 2011
Really hated this book. Not for the plot: I thought that was the interesting thing. There was a lot of potential but the result was aggravating. I couldn't connect with any character, they were all one-dimensional, I was unclear about any person's true motivation (for as much as the word "duty" was thrown around, I didn't see it much). The entire book is written in passive voice: "The door was opened," "the sword was lifted" such that a lot of the action felt anticlimactic. I didn't see any chemistry between the main characters, there were too many secondary characters who served only as info dumping platforms and could not have survived as real people if any of the story had been changed. The descriptions were flat and offered no mental image. I was also immensely confused by all the subplots that didn't go anywhere (Inged is somehow partially descended from gods but it is only mentioned once and never brought up again, we learn about Shadow's mother at the end but the Big Secret is just sort of shoved at you - plus it makes no sense), and I got very tired of the "children being innocent" crap.
Profile Image for Lu.
67 reviews
September 27, 2010
I like this book more than I thought I would. It's the sort of book I tend to like, though, you know with royalty types and romance and adventure and a fairy tale-ish feel. Though, this book has a darker feel than Shannon Hale's books (to give you a point of comparison).

The main character, Shadow, is the personal companion/bodyguard of the Queen. She is the only one who stays with the queen all the time--and everyone's paranoid about the Queen because it's been foretold that she'll be killed before her 16th birthday. All Shadow wants to do is to be free. Her moment comes when the palace is set in disarray, except instead of being free she somehow winds up in the care of Sir Kenway (a young and dashing, though a wee bit stuck up, knight).

There is a sort of strange Mother Earth type religion (I guess it's not all that strange, I mean, you've heard of things like that before) but it didn't get in the way of the story very much at all, like I expected it to.
Profile Image for Fiona Steele.
12 reviews
December 23, 2013
In this fairy-tale like book, a prophecy was given that the queen was to die before her sixteenth birthday. An orphan girl, named Shadow, is the same age as the queen and has been by the Queen's side since birth. She watches the Queen's every move, and it set to protect her. Shadow has never set foot outside of the castle walls. When something terrible happens she escapes from the castle, with the help of a knight names Sir Kenway. As Shadow and Sir Kenway travel further from the castle, she finds things out about herself that turns her whole life upside down.
I liked this book a lot, it got a bit confusing at some parts, but as a whole I liked the plot twists and adventure. I would recommend it to anyone who likes fairy-tales and adventure.
Profile Image for Claire.
1,355 reviews41 followers
September 6, 2009
Shadow has lived with Queen Audrey from birth. Both girls are orphans of the same age. Shadow is not a lady in waiting, her task is to be an inseparable companion to an increasingly mad and unpleasant queen who is surrounded by equally abusive and unpleasant ladies in waiting. Shadow's dream is to escape the castle and her grim life.
The sudden death of Queen Audrey turns Shadow's life upside down as her try destiny and identity are slowly revealed.
Palace intrigue, mysterious visions, alarming abilities collide as themes of leadership, power, destiny, love, family and forgiveness are investigated.
3 reviews1 follower
May 26, 2011
An orphan girl, Shadow, has been with Queen Audrey ever since she can remember. She is the same age as the young queen. It is prophecied that the queen will die before her sixteenth birthday. Mysteriously, the queen is murdered in her sleep. Shadow feels it is partly her fault because Shadow knew the queen was having painful nightmares and did not wake her. Sir Kenway, who Shadow believes was betrothed to the queen, takes her away along with another girl named Ingen. Filled with romance and adventure, what will happen to Shadow?
40 reviews
March 9, 2021
I forgot how good this book is. At first glance, it's a generic medieval fantasy adventure complete with a chosen one, elderly councilman/mentor, and an evil regent. But it's also got really deep themes involving the balance of man and nature, what it means to accept one's destiny, and choosing between duty and family. Really amazing. It's like a game of thrones junior novel without all the racism/incest/swearing/ bitter cynicism that some people might like but I'm frankly sick of
Profile Image for P.M..
1,230 reviews
June 27, 2022
This is another one that has been sitting on my shelf for a while. It was a typical lost princess, evil regent, brave knight melange which really didn't work for me. My favorite parts were the interactions with the abused servant Piers and the peasant urchin twins Rowe and Roe. Other than that, it didn't have much.
Profile Image for A. L. Rogers.
110 reviews2 followers
March 31, 2023
This book was book was so good! I could not set it down. It was a very fun fatasy romance read.
Profile Image for Madeleine Rex.
115 reviews30 followers
March 19, 2010

Review Sent to Scholastic*:

Mystic and adventurous, Shadow is a book that will keep boys and girls flipping pages rapidly beneath their bed-cover tents, flashlights suspended above their heads by weary arms shaking from overuse. Realistic in its troubles and characters, and fantastic in its magic, you’ll find that this novel is full of just about everything – political intrigue, love, awkwardness, faith and the lack thereof, and duty. Not to mention characters you’ll ardently love and hate, which ultimately make the most substantial difference of all. Shadow is a ridiculously fun read.


As I told the publisher in the email I sent, I found that I liked Shadow far more than I would have expected. Maybe I begin books with a pessimistic attitude and just haven't realized it. The upside is that books tend to astound me by the fact that they have, indeed, shot way beyond my expectations, and that makes loving a book so much sweeter.

Shadow is exactly what her name implies: a shadow. She's been beside Queen Audrey since they were born, on the look-out for possible threats. You see, it was prophesied that the queen would not live past her 16th birthday, after which she was supposed to become ruler. Shadow is many things: unbelieving, uncaring if she is not directly related to the matter at hand, slightly selfish, in search of freedom (she's never left the castle grounds), and destined to a life of confinement and utter boredom.

And then Shadow is no longer a shadow. The queen is dead. It's then that the queen's lover, Sir Kenway, commands her to follow him as they venture down a path a dead man had instructed him to follow.

I cannot reveal much more without consequently giving away far too many details. I can, however, assure you that the plot is adventurous and quite entertaining.

One of my favorite aspects of the book was Shadow herself. Her emotions were so contradictory and it was fascinating to watch her struggle to believe the unbelievable, fantastical truth. She was amazingly stubborn and nearly refused to think over things that she believed were out of control or that would not affect her, and it takes almost the entire novel to convince her that she must stand for others and work towards brightening the people's future, as opposed to remaining in isolated freedom in the wilderness, which she'd much prefer.

Of course, she sounds like a selfish brat, but she evolves just as every deep character should. Sir Kenway is also fascinating. He's sworn to do his duty and act his part, all for his deep, infecting loyalty to his kingdom. He's a patriot, heart and soul, and that's one quality you admire in him. He has obvious anger issues, sure, but those are justified, for the most part. He's a teen-aged boy. Hopefully he'll grow out of it.

I think I'm in a fairytale-loving phase. I'm halfway through The Books of Bayern, which are also fairytale-like. In fact, there are certain similarities between The Books of Bayern and Shadow that stand out to me, and I wish that Shadow had seemed more different and unique. Overall, I believe I enjoy The Books of Bayern a bit more, but Shadow is, in my opinion, a book that most certainly deserves to be picked up at the book store and brought home (which you can do on April 1st). You'll be transfixed from the very beginning, in love with the characters and their depth, and intrigued by the adventure and the inevitability of it all.

Also interesting is the way everything's done in the kingdom, the way things are ruled - really, the politics in general. The process through which things work in the world of queens, kings, knights, etc. is something we most certainly do not live. Reading about it is as close to living it as we will ever be, and it's a time-set that distinctly makes you think of the more whimsical but endearing Disney movies. I grew up with them; they have a place in my heart.

I'd recommend this book to people who aren't opposed to main characters that irritate you at times, but are lovable all the same. I appreciate the fact that Shadow caught on to things about as quickly as I did, although she didn't want to believe them half the time and attempted to convince herself that the information or assumption was wrong. (Books with slow, dim-witted characters infuriate me.) I'd also recommend Shadow to people who need a bit more whimsy and a bit more fantasy in their lives. Live in this world for a moment, and then you can retreat back into reality. Just a moment of the surreal wouldn't hurt, would it? Allow yourself to believe in the utterly impossible.

Just for a moment.

*Thanks for the ARC!
Profile Image for Cathyl.
88 reviews1 follower
February 4, 2016
I love this book. It's actually one of my favorites. The book is about this almost 16 years old girl who is abused by many at the castle. Her mission is to protect the future queen due to a prophecy that the queen will be killed before she turns 16. It ends up Queen Audrey actually does get killed. Poisoned to be exact. Shadow, the main character of the book ends up going on a journey with Sir Kenway. The journey tests her inner strengths and feelings. She realizes that she is in love with Sir Kenway and hopes that he feels the same way. There's many times where they kiss in the book. Anyways, when Sir Kenway and Shadow finally reaches their destination--Kendra, the witch's house--Kendra reveals a impossible truth. Shadow is actually the real queen of the realm. It takes awhile for Shadow to realize that her whole life had hints to it that she was the real queen. For example, how she was included to all the fake Queen Audrey's lessons, etc. Now, she must have the courage to forgive her mom, who is actually Erce, and save the kingdom from total destruction. One of my favorite passages is this:

I hear Kenway yell my name. I hear Eldred's voice inside my hear. When you stand before him, think of us. Let us in.
Let then in, let them in. Time stretched out.
I thought of Kenway and felt his loyalty inside me, like it was my own, and of Piers and his fierce heart, and that was in me, too, and then of Eldred and his wisdom, and of Kendra and her quest for justice, and Ingen and her strong faith.
I thought of my murdered father. I felt his strength.
Mostly, I thought of my mother, dying as I took my first breath. I took her I would leave my anger behind, that she must leave her grief behind and come to me, to us. We all called to her.

(Pg. 365-355)

This is my favorite passage because it shows that Shadow (a.k.a. Queen Audrey) finally accepted the connection she bear from man to nature. She allowed the feelings of her love ones into her heart. She even forgave her mother, who left her when she was born. With acceptance to the country, Shadow defeats Fyren.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lexie.
2,073 reviews297 followers
March 29, 2016
Shadow takes me back to the fantasies and young adult novels I read as a teenager and younger. I would very much classify this with tales like Ella Enchanted or Goose Girl because it delivered very much the same sort of story. Regardless of anything else Shadow was a strong and complex character. No matter what she says she is not a carelessly cruel person or cold-hearted. She had to learn to be like that, to survive the torment of being the Queen's whipping girl, but in her heart of hearts she isn't really.

Sir Kenway, who comes off as an insufferable jerk for the better half of the story, slowly grew on me. I'm still unsure of why his attitude changed, or his true feelings towards the Queen in the beginning, but I liked him better for it in the second half. His sense of duty towards his family also gives him credit, though I don't think his father or stepmother deserved it (only his half-sisters).

The twist, which most will see coming, about Shadow's history has unexpected consequences. I found what the consequences of the twist to be intriguing, and especially enlightening given some of the characters' actions. I really would have liked to read more about the Queen and why she went from being so loving towards Shadow to so hateful. Some of it I think was pure jealousy, because Shadow was a quick learner and was favored by her Uncle, but I think some of it may of had to do with the visions the Queen sometimes got. Those are also not quite explained, but if they are anything like the Witch Maren's then it would explain an awful lot about why her emotions shifted towards Shadow so abruptly.

In the end I enjoyed this story, this new fairy tale. Part fantasy, part adventure and part learning to understand who you are I enthusiastically recommend this book.
1 review
March 20, 2020
I first read this in middle school, and loved it at the time. I kept on remembering it through the years and eventually bought my own copy. I would probably give the book a 3 if it didn't have sentimental/nostalgic value to me. If you aren't super picky and enjoy historical/fantasy/romance YA books, then I think you would enjoy this book quite a bit.

What I liked:
The character's are unique, especially Shadow's. The writing is good, and I appreciated how Moss conveyed strong emotions through concise and simple words. I also liked the world-building when it came to religion--the gods and goddesses in Shadow's world are not all-powerful and not entirely benevolent or malevolent, which is a refreshing change. Although there was nothing revolutional about the book, I found it intriguing hard to put down, and it holds a special place in my heart.

What I thought could be better:
The romance was poorly constructed. It was hard to see why Sir Kenway and Shadow came to love each other when most of their conversations ended in anger and accusations. Their romance seemed more lust-driven than emotion-driven. The characters, although unique and interesting, felt one-dimensional. All Sir Kenway cared about was duty, to the point where I couldn't really understand why. The children in the book seemed far too mature and level-headed for their age (it made sense for Ingen, but not Piers, Roe, or Rowe). Thirdly, the world-building felt incomplete. I wish we had been given more discriptions and scenes of daily life. Most of the story took place in the mountains, where the main characters only interacted with a couple people at a time, so it was hard to imagine Deor as a large kingom filled with people and acitivity. This leads me to my last criticism: the plot felt too dragged out in the middle of the story, and too rushed at the end.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jared Gordy.
25 reviews
July 15, 2019
Shadow 06/19

Deor is a fantasy land where a young girl named Shadow lives. The land is ruled by a cruel regent that without mercy kills any who gets in his way and controls the queen who is too young to rule. There was a threat to the entire royal family when the queen’s mother and father were murdered. Supposedly the culprit will be back for the queen before she is old enough to rule at 16. Shadow was placed at the side of the queen to protect the queen, but was unaware of this fact. Shadow was present for all the queens education and often found herself in debate with the regent and advisers. She was imprisoned frequently for saying or doing something that went beyond insulting the queen to be.The queen hated her and treated her poorly. Shadow was of no consequence, had no noble blood, and no one spoke to or noticed her. The only comfort she had was during lessons, that is until the night the queen was poisoned. The queen’s death launched Shadow on a new adventure she never wanted to be on. Racing across the countryside with Sir Kenway (whom she is falling in love with) and she didn't know where or why she was going.

I would suggest this to young ladies that are trying to figure out their standing and value in society. This book covers identity, individual worth, and malice. With the gifts given inherently as part of who we are, we can learn from this book how we can best rule our lives.

I would have students in a child development setting give this a read and write a report on the measures taken to give children the best success they can achieve. I would require a section on obstacles and challenges that will come to children that the children will need to climb over themselves.

Emotional sexual stimulation
Profile Image for Crystal.
545 reviews35 followers
January 14, 2010
A fascinating fantasy read, I enjoyed this book throughout.

Shadow has always been just that, a shadow to the young queen who is the same age she is. She has been told to protect the queen at all costs, so she very rarely gets to move far from the queen. And the queen doesn't get to move because she has been told she will die before her official coronation. So all Shadow wants to do is explore the outside world. She cherishes moments she can spend outside, and she also treasures moments when Sir Kenway is around even though his attentions are toward the queen.

As the plot shifts and Shadow gets her wish to get away from the castle but not in the way she expects. She embarks on the adventure of a lifetime that will test her and what she thinks she wants from life. She will have to make choices on whether to put herself or others first.

It's a wonderful coming of age tale about wishing for one thing all of your life and then when you receive it, you have decisions to make and it's not all you made it out to be. Shadow has to grow up suddenly and has many decisions before her. I found her character fascinating but sometimes frustrating, but when I thought about it she acted like a child at times because she was a child. So her character was actually very well done.

The plot is mesmerizing. I read this book quickly because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next. The supporting characters were also very intriguing and added a lot to the story.

Shadow is a wonderful young adult read, full of a beautiful land, interesting characters and an amazing plot.
Profile Image for Makenna stull.
116 reviews
February 22, 2017
character development
I liked Shadow because It kept me interested In the plot and the characters through the whole book.
This book is a twisted novel based on romance and fantasy that focuses on a character named Shadow who learns who she really is and was born to be. I thought that the character Shadow was really interesting and hard to understand. Shadow showed character development in the beginning of the book when shadow travels with a young knight and had mixed emotions with him then she soon figures out why she is having the emotions she never had felt before when she was young and by the end of the book she was easier to understand because she understood whet she was doing at that moment. When Shadow learns who she really is we can see the character has grown and is easier to understand. I would recommend this book to any middle reader who likes to read fantasy or romance.

Shadow by Jenny Moss, is a twisted novel based on romance and fantasy. Shadow is born in a castle with a mission to protect the queen. There is a prophesy that is said to be when the queen turns 16 she will die. So Shadow is supposed to be by her side to protect her. When tragedy strikes Shadow is taken away by a young knight on a journey of discovery about herself and her past. Shadow's world is more than what she thought it was. I thought the book was really good and I would read it a thousand times. This book has good characters and awesome fantasy in it.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fantasy with romance with a little twist in the middle.
I would give this a 5 because it's that good.
Profile Image for Emily.
8 reviews
May 8, 2013
Shadow was a good book, in my opinion. The author’s purpose was to entertain the reader. I believe the author’s purpose was to entertain because reading about a girl who all her life was a protector of the young queen and now trying to figure out who she really is and who her mother is, leaves you wanting to read more. In other words, I think the author, Jenny Moss, wrote this book to entertain the reader of her character’s adventures, discoveries, and a little bit of her love life.

The theme was a little hard to think of but not impossible. What I came up with is that you can always believe in a lie that you do not know is a lie until you find out the truth. Meaning that someone can tell you that you are worthless and you will believe them until you figure out the truth.

I believe that Shadow is a narrative. Narrative writing is a type of writing in which the author places himself/herself as the character and narrates the story. The author puts himself/herself as the main character and shares the character’s feeling and needs. I think the author used that to her advantage, meaning I could not put it down. At one part the main character is explaining what he life in the castle and how low on the chain she is and how rude the queen, and many others are to her.

In my opinion, I liked this book because of all of the events that happened throughout the whole book; I could not put it down. This book is for people who love a little romance and the adventure books. Those are the people I would recommend this book to. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.
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