Series: Heroes and Flame, Blood and Myst #1
Published by: Self Published on May 19, 2012
Genre: Adventure, Fantasy
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A reluctant prince determined to be a better man than his father, the king, has ever been, Jeodyn spent his last year alone in the wild studying the banned art of manipulating the Myst, an act of rebellion but more in remembrance of the old ways. Now, everything he learned and everything he's ever known about himself will be tested, when he's called to do what his father should but never will: defend their family.
Noirlok, Lord of the ShadowLands and Father of the Night's rebellion, knows no man will stand between him and his revenge. He'll either have the love he defeated the heavens and waited an age of the world to reclaim, or he'll destroy the House responsible. Since overcoming a mortal death and taking charge of the dark legion known as Shadorym, he has vowed to see the Blood of Vallyn pay for taking that love, and his life, from him.
When Jeodyn's sister, Jynn, disappears, the fight to defend what they all have at stake begins.
A Prince from the Shadows by J. Curtis Mace
A Prince from the Shadows tells the story of a world where evil people — thieves, rapists, and murderers — literally become one with shadow. They lose their humanity, and even their physicality and become Shadorym. When one woman — a princess — gets seduced and taken away by the ruler of these Shadorym, her brother and heir to the throne — Jeodyn — sets out to rescue her. But when he finds her, she is already starting to become lost to the shadows, her form fading and eyes darkening. Can he bring her back to the light, destroy the ShadowLord, and save his kingdom from destruction?
The story was a bit confusing at the beginning. The author often talked about “the darkness” and “the Myst,” but it wasn’t clearly explained what those things were. To be fair, the main character Jeodyn didn’t quite know what the darkness/shadow was either (and we do find out about it later). But I would have liked a bit more background information on the Myst (which seemed to be some kind of magic) and the world itself.
The first ~75 pages did feel a little slow at times. There was a lot of “meet and greet” around the kingdom, then when Jynn disappeared, Jeodyn embarks on his journey to rescue her. A lot of time is spent describing his travels to the ShadowLands, but not much actually happens (I loved the scenes with the “Lady of the Valley” though!). But once he actually reached the ShadowLands, the pace picked up a lot and there were several epic, intense battles, which were pretty awesome!
I WANT A HORSE LIKE SHILOH! At one point in the story, Jeodyn finds a beautiful white horse named Shiloh. Shiloh is gorgeous, basically has infinite endurance, and is super smart! He’s the kind of horse who just has an amazing sense of direction and seems to be able to understand his rider’s thoughts and wishes (like where he wants to go). He actually kind of reminds me of Shadowfax from Lord of the Rings. Do want!
My favourite part about the book was the writing style. The author creates some beautiful descriptions and imagery, especially when describing scenery or intense emotions. Here’s one of my favourite quotes:
He watched dawn wake in the eastern sky. It came in a spectacle of grey and blue and silver, bringing the world slowly out of its sleeping gloom. As the sun rose, it showed a vast expanse of new land all around. The way ahead descended gradually eastward, rising and falling over a sea of green littered with large, grey stones. To the south stood more of the odd trees, and to the north across the river, he saw nothing much but empty land.
I had others as well but they kind of contain spoilers so I won’t include them.
One thing I really loved was Jeodyn’s relationship with his friends. The relationship was a great example of true loyalty and camaraderie. During the battles, you really got the sense that these guys would die protecting Jeodyn and his sister. The whole thing very much felt like a “three knights against the world” kind of thing. Jeodyn and his two best friends have to take on an entire army of bad guys, and their leader. But I like how despite the hardships, they’re still happily cracking jokes and poking fun at each other.
I do wish there was a bit more romance in the book. Jynn had her romance with Noirlok, but I wasn’t really into it. Noirlok was an evil psycho and I was mad at Jynn for falling for him. Jeodyn, on the other hand, had this AWESOME romance with a character called Dawnia. Unfortunately we only got a fleeting glimpse of it, but that one glimpse was AWESOME! I was literally like “Give me more, give me more!” I really hope this romance continues and plays a bigger part in the next book in the series (note to author: please, please, please!). The part that was included in the book was so beautifully written, I’m just dying to read more! It’s also such a sweet, modest romance, since it’s between the prince and someone of a much lower standing.
Overall I enjoyed the book. As I said, the beginning did feel a bit slow. I think during that time I would have preferred to read less about Jeodyn’s journey (since it wasn’t that eventful), and read more about Jynn’s experience in the ShadowLands. I quite enjoyed her scenes there and would have liked to read more about her ‘transformation’ and deterioration into the shadows. We read a lot about her coming back to the light near the end, but not much about her falling into the darkness initially.
This is definitely something worth reading if you’re into fantasy, family, duty, and friendship. There are some very clear family and good vs. evil themes. I’m curious to see what will happen in the second book! This series shows promise and I’m dying to know what happens with Jynn’s baby.. child of a psycho shadow lord — the possibilities are endless! Big thanks to J. Curtis Mace for giving me a copy of this book to review.