Cover Image: Curse of Shadows

Curse of Shadows

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Member Reviews

This one picks up right where Crown of Bones ended and holy heck I haven’t been this excited to read a sequel for a while! First of all, it’s EMBARRASSING how much I cried while reading this one, seriously.. umm excuse YOU @a.k.wilder for that. Anyways, tears aside, once again we have a book where the author goes above and beyond with the details to ensure that you understand the magic that’s happening in their world, and I’m HERE. FOR. IT. This back is jam picked with information, so get settled in for a long read cause you’re all about to LEARN, SON. I enjoyed the first book a lot, but I LOVED this one. LOVED. 

Magic, betrayals, fights, emotional rollercoaster, this book is a whole damn vibe and I don’t know why more people aren’t talking about it in all honesty. What are we all doing? Can we please collectively start spamming people with this book? The holidays are right around the corner and I’ve already got a copy of this ordered for 4 people (along with the first book)… they WILL like it. 

Thank you to Entangled Teen and NetGalley for the e-arc.
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Curse of Shadows picks up pretty quickly after the ending of Crown of Bones.  The gang are back in Baiseen and Marcus is coming to terms with his father choosing his father to be heir to the throne while they were away. 

Marcus is given a new task: collect the original Whistle Bones.  The survival of the realms depends on him successfully completing the task. 

The world building in this story is so rich.  Through their travels over Amassia, we are introduced to so many new characters, places and cultures.  It has very little massive information dumps, which is something I struggled with in the first one. 

Ash and Marcus also develop more in this book.  I found Marcus suuuper annoying in book 1 - very self centred and rude to Ash, who was supposed to be his best friend.  He gets more tolerable in this book.  Ash is strong willed and smart as usual.  Kaylin, our mysterious sailor, is back in action and his relationship with Ash is so lovely and mature for teenagers. 

I totally recommend you pick this up if you love adventure fantasy, magic, several points of view and found family! 

Thank you to Entangled Teen and the author for an advanced copy of this book!
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the free E-ARC in return for an honest review.

I really wanted to love this, but honestly it feels as though this sequel has a case of second-book syndrome. The first book was such a ride, but the characters I loved in book 1 felt completely different than in this sequel. It caused me to be disinterested in the book at times, which I found really sad because book one was so interesting! I really wanted to like this one, but sadly it wasn't it for me.
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The quest continues as a Bone gatherer must find bones, a journey recorder must deal with getting their memories back, and complicated relationsihps and secret. Ash is a journey recorder who has lost her memories but is gaining them back, she is also dealing with the fact that she is in love with Kayling, her swash buckling sailor who is hiding his own secrets and the fact that she has to hide their relationship while on her journey with Marcus her friend. Marcus is the Bone gatherer who must journey to find the bones before it’s too late, he’s also heavily crushing on his best friend Ash and is jealous of Kaylin. Kaylin is actually part of the sea kingdom and was sent to kill Marcus, Ash and their crew but has saved them instead and has not told Ash the truth of who he is but he does know one thing, he is in love with her and willing to do anything for her. This is the second book in the series and honestly, it went absolutely nowhere and dragged on, I found myself not caring at all about any of the characters or the plot besides the one about Ash and Kaylin and even then it was SUPER SUPER light on the romance between them, like 2 moments tops in a 400+ page book.  The story definitely had a lot of unanswered questions and while I absolutely loved the first one this one fell flat and sadly made me disinterested in it. The story didn’t feel like anything happened despite it being so long and I really didn’t care for Marcus at all. While the first book had a great moving plot and interesting characters, this one just kind of did nothing and really just had me wishing it was over. This one did not feel like a romance read at all more like two moments happen and the rest of the book is Marcus just pining over Ash while Ash and Kaylin act like adults in their relationship.Sadly this one missed the mark for me, and suffered the issue that many sequels do: moving plot, character development, and just growth overall.

 *Thanks Netgalley and Entangled Publishing, LLC, Entangled: Teen for sending me an arc in exchange for an honest review*
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I was excited to dive back into this world after the initial shock from the cliffhanger of the first book. It was such a thrilling book filled with humor, adventure, and plot twists. Who wouldn’t want to continue on?

Unfortunately, although I liked parts of the sequel I didn’t find myself having the exact same feeling as the first book. Things just felt a bit different. I will say that it could potentially be due to my mood since Fantasy hasn’t been my top genre lately.

The book is told from multiple point-of-views just like in the first. I always like seeing this and was surprised to see a couple more point-of-views as well. It made for interesting developments and added to the overall plot to help have everything come together. I did like some characters more than others. Marcus was a good one and had a lot going on when it came to his family as well as learning what his new role meant. Ash also had more going on for her, mostly at the end though which was kind of disappointing especially not knowing if there will be another book. I haven’t heard anything so I can’t confirm. It does have a cliffhanger so who knows!

There were a lot of plot twists happening as the book progressed. I felt like some were more dramatic than others and that could be due to one happening to a character that hasn’t been present until this book and even then he didn’t have much page time. It makes it hard to connect and feel something when I don’t know much about him.

I feel like this book lacked the humor the first one had. Kaylin was very charming and had a very swoon-worthy persona. It could be due to wanting more from his relationship with Ash but there wasn’t much development there either.

Overall, this was a decent sequel. I didn’t love it but I liked aspects of it. I am curious to see if there is going to be another book because of the ending. Only time will tell!
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I liked this. I liked seeing the progression of the characters and experiencing everything with them again.
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Thank you to Entangled Publishing for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Real note: 3.75 
The second book of this series and I won't lie, I had high expectations for this book since the first was great, but it doesn't meet my expectations. I like the evolution of the character we know from the original novel. Kaylin is definitely my favorite and the way he cares about Ash is really sweet. His character definitely stole the show from Marcus. The first book ends with a big revelation and we begin this second like nothing happens. The more you read, the more questions you have, but not all of them are answered in the end. There were some new characters that weren't an add-on. Do I love HEA? Yes. If you want a fully happy ending, perhaps that book isn't for you.
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4.5 stars

Curse of Shadows picks up a few weeks after the end of Crown of Bones. Marcus and his group are back in Baiseen, where they are working on rebuilding the capital city after the attack of Tann. Marcus is still reeling from the discovery that his brother is now the heir to the throne, but he is soon given a new purpose and tasked with the mission to gather all the original Whistle Bones before Tann can do so. The survival of all the realms depends on it.

As in the first book, there are chapters from different characters, namely Marcus, Ash, and Kaylin, but there are also new perspectives added, which allowed us to see the bigger picture at times, and also to get to know some characters more in-depth. One of the new perspectives was particularly intriguing to me, as I considered them as one of the “villains” of the story even though their goal is not to be evil and they actually have good intentions. While I understand that this character will probably have a bigger role to play in the next book, I am still wondering what exactly they are responsible for, and how much they will impact our heroes’ quest.

The world-building also expands in this book, as Marcus and his group have to travel all around Amassia to collect the whistle bones. We can see different people with different cultures and ways, and I like how the author also weaved mythology, prophecies, and history of the realms in this book, without making it too heavy on the details, or having massive info-dumps. The magic system with the savant being able to raise phantoms is still very interesting to me. I love it, and I loved seeing how Marcus and his phantom struggled because Der’al has such a feisty and strong personality.

I liked that there was more than one villain to face in this sequel, and I liked Atikis, but I find it sad that we had no backstory at all and knew nothing about him before he first appeared in this book. Clearly, he is a renowned high savant, known and feared by all, but we never heard his name before he arrived in Baiseen. He is an intriguing character, but the threat would have felt more real I think if we’d known about him and his reputation before.

The rest of the characters are as well developed as in the first book. They have depth and personality, and I liked following them around the realms. Ash is still strong-willed, driven, and very loyal to her friends, but also to her beliefs and her intuitions. She struggles as she has memory issues after the battle happening at the end of Crown of Bones, and she feels like she is missing a vital part of herself. Still, she learns to trust herself more in this book, and we can see how Marcus comes to realize that she deserves more recognition for all her knowledge and her hard work. 

Marcus is becoming more likable too in this book since he is a little less self-centered. In the first book, it was all about him controlling his phantom so he could fulfill his destiny. Now, he realizes that there is more to his life than his status and the recognition of his people. He also has no choice but to see that there are much bigger problems coming their way than him losing his status as an heir.

Kaylin remained my favorite character, alongside Ash. He is still this roguish, mysterious, and very attractive sailor, and I love their dynamic and their complicity. They bring a hint of sweet romance to the series, but as in the first book, romance is not the main focus at all. They know their mission, and they know they can’t put their feelings first if it means endangering their quest, but they are also very “grown-up” about their relationship. They don’t hide their feelings for each other, they have mature conversations and can make good choices about their relationship and their mission.

One of my criticisms of the first book was that the bigger picture or main plot didn’t become clear until the last part of the book. The plot was more straightforward and clearer in this book. From the very beginning, we know what Marcus’ mission will be, and who are their main enemies. There is action, fighting scenes, betrayal, and abductions, a hint of sweet romance, and the last part of the book broke my heart a little bit. After the 70% mark, I was desperate to know how things would unfurl for Ash, Kaylin, and Marcus, and I kept reading “just one more chapter” to see how it would end.  

I think this is an underrated fantasy series that deserves to be known. I loved both books, and I am already looking forward to the third book, even though I know it’s going to be a long wait.
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Thank you for the opportunity to read this book; however, I have gotten to the 50% mark and have decided not to continue reading it. I find Marcus extremely annoying and Ash unbelievably naive. And having the very necessary and important conversation between Ash and Kaylin just continuing being put off is beyond frustrating. I tried putting the book aside for a while with the hope I would come back to it, but I know that's not going to happen. Sorry!
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An incredible sequel! I loved Crown of Bones so I was both excited and nervous for the second book, Curse of Shadows. It did not disappoint! I loved the adventurous plots of these books and the fast pacing of the story. The characters are well written, their arcs in this book were fun and stressful to read about, and Ash is still my favorite character. Her pov’s were my favorite chapters!
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I could not put this down!!! I got this thru NetGalley and did not know it was the second book, bought the first book read it in one day! Then this book being longer took me about a week with work and life but o man can book three come out already !?!! No spoilers from me but ash and kaylin!!! I need book three.. Buy this series it is sooooo goood! I will be buying this one too and rereading this
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I thought I was reading a first in a series but it's actually the second book in the series. So my usual style of reviewing won't work for this one. This is a high energy action packed story that just hits all the right fantasy notes.  I will happily go back and read the first book to make more sense of the second book. I hope there are more books in this series. Until next time Happy Reading!
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Big thank you NetGalley and to the publisher for the chance to review this book pre-release. As one of my most anticipated reads, I was very happy to be thrust back into the world of Crown of Bones. The story is told from multiple POV's but the way that AK Wilder writes them, they don't overlap in a confusing sense. It's easy to keep each perscpective in order, and it was a genuine pleasure to read each page. I can't believe this book isn't talked about more, but I will make it my mission to get this book the love it deserves. A more formal review will be available on my IG/TikTok and Goodreads.
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Tremendously action packed, a perfect follow-on to Crown of Bones, and DEFINITELY a fantasy series that needs a lot more love and attention than it's currently getting in our fantasy-obsessed booktok world. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the free advanced copy.
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I really enjoyed this book. I hope the author continues to write more books in the future. I can't wait to see what the author releases in the future.
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A bone chilling wonder of an epic adventure that spans the world and back again Curse of Shadows is that rare book that pulls you in and keeps you at the edge of your seat as you wait to see which of our characters will make it home, who is truly good and who makes you cry at their betrayal. 

While our main characters Ash, Marcus, and Kaylan are the obvious stars of this tale the beautiful world building and lush imagery, and unique cultures are a character in themselves, each new location has a feel and sense all its own, with beauty and horrors all their own that will have our trio watching their backs at every turn. 

With multiple points of view that provide seamless storytelling and a flow that's so natural and easy to read it keeps you glued to the pages waiting to see which of the bones will be found and what will happen if they are. After a few chapters I didn't even need the distinction of which character we were following, they each have a voice that's all their own and makes for a truly enjoyable reading experience. 

All of that being said this is a big book, but in the best sense of the way, there's so much to take in and enjoy, so many moments of holding your breath to see who makes it out of a fight, and so many tears as we say hello and goodbye in so many different ways the people we meet along the way.

The magic system is described in a mesmerizing way I've never seen before with the phantoms being another star of this epic adventure.

Even with the few little clues that were woven through the book I was surprised at the ending, where and how everyone ended up, it may just be me but it felt right. While this is truly a book of adventure and epic quests it's also the story of found family, love and loss, life and death.

Thank you to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for providing an advance copy of this book, I have voluntarily read and reviewed it.
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AK Wilder does it again with Curse of Shadows. What an intense and amazing journey!

This book was written so well I could visualize the amazing world AK Wilder created as if I were there!
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This is book 2 in the Amassia Series.  These books should be read in order as there is a continuous story throughout.  I definitely recommend reading in order to enjoy the entirety of this series.

I am loving this series so much!!!!!  This story takes off right where the events of the first book needed and the surprises that A. K. Wilder had in store were absolutely mind blowing.  The worldbuilding that went into this story is absolutely wonderful.  I loved the complexity and the originality of it.  Our main characters are thrown back into the mix and have quests that need to be fulfilled...NO....... I will not spoil anything because I believe that you will enjoy this more going in blind.  The plot twists had me reeling and the surprises had my heart breaking and I definitely did not see them coming.  I loved the multiple POV'S that gave me an introspective that I truly enjoyed.  I felt like I was able to get to know the characters a bit more in this portion of the story.  Trust me when I say you need to read this book!  I am loving it so much.  Im not sure if this will be a trilogy or more but I am here for it all.  This amazing book gets 5 stars but if I could, I would give it more.

Thank you to the publisher, Entangled Publishing and the author for the gifted copy.  All opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.
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When I saw the ARC of this book available on Netgalley… I’ve never sent a request so fast. This book is one of my most anticipated releases for this year and, oh man, it was everything I could have hoped for. If I could rate these books higher than five stars, I most definitely would. Pre-ordered because I need this one on my shelf. I’m just so excited about this book and so grateful that it lived up to all my hopes and expectations. 

Curse of Shadows picks up right where we left off in the first book, Crown of Bones. Our reluctant heroes are back in Baiseen after their harrowing journey and adventures of Aku. The Bone Throwers have tasked Marcus with a new quest, and the group must embark to find the original whistle bones and save all of Amassia from the Next Great Dying. 

We have a few new perspectives added that the story is being told from. I really liked this choice that the author made as it allowed us to get to know other characters better. The relationships are blossoming and give you all the feels. All of the characters have such depth and relatability. One person I wish I could have gotten to know more is the villain, Atikis. I feel like there is more to his back story than we are told and it would have made him, as a threat, feel more real. 

The lore and world-building are so rich and intricate. From prophecies, to magic systems, to political kingdoms, this series has it all. I love everything about this story world and I’m very pleased that we get so much detail about it. The scenes are remarkably painted with vivid detail. 

All the perilous adventures that we loved in the first book continue in this second installment. And there are so many more surprises that are yet to come and to be revealed along the way. If you love a book that has multiple plots intertwining, then this is a fantasy series for you. The author has put some series work into developing the plot arcs and it really shines through. 

The tension that builds throughout this second book is tantalizing and kept me turning the pages. And, amazingly, it’s not over yet, which means I have even more to look forward to with these characters I love and the thrilling adventures they endure. I feel like we’ve hit the precipice in this story and I can’t wait for a legendary conclusion to the saga. I’m not sure if this is going to be a trilogy or more, but either way, I’m permanently along for the ride. 

And OH EM GEE the last section of this book is shattering! I was reeling trying to process the emotional intensity of the events and reveals. I can’t wait for the next one. This story just gets better and better as the layers are piled on and unfolded. This is an epic second book and you don’t want to miss it. So many times the second books can be disappointing, but not this one. If you are an avid young adult (or even adult) fantasy reader and you haven’t picked up this series yet, go get it immediately. It’s amazing and you’ll love it as much as I do. 

I think this is one of the most underrated fantasy series right now. Seriously, where is the hype for this masterpiece? I, for one, will be sharing my love for it with anyone who will listen. Entangled, my message to you, step it up on the marketing for these books, sheesh. And to my fellow readers who love this also, let’s get the word out there on all the socials. I just really can’t believe it's not more popular because it checks all the boxes for expert narrative crafting and enjoyable reading experience. Also, kudos to the cover designer(s) because wow are they gorgeous and eye-catching.
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This book was AMAZING!

The writing is beautiful, the characters feel like real people and the plot defies description. I mean check out this synopsis:

Amassia teeters on the brink of the next Great Dying.

The second sun has returned as our Bone Throwers foresaw--casting the nine realms into war.

My name is Ash, and I fell in the battle for Baiseen. But I’m awake now, slowly putting the pieces back together.

My Heir has lost his throne.

My sailor is gone.

And there is an emptiness inside me I can’t explain.

Amid the chaos, someone must collect the original twelve whistle bones from all corners of the world. Marcus is named to lead the cause, but with his volatile phantom, he’ll need diplomacy as much as his sword. And we are not the only ones to seek the bones.

Yet succeed we must.

Because if we don’t, it will be death to all…
It gives me goosebumps! And, even better, the book lives up to the hype.

Curse of Shadows picks up right where Crown of Bones leaves off. Some pretty big things happened at the end of CoB, so I was a little disappointed to find out there were some secrets that managed to get hidden again (no spoilers in case you haven't read the first book). I'm not sure what I expected, but I struggled with the first part of the book. To me, it felt a little slow (the last part of CoB was so tense and fast moving) and I didn't think I was going to be able to get back in to the story. Luckily, it picks up about a third of the way through, and by the time I was halfway done, I couldn't put it down.

True to form, Wilder writes another crazy rollercoaster of a twisted book. There are so many secrets and plots and sub-plots that I am not kidding when I say it's impossible to know who to trust. I do love that just when I thought I knew where things were heading, everything blows up and it turns out I didn't know half of what I thought I did. The last chapter was mind blowing!

I did not love that so much of the plot(s) revolve around poor communication. I find that trope frustrating, but I will say that Wilder makes it work here. I am also on the fence about all the POVs here. It makes the story richer and you get to see more of the action rather than just getting told what happened, but in some places it slowed the plot down and drug things out. And this was a massive book, not just in length but in information. Even so, I can't wait to reread it. And I am already wishing for the next book.

Seriously, if you haven't read this series yet, you need to!

I received an ARC from Netgalley, but all opinions are freely given.
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