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The Crowded Shadows

(Moorehawke Trilogy #2)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,553 ratings  ·  121 reviews
Every tyrant who ever threatened the Kingdom is gathering to Alberon's table, and the forest is alive with spies, wolves, and bandits. Within these crowded shadows, Protector Lady Wynter Moorehawke travels alone and unprotected, determined that she shall find the rebel prince and heal the rift that has come between the King and his legitimate heir. But who is an ally and w ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published July 1st 2010 by Orbit (first published September 7th 2009)
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,553 ratings  ·  121 reviews

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Mikki Crisostomo
Devoured this in the span of a single day, but it was due more to my impatience to find out what's going on than anything. I'd have preferred to give this book four stars, but Celine Kiernan's infuriating tendency to have her characters withhold vital information from Wynter pushes all patience just a little bit too far. My affection for Christopher, which was at an all-time high from the previous book, has dropped at an alarming rate. Yes, his hesitation to share everything is understandable, b ...more
I found the books use of modified Merron (Irish) language at times confusing. The author often explained which of the three languages were being used to combat that choice. There is a postscript to explain the phrases, but I didn't feel inclined to break off the story to look up the translations.

I found the plot rather muddy though the middle of the story and didn't reall go anywhere it hadn't been before.

The characters so powerfully set up in the first book became rather unsurprising as the au
510 pages of rape! Murder! Torture! Decapitation! Slavery! Operations without anesthetic! Human sacrifice! But apart from all that padding, nothing actually happens! At the beginning of this book, Wynter, Christopher and Razi are searching for Alberon. At the end of this book, Wynter, Christopher and Razi are still searching for Alberon. Ploughed through all the violence for nothing. Also, the main character, Wynter, seems to be suffering from lack of personality disorder, as well as a certain a ...more
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, favorites
I loved The Poison Throne so much; Celine Kiernan is such a vivid storyteller, and the world she constructs in The Poison Throne is so rich I wondered whether she'd be able to keep it up in the next installment of The Moorehawke Triloy.

So, I was totally thrilled to find The Crowded Shadows waiting for me at home yesterday, and immediately went upstairs to read it.

We begin with Wynter alone on horseback in the forest, seeking Alberon's rebel camp. Her journey is fraught with danger, and when she
Jul 31, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2010, fantasy
This extremely predictable novel suffers from a lack of action and lack of resolution. The lack of resolution is typical of a middle novel in a trilogy, but the lack of action means that plot points in this novel are telegraphed hundreds of pages before, and yet do not get done.

Plus this is not really fantasy where magic plays a central role. There is a little magic but this is mostly a story about how the main characters spend time with various groups on their way to meet up with the other prin
 Lady Jayne *~*The Beach Bandida*~*
Thoughts right after reading (3 Nov 2011):

Wow. I need to gather my thoughts on this. I'm so behind on my reviews! Gah! I'm almost afraid to read the next book but am anxious to know how this all ends for Wynter, Chritopher, Razi and Alberon….

I think I'm in love with Christopher. ^_^ Although, there were parts when I was a little frustrated with him and wish he'd just share with Wynter and Razi about his concerns and what is going on! But then again... Christopher... *clutches heart and sighs*
Chris Jestin-Thoraval
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Allison (The Allure of Books)
The three books of the series are The Poison Throne, The Crowded Shadows and The Rebel Prince. I'm reviewing them together partly because it would be hard to write individual reviews without a ton of spoilers...but also because I was insanely addicted to the series and read all three books in a row, and in a ridiculously short amount of time. Oh - and fair warning - there will be gushing to follow.

Here, friends. Here is a series to get lost in. This world, these people...they don't let you keep
Jan 23, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I spent a lot of time frustrated with The Crowded Shadows by Celine Kiernan. After a tense start it begins to bog down in the middle. At the end of the book you realize that the plot hasn't actually advanced very far. There are a few hundred pages where they're amongst people with customs and a language Razi and Wynter don't know while Christopher does but he chooses to keep them (and the readers) in the dark about all of that for almost the entire time. Then he yells at them when they understan ...more
Jun 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-owned-read
The Crowded Shadows picks up almost immediately after where The Poison Throne left off. I strongly suggest if you haven't read Book 1 you shouldn't read this review (because its inevitable a spoiler will pop up and ruin things for you. Not even the synopsis will spoil you for certain things.) I warned you.

We come upon Wynter as she is hiding from a group of men traveling along the forest path. Wisely she hides whenever she hears others approaching--just one of many tricks her father taught her a
Angelique Simonsen
now its getting unbelievable
Jan 05, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fiction
Thinking back on what I've just read, I'm starting to come to the conclusion that not a lot happens. There's spurts of action to be sure, but none of it really advances the plot.

Unlike a few of the reviewers here, I had no problem with the Arabic and Merron (Irish) names. I'm a linguistics student with an interest in sociology and anthropology, so I found it all pretty interesting.

Just one small nitpick on language use before I continue: on page 85 of my edition, Razi "groused and bitched". My p
Krista (I remember you, Min) (Critical)
May 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: People who like really dark fantasy.
Wynter is not good enough for Christopher. She's likable enough in this book, but pretty terrible in the next one. She's sooo full of herself, as well as being ashamed of Christopher.

I'd like for Wynter to be real so I can beat her up. Really. She needs a good knock to the head. She has NO idea how lucky she is to have a guy like Christopher.

Five stars because I adore Christopher and he was in this book a LOT. Otherwise, there was a bit too much crazy drama/depression. Human sacrifice? Fine. H
Aug 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 25, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.99999, But I can't put it with my 4 stars because of the levels of confusion I felt when reading.
There are plot lines which remain unresolved, and unexplained, characters and locations which drift on and off the pages like spectres, and whole passages, if not pages, which made almost no sense to me.

But it was gripping. Thrilling. The characters I do know and love from the first book of the trilogy, and from yesterday, leap off the page with a vibrancy which is unique to caliber writing. Each s
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like the previous novels of this trilogy, it is just awesome! You simply sit there and start to read but don't realizing you are suddenly in the middle of the story. It is written so vivid to a point, even the most unusual parts of the story are easy to imagine.
Jan 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Out of the series this is certainly my favourite book. Its plots keeps you intrigued the whole way through and you see the characters develop on a manner which is well-written.
Kate Forsyth
Dec 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
almost as good as the first - compelling and full of suspense
Jan 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-of-2010
Original Review of trilogy HERE

A few months ago, Thea and I wrote a joint review The Poison Throne, the first book in the Moorehawke Trilogy by Celine Kiernan and posted the review over at I loved it (Thea not so much – which is fine, because this series has ANA written all over it) and vowed to read the other two books ASAP. I didn’t and that was only because I knew that I needed at least a good 10 free hours in order to do so: I had the feeling that once I started reading book 2, I wo
Laura Portelli
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This second book in the series of Moorehawke Trilogy was amazing I believe this book was even better than the first one The Poison Throne
You meet new characters in this book which you fall in love with, learn about new religion and language
There is differently more romance in this book and there is a lot of eye balling moment through out it to
Top it all off it was a great read gets confusing sometimes but they always get answer very soon after woulds
Differently getting straight into the thir
Mar 22, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Still the slower languid tone, which is fine, and it even started off sort of interesting but then you spend 2/3 of the book having no clue what's going on. Seriously - one character knows, but isn't telling and then finally near the end you get an idea which is....ok, I guess but then more stuff happens that you still don't quite have a clue about....confused yet? That's how I felt.
And by the way, every time our main character is thinking about sleeping with her guy of choice, some emergency ha
Sarah Newman
Jul 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook
3.5 stars
I struggled to get into this, but then read the second half in less than a day. The new characters were interesting (and nice to see more women!), but I felt this was a bit of a diversion, rather than the main story. I guess it sets everything up for the final book. I do wish the three main characters had just talked to each other more!
Dec 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Given how much I loved the first book in the series, this book had a lot to live up to - and it did not let me down! Enthralling and masterfully told. I could not put it down and I’m struggling to stop myself from immediately reading the next book, but I really want to save it. Honestly, just go and read this series already.
Kat  Hooper
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

I was hoping that the pace of The Moorehawke Trilogy would pick up once Razi, Christopher, and Wynter left the castle but, alas, this story continues to crawl at a glacial pace. In The Crowded Shadows, the three friends wander the forest with no plan but to find Prince Alberon (somewhere among thousands of acres) so they can hear his side of the story — why is he rebelling against his father? While they traipse about the forest, they spend a lot of time ea
Laura Summers
Reviewed for

'The Crowded Shadows' takes off where 'The Poison Throne' had left us. With Wynter, leaving her dying father behind in the corrupt court to embark on a dangerous and lonely quest. She must travel through the dangerous and bandit infested forest, a solitary, young women as she tries to track down the exiled and believed traitorous Prince Alberon, who was once her dear friend. Her hope in finding him is that she may get to bottom of the darkness that is seeping th
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
The book picks up where the first novel ended; Wynter, alone on the road, hoping to somehow find the hiding Prince Alberon. Fortunately she almost immediately stumbles on the two people she most wants to see, Christopher and Razi, who are secretly traveling in the woods for the exact same purpose. Together, they travel on and soon encounter more than one element from Christopher’s past.

The Crowded Shadows is my favorite volume in the trilogy. Just picking it up to refresh my mind on one or two
YA Reads Book Reviews
Abandoning her father in the time of his greatest need, Wynter is alone. Completely and utterly alone in an unknown forest, with unknown enemies all around her, Wynter is trying to find her way to Alberon, the rebellious son and heir to the throne. Needing to dodge all manner of bandits and rebel enemy groups, Wynter almost doesn’t make it. Threatened with rape by a bandit who has tracked her, Wynter uses all her skill to get away, only to be tracked by a different group of rebel outcasts. That ...more
Melissa Hayden
Apr 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
We start off right where Poison Throne left off. Wynter is traveling alone in the dense forests to find the adored and disowned Rebel Prince Alberon. Wynter has many worries and trials while traveling through the crowded forest. She never imagined the woods in this direction to be so full of people... people who just may not be welcome in the Kingdoms lands. There is much more going on in the woods of the Kingdom than anyone ever expected. In the shadows of the Kingdom Forests there are many new ...more
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Oh, man. Where to even begin? (PART DEUX)

I had high hopes for this book. Honestly, I did. After the drudgery that was the first 400 pages of it's prequel (The Poison Throne), that book actually ended on an interesting note. Wynter was alone in the wilderness, hell-bent on finding the Royal Prince Alberon and demanding he put an end to the tyranny that his father, the King, was inflicting upon his subjects. Razi and Christopher had each gone their separate ways and, while I hoped they would reapp
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the first half of this better than the second, which got kind of bogged down in the Merron drama. Oh well. I still love Wynter and Christopher.
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Celine Kiernan is an award-winning author of fantasy novels for young adults. Her critically acclaimed work combines fantasy elements with the exploration of political, humanitarian and philosophical themes. She is best known for The Moorehawke Trilogy, a dark, complex trilogy of fantasy YA books set in an alternative renaissance Europe. First published in Celine’s native Ireland in 2008, the tril ...more

Other books in the series

Moorehawke Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Poison Throne (Moorehawke Trilogy, #1)
  • The Rebel Prince (Moorehawke Trilogy, #3)