Review: Kingdom of Shadows and Dust

From the publisher:

A voiceless captive of tradition, driven to defend her kingdom.

As the king’s only daughter, Ava has suffered the solitary isolation of a noble woman as long as she can remember. While she dreams of fighting alongside the armies of Ankara, she’s forced to hide her identity behind a veil.

It seems her prayers are answered when fate intervenes, allowing Ava to sneak away and join the battle. Yet the tides of war turn on her, leaving the young beauty defeated… her hopes shattered. Her only chance at salvation is Callan, a mysterious black wolf willing to risk everything by hiding her away among his kind.

But there are some dangers far more ominous than the snapping jaws of a wolf.

Ripped away from the brave Turnskins, Ava is imprisoned by the beguiling Shadow King who fills her head with promises of peace and a haze of passion. Forced to choose between family, the bond she shares with Callan, and the handsome king, Ava finds herself torn between duty and desire.

When sacrifice is required to save all she holds dear, will Ava accept the crushing demands of taking the crown? Or follow her heart to the forbidden touch she desperately craves?


Though some aspects of this book I found problematic (the trope used with the veiled women, and the trapped Princess being one of them) I really ended up enjoying this book.

The magic and lore of the story that is woven within the pages is far superior to the tropes used to develop characters and tension amongst Ava and her father and stepmother.

We dive in very briefly to childhood trauma, and childhood mistakes, that I would have loved to see be more fleshed out. Ava’s relationship with her half-brother Cassian is sweet and I enjoyed how fiercely they loved each other.

The story does have the love-triangle that some enjoy, however, I thought it was handled in the most realistic way. I have to admit, I was as torn as Ava at times, because we get more time spent on her relationship with the second man than we did on the first.

The world is fascinating, the magic is enthralling, Ava and the other characters are well written. The story as a whole was enjoyable to read and I found myself unable to put it down.

I give this a 3.5 out of 4 stars. I would have enjoyed more time with Ava and the Turnskins, and the ending felt very sudden. I’m hopeful for a sequel and more stories shared in this world.

book review

Jessica Means View All →

My professional background in biotechnology as a research chemist and as a veterinary technician has allowed me to have experienced two vastly different fields and for that I am thankful. In both careers, I have mentored, encouraged, and developed talent.

As a mother of two (a daughter and a son), I’m a self-proclaimed backyard chicken guru and someone who has “foster failed” nearly all the animals currently running the household. Oh, and I maintain a husband in my spare time.

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