Wednesday, April 29, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Empire of Shadows: The House of Crimson & Clover Volume V

Published: 4/21/15


Dive into the secret, ancient, powerful world of two New Orleans families, the Deschanels and the Sullivans… 

Empire of Shadows is Volume 5 in the House of Crimson & Clover Series. Not a standalone story, Empire's plot makes the most sense only after having read the prior volumes. 

Two dynasties clash for power. Only one empire can emerge. 

In a time now legend, a sacred vow united the Farværdig and the Tuatha Dé Danann. One race born of fire, the other risen from nature. Together, they enjoyed centuries of peace and prosperity, under the protective blanket of this hallowed oath. 

But when war came to the doorstep of the Tuatha, the Farværdig turned their backs. Expelled from their lands, those Tuatha who were not extinguished went into hiding, later re-emerging in secret as the Quinlans. The broken vow took its toll on the Farværdig, dividing the race into two factions: those willing to fall to heel of new restrictive laws, and rebels determined to restore the peaceful values of their kind. 

In the midst of years of strife that follows, a Prophecy emerged, promising hope. Unite the races once more, and right the ancient wrong. 

As the shadows of age and myth are exposed, the Deschanels find themselves deeply enmeshed in this war. Their bloodline and futures closely intertwined with both races, each member of the family must uncover their own vital role in fulfilling the Prophecy or risk decimation. 

The House of Crimson and Clover Series: 
Volume 1: The Illusions of Eventide 
Volume 2: Bound 
Volume 3: Midnight Dynasty 
Volume 4: Asunder 
Volume 5: Empire of Shadows 

House of Crimson & Clover Series Prequels 
The Storm and the Darkness 

La Famille Lagniappes (Character Bonus Stories): 
Flourish: The Story of Anne Fontaine 
Shame: The Story of Jonathan St. Andrews 

House of Crimson & Clover Lagniappes (Series Bonus Stories): 
St. Charles at Dusk: The Story of Oz and Adrienne 
Surrender (included in the All Our Love anthology by Novel Grounds) 
Fire & Ice (included in the From the Ashes anthology by Dauntless Indies) 
Dark Blessing (included in the Face the Music anthology by Dauntless Indies) 

And many more to come... 

My Review:

There is nothing about this story that I don't love!

There are certain stories and characters that stay with you for so long they feel like family.  People you wish you knew, people who you have laughed with, cried with, and want good things for.  This is how I feel about the Deschanel clan.  I feel like I have had them in my life forever.

This was the continuation of Ana's story and the development of so many of the other characters.  We see so many of the same awesome characters and some new ones.  And, although I admit that Nicolas is my favorite, And OMG, Nicolas has a really cool development in this one!  But I love the entire clan.  

So much happens in this book, and I don't want to give any of it away.  But I have to say, I cried hard in a few places and even had to put the book down for a few days after one scene.  Brutal and beautiful are the best ways to describe this series.  It is a very intense and rather long book, but it reads fast and keeps you completely enthralled.

Thank you Sarah Cradit for taking me on this journey again.  What a incredible read!  


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