Title: Shadows of Valor
Author: Elsie Park
Genre/s: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Expected Publication: September 7, 2013
Synopsis:On the surface, Graywall is content and booming. Lord Shaufton, who presides over the city, is a fine ruler. The poor are well-cared for, the area is popular, and morale is high—but within Graywall’s roots, something dark is stirring. This darkness threatens to overpower the once-peaceful town, until a mysterious figure appears: The Shadow.As much a figure of fear to the unruly as legend to the innocent, The Shadow is an enforcer of justice and aid to the King. Due to an outrageous export tax set by King Edward, smuggling has tainted the kingdom, so The Shadow is sent to hunt the smugglers down. Contrary to legend, The Shadow is simply a man known as Sir Calan who, although talented and just, struggles to keep his dark thoughts of revenge from becoming ruthless action.Due to sheer coincidence, The Shadow learns of a deadly plot against Lord Shaufton on a journey to Graywall. Now, he must enter a pseudo courtship with Lord Shaufton’s daughter under his original guise of Sir Calan, all while old emotions are stirred by the lovely Elsbeth, Lord Shaufton’s niece. Elsbeth, it seems, is the only woman who can heal his troubled soul, but she has a story of her own. What transpires is a glorious tale full of deceit, greed, inner struggles, betrayal, and most of all—love.
Engrossing and mysterious, Shadows of Valor took me on a journey into a medieval era full of chivalrous knights, dark secrets, shocking conspiracy and swoony romance. Be ready to swoon when you meet The Shadow.
There are rumors spreading all around the country about a mysterious figure named The Shadow. Some say his an apparition and some even say his a magician but only one thing is for sure, he hunts criminals and enforce justice under King Edward's orders.
Now, The Shadow came into Graywall to investigate a large operation of smuggling but what he didn't expect was that, the smugglers have another evil plan; to marry a lady, get her land dowry and kill Lord Shaufton. The only girl he knew that has a land dowry in Graywall was Lord Shaufton's daughter, Genevieve. So he decided to pretend to court Genna in order to protect her and Lord Shaufton to the smuggler's deadly plan.
But he never thought courting Genna would be so hard especially when the person he truly wanted to court was Genna's cousin, Lady Elsbeth, an acquaintance of him since childhood. And also, the more he investigate about the smuggling in Graywall, the more he realise that there's a traitor inside the castle. He has to find out who it is before it's too late.
Shadows of Valor reminded me of all the things I loved about the medieval era; the peaceful living in the countryside, the demure maidens with their flowing dresses, the valiant knights who were always ready to save a damsel in distress, the castles, the banquets and the awesome old-school sword fights.
Sir Calan was compassionate, kind and caring to people but becoming The Shadow taught him not to give his trust to anyone, easily. It made him cynical and always suspicious of others. On the otherhand, Lady Elsbeth was the total opposite. As Graywall's midwife and herbalist, she's always trusting because she believe in the goodness of other people. She loves to help the villager to the best of her ability.
Both of them were realistic and I love how they banter about their differences. They learned from each others strengths and weaknesses. It was beautiful to watch both of their transformation and personal growth. They truly balanced each other out.
Overall, it was an awesome read. The narration was engrossing, settings and dialogue was well-written, the characters were relatable and believable, and the story-line was amazing. I'd recommend it to everyone who likes all the things about medieval period and to those who wanted to have a medieval experience.