Review: Shadow's Claim by Kresley Cole

Tuesday, January 8

Title:  Shadow's Claim*
Author: Kresley Cole
Series: The Dacians #1
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Pocket Books
Format: E-book & Paperback
Date/Year:  November 2012
Reviewed by: Andrea

*This book was borrowed from the reviewer's local library

Summary from the publisher:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole introduces The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist, a new paranormal series following the royal bloodline of Dacia, a vampire kingdom hidden within the Lore of the Immortals After Dark.

Shadow's Claim features Prince Trehan, a ruthless master assassin who will do anything to possess Bettina, his beautiful sorceress mate, even compete for her hand in a blood-sport tournament—to the death.

He won't be denied...

Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people, striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself—until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore's most fearsome villains.

She's bound to another...

Desperate to earn her guardians' approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she's lost her heart to another. Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure.

A battle for her body and soul...

Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina's heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium's worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away—or stoke Bettina's own desires to a fever-pitch...

My Musings:

If I had to pick my favorite author of all time it would be Kresley Cole.  I love the Immortals After Dark series, from which Shadow’s Claim is spin off, and have been looking forward to this book for months.

Shadow’s Claim is the first book of The DaciansThe Dacians are the mythical vampires of Dacia.  They are so secretive and protective of their home that nobody in the Lore knows for sure if they even exist.  Trehan is the sword of Dacia, that basically means that he is the prince of the assassin line of the royal family.  He is a cold, detached killer going through the motions of life but feeling nothing.  It’s a bit of a cliche in the paranormal romance genre but it works well in this book.

Bettina is the half-demon, half-sorceress princess in the Demonarchy of Abbadon, the home of the death demons.  Bettina is next in line to the throne of the Demonarchy.  She is broken and disheartened after being attacked and almost killed.  The most devastating part of that attack is that they also stole her power.  I was sympathetic to her and liked her most of the time, though some of her actions and decisions did make me want to strangle her.

What I love so much about Kresley Cole’s books is that they have a really strong paranormal plot as well a steamy romance brewing at the same time.  It’s what I expect with her books and I wasn’t let down with Shadow’s Claim.  I loved the storyline of an immortal tournament open to all members of the Lore.  Such a wide variety of paranormal creatures battling for for the right to rule Abbadon and marry Bettina was exciting.  I also loved the guest appearances from familiar favorites like Lothaire & Elizabeth, Sabine and my favorite Valkyrie, Nix.

The romance between Trehan and Bettina was good.  I really liked Trehan and was pulling for him to be the winner of the tournament.  The guy sacrificed everything to be with Bettina, how can anyone not adore him!? The one-sided love Bettina had going with Caspion got old quickly.  I can understand loyalty, but Bettina was blinded by it and that led to a lot of my frustration with her.  As much as she annoyed me, it did make for an interesting romance.  My only major issue with the book was Bettina.  I kept thinking she would eventually take responsibility for her actions and make a genuine gesture proving herself worthy of Trehan.  She never did enough to win me over.  I ended the book loving Trehan and only tolerating Bettina.

Despite that, it’s a great book and this series is definitely worth reading.  I recommend it to readers who like a steamy romance with a strong paranormal element.


Overall: 4.25
Sensuality level: 3.25

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