Featheredfear No. I read this without reading the first one and had no problems understanding the characters or feeling like I was missing a part of the story. It was a great stand alone book. I really loved it. I will go hunt down the first book in this series now.
Trek "City of a Thousand Dolls" is a must read if you're into this genre. I just discovered "Empire of Shadows" and can't wait to enjoy it.
Kailey (Kathryn is looking for me) You don't need to no, but I highly recommend you do so that when you read this one, the references and connections you get in City of a thousand dolls for this book's characters are that much more meaningful.