Shadowborn by Moira Katson
It has been only two generations since Arthur Warden seized the throne of Heddred from the Conradines, and now the crown rests on the head of Garad, sickly and weak. Shadows gather: legacies of the centuries-long rivalries for power, old betrayals, the endless plots of the courtiers, and the murmur of rebellion in the southern provinces ...Catwin, plucked from her life at the edge of the Kingdom, is thrust abruptly into the world of the Court when she is chosen by the Duke of Voltur to be a Shadow-spy, shield, and blade-to his niece, the Lady Miriel DeVere. The Duke's ruthlessness is legendary, and he will stop at nothing to become the power behind the throne, using Miriel as a pawn to catch Garad's heart.But the Duke's carefully-laid plans are only a piece of the intrigue of the court, and greater forces than Catwin can imagine are massed against her, determined to eliminate Miriel and impose a new order of their own. If Catwin and Miriel are to survive, they must learn quickly who to trust, and when to turn their skills against the very people who have trained them ...
Hey guys! I believe this is my third or fourth Amazon e-book review on here. Shadowborn, while it didn’t grab my attention right from the beginning, had a very compelling and provoking plot that kept me reading and before I knew it, I was finished. I have to admit, I did find some parts a bit dragging, but there was that constant desire to find out what happened, that those parts flew by relatively quickly...or maybe I just pressed the “next page” button faster, I dunno. Okay, so now let’s get into the review!
This was a, shall we call it welcomed diversion from the common YA or Adult Fiction that I’ve been reading a lot recently. Shadowborn takes place in a world that seems to come out of the Middle Ages, but it’s completely made up. The first couple of pages give a list of character names which is helpful because there are a lot of lords and dukes and people, but to be honest, who actually reads that? Well...I didn’t, maybe I’m the weird one. Anyway, but it was good to have it as a guide in the front.
The first chapter was definitely very interesting with the whole birthing scene and then Catwin’s mother throwing her out because: She was born to be betrayed. Oooo, the shivers and chills. It just sets a really great setting for the story, circling around a girl who was prophesied to be betrayed by someone.
Fast forward to Chapter 2 or 3, sorry I don’t remember exactly the order, Catwin’s older and seems to be really good a lurking in the shadows which fortunately or not, gets her noticed by the Duke’s Shadow aka his personal spy and assassin. He helps her get bumped up the ranks and she finds herself as the Lady Miriel’s new Shadow.
Little background info, the Duke is a hero from the previous war mentioned in the summary. He has a sister who is “ashamed” and exiled from court who has a daughter: Lady Miriel. Miriel’s mom is this nasty lady, but I kinda felt bad for her because the one sunshine of her life, her daughter, was being taken away from her by her hated brother. So, I think we can cut her some slack. Anyway, the Duke has a lot of enemies at court because he rose up ranks so quickly which means that Muriel will be a targeted figure when she makes her debut at court. This is where Catwin’s duty to protect her comes in.
The relationship between Catwin and Miriel is really bumpy. Miriel has spent her life mimicking her mother and has grew off the hatred her mother felt for the Duke who is now her guardian at court. So, she (Miriel) hates her life and hates (because of her Mother’s influence) that Catwin who was a street urchin back home is now supposed to be her most trusted confidant. Catwin, under the guidance of her foster mother, Roine, tries to befriend Miriel, but each attempt only seems to make their relationship worsen. Miriel has quickly become a “hot item” in court and she has her sights fixed on the Boy King Garad.
The plot twists a couple of times which helps move the story along. The ending is a great cliffhanger and brings the characters to a rounded point of development that makes you want to know what happen, but content, kinda, with what you have. Catwin has been trained and knows her duty as Miriel’s protector, whether the Lady should choose to accept her friendship of not. I think Miriel shows the greatest development with the formation of her own political beliefs and ideas. You start to see her form her own opinions and break away from being a puppet, essentially perfecting the art of a masquerade so to speak.
I would recommend this book, but to be perfectly honest, after a couple of days, I don’t have the insatiable urge to read the rest of the series as it didn’t make a lasting impact on me.
Sometimes, I think I was a child made of that swirling snow, borne of parents who faded into the mountains like ghosts after my birth, never to be seen again.
Do you know, I used to feel special, like I would wake up in a fairytale and be a great hero. But now…I don’t know if I want to be in a story anymore. It’s like I am already, and I don’t think I like it.
You, Catwin, no longer exist. You no longer have a fate of your own, a will of your own, or indeed a soul of your own. Henceforth, you and Miriel are to be as one, she the light, and you the shadow.
3.5 out of 5 stars