Daughter of Shadow

Daughter of Shadow - Tyler Sehn I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Daughter of Shadow follows Melea, a warrior who serves Emperor Anathasius, the Lord of Light and Living God of the Shining Empire. She is a tool for his vision and is tasked with carrying out his will.

Melea is an interesting character. She is clearly tormented by her past and suppresses her memories which later resurface. While clearly powerful, she is also prone to making mistakes and bad decisions. She is not perfect and she's also not infallible. As a fan of imperfect characters, I like her. She knows she is a tool and still holds up hope that her emperor may not view her as an object and actually value her. Her deep desire for acknowledgement and to be valued is clear is made clear as well as her want to not disappoint.

Daughter of Shadow follows several POV characters, not all of whom were given an equal number of pages. As such, it can sometimes feel uneven and there were some characters I didn't like reading the POV of, such as the priest Belenus. There were also some characters whose POV I wanted to see more, such as the Emperor's. While I enjoyed Queen Ritika's POV, I sometimes wondered what her POV contributed to the plot overall. Maybe build-up for the next one? I don't know. Still, I did like her point of view and she was an interesting character.

My favorite characters would be Melea and Ritika. Ritika, while the queen of her native land, is also young and somewhat inexperienced. However, I appreciated the fact that she does not let this hinder her. She remains in control and has a lot of agency. She would remind everyone that she is the queen and I liked that she stood up for herself. I'm intrigued by the character of Emperor Anathasius. The entire time I felt like there was something more to him and I would have loved to see his character and backstory explored more.

The writing tends to be well-paced for the most part, with some tedious moments depending on the point-of-view. It's also pretty descriptive which helps me imagine the world better. The worldbuilding is rather good, with a deep religious component regarding the Shining Empire. I liked that the empire had this utopic facade with dark undertones feel to it.

Overall, I liked Daughter of Shadow. It's an epic fantasy that's easy to get into and has a large cast of intriguing characters.

This review can also be found on The Bookworm Daydreamer