Cover Image: The Eternal Shadow

The Eternal Shadow

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This is an entertaining Fantasy.

The story draws you in with well developed and varying characters.

Unfortunately the story is let down by the ending, leaving you on a cliff hanger to encourage purchasing the final story in the trilogy.

Was this review helpful?

Before I get into my positives and negatives, I would like to ask a question: is there a book that comes before this one? The reason I ask is because there are CONSTANT references to things that happened before this book took place, so I have to assume there is a story before this one. If not, there should have been. More than once, I wished I was reading that story instead of this one--and not just for context. The constant back-and-forth between "do you remember when this and this happened" and "the here and now" took me out of the story every time.

Let's start with the positives, as I believe this book should receive its due credit. I've divided them into categories: 1) Color: A Black female main character, a black family, shown in a positive light. They were supportive of each other and loved each other, and were willing to die for each other, if need be. They bestowed good lessons on their children and supported each other's dreams. It was so wholesome. I really loved their interactions. 2) Believable friendships: The friendships between both Cassia and Lucas, as well as the rest of the characters, was very believable and, in many cases, vital to the plot. I believed in their mission and really enjoyed how much they cared about each other. 3) Every character had great chemistry with the other, even the villains and heroes. The dialogue between each of the characters in the first half of the book was both witty and entertaining. I feared for the lives in some moments and loved their interactions at other times. 4) Lin-Jun. He was my favorite character. He was the only consistent character in the entire book, and he wasn't involved in the convoluted sub-plot. Like him, I felt secondary embarrassment for them. 5) The book had interesting characters, to-die-for friendships, and an engaging plot. 6) Lochlan. He was the saving grace of this book--just not enough for me to want to read what comes next. 7) Lucas. The heart of everything. 8) Cassia's healing abilities. They were my favorite thing about her and said a lot about her character. She couldn't stand to see others in pain. She was easy to root for.

The negatives should not take away from the positives. The book is pretty original, and I enjoyed about 50% of it. I don't know what happened with the second part of the book, but the split between the two halves is so jarring, and the later content so convoluted and lacking, that I struggled to finish the story at all. ***The most egregious part of the book (getting into spoilers, so avoid this part if you don't want to know) was the forced marriage between the two main characters. Their reasons for getting married were so stupid and unnecessary. They already felt a great deal for each other, so WHY did this contrived plot point exist? It felt rushed and forced, like when Cassia was kidnapped and given to King Idis. Yeah, that's a thing that happened. One bright spot was that she was rescued before he could rape her. Why am I telling you this? Because the book made you believe it was going to happen to such a degree that I want to spare you some anguish. I won't even get into the sire bond, because I feel dumber for having read a book that featured it. Having them get married and then IMMEDIATELY using MAGIC as the reason for why they were so desperate to have sex with each other (like that wasn't already happening, albeit in a more subtle way THE ENTIRE BOOK) was beyond absurd. The whole second half of the book was solely focused on the two main characters having sex. The plot completely dissolved. I kept forgetting what their mission was because of how much emphasis was put on the "forbidden" consummation of their marriage.

When the big, scary confrontation came, I had to remind myself what was going on--I was that lost. Rosheen, I believe was her name, Lucas and Lochlan's mother, was the worst character in the story. I kept waiting for her to die. She was such a brat to everyone, and unfair to her oldest son, for (since I have no context going into this story) no reason at all. Was she not the one who married the "true villain" of this story, King Idis? Did she not have a child with him? At least she had some control of her life. That's more than I can say for Cassia or Calla or Lochlan. Cassia was barely allowed to make any decisions, which I found very odd. She felt like a prisoner. I'm counting this as a positive and a negative: the "this isn't a first person narrative, but it is. We'll just get around that by putting the character's name at the top so you will think it's a third person narrative." It wasn't as annoying as the last Twilight book, which tried a similar tactic, but I don't think it was necessary. The characters were all very distinctive. I think most readers could figure out whose mind they were in without the headings. I enjoyed the book for what it was: good concept, bad execution.

Was this review helpful?

This was a pretty solid sequel. It was a bit more fast paced than the first but I do wish that this book had taken the time to continue building the world.

Was this review helpful?

"The Eternal Shadow" by Shameez Patel Papathanasiou takes readers on a thrilling adventure filled with supernatural abilities, intense enemies-to-lovers dynamics, steamy sexual tension, and a mysterious dark supervillain. This book has all the ingredients for an addictive romantasy series that fans of authors like SJM and Laura Thalassa will devour.

The main characters, Cassia and Prince Lochlan, are loveable and charismatic, driving the heart of the story with their complex relationship and captivating chemistry. Their journey takes them to a new realm where the inhabitants live in fear of an eternal shadow that preys on them. As they face the choice between confronting a tyrannical king or battling the shadow, the stakes escalate, keeping readers on the edge of their seats.

Patel Papathanasiou's writing style is engaging, with excellent banter between the characters that adds depth and humor to the narrative. The book offers a perfect blend of action, romance, and supernatural elements, ensuring that there is never a dull moment.

While the story is filled with thrilling twists and turns, it is worth noting that there are some secondary characters who may feel irrelevant and detract from the central plot. However, this minor flaw does not overshadow the overall enjoyment of the book.

"The Eternal Shadow" is a captivating and action-packed sequel that builds upon the foundations laid in the previous book, "The Last Feather." It reunites readers with beloved characters while introducing new ones, expanding the universe and leaving room for further exploration. The author masterfully balances the development of existing relationships with the introduction of fresh challenges, ensuring that readers remain invested in the outcome.

Patel Papathanasiou's storytelling prowess shines through in this installment, as she weaves a tale of danger, self-discovery, and sacrifices. The cliffhanger ending will undoubtedly leave readers yearning for the next installment, eagerly anticipating what twists and turns lie ahead.

In conclusion, "The Eternal Shadow" is a captivating addition to the Selene trilogy, delivering a mix of romance, supernatural elements, and thrilling adventure. Shameez Patel Papathanasiou proves once again that she is a skilled storyteller, keeping readers engaged with an intriguing plot, compelling characters, and a universe ripe with potential. Fans of fantastical romance will be delighted by this book and eagerly await the conclusion of the trilogy.

Was this review helpful?

thank you to netgalley for the advanced reading copy of the eternal shadow this was wonderful and i ordered it for my store.

Was this review helpful?

I loved this book. Very well written and most of it very easy to follow, but I did find that there were a few points that, if you did not read it for a while, became difficult to follow. Great story- building. Looking forward to anything else from Papathanasiou

Was this review helpful?

This book has a really interesting magic system. The writing is easy to read, and I really like that the book is written in past tense. The characters’ abilities, and what’s allowed and not allowed, was a little bit difficult to keep track of. Overall, this wasn’t the most memorable book, but I enjoyed it. Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC!

Was this review helpful?

This book is a whirlwind of adventure. Supernatural abilities? Check. Enemies to lovers? Check. Steamy sexual tension? Check. And a mystical dark supervillain? Check. This book has all the makings of a new romantasy series I would 100% devour! The main characters are loveable and charismatic, but there are a lot of secondary characters that are irrelevant and distract from the juicy plot. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys SJM, Laura thalassa, and supernatural/fantasy romance books.

Only feedback I would give this book is that there is not enough world building. If there was more world building and a slower introduction to the characters (I think there are a bit too many characters to be honest) then the book would flow much better.

Was this review helpful?

Sadly, I've DNF'd after many genuine tries as, unfortunately, this did not grip me as I'd hoped it would. I found it difficult to connect to the characters in general as well as the story, perhaps due to the exposition and pacing, particularly in the first part. The main character was simply not for me, nor was the romance. However, the overall concept of the various worlds and powers was creative, with a strong poc female lead as a positive drawing card, so it's definitely something that can be enjoyed by the right audience..

Was this review helpful?

I found The Last Feather is a bit too slow but this one was a fast paced and action packed story that kept me reading and turning pages.
I was glad to catch up with Cassia and the twists and events of this story are well done and entertaining.
An excellent read, recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher for this arc, all opinions are mine

Was this review helpful?

Write Up | Fantasy (ARC)

📱 Eternal Shadow by Shameez Patel Papathanasiou

"I'll always catch you."

I'm not going to say too much about the plot of this action packed sequel because I want you all to just enjoy the ride.

The banter is as good as ever🥰, the ick in some parts is real🤢, Calla stole my heart (I am obsessed with her)😍 and the brotherly "love" is golden🤣.

In short you HAVE to read it! And if you haven't read The Last Feather yet, get started there and then come back for book two in the Selene trilogy (coming soon 👀).

I can't believe it's only a trilogy because there is still so much to explore in this universe.

So you have all your favourite characters returning and we get to meet some new ones. Due to a string of events, some of our TLF characters find themselves in a new realm, Vineas, with a new monster to fight...

What? how? who?? You have to read it to find out.

I can't wait for us to discuss this more when it comes out, but until then, thank you NetGalley and Flame Tree Press for this incredible opportunity. I can't wait to pick up my physical copy in store and revisit this world.

Was this review helpful?

Shameez Patel Papathanasiou has done it once again, in her captivating book "The Eternal Shadow" she reunites Cassia and Luke. Only this time, an unexpected smaller version has been taken across the lines for her own safety, Now with her own her own feathered necklace, Cass is no longer just responsible for herself. To make matters worse, she also has just said "I DO" to the last person she would have ever expected.

All he while, Cass, Luke's mom and their friends are trying to find out what evil shadow is stealing the magic from the Firsts.

It's a race for time to save Cass from the Shadow Creatures, To save Luke from himself and the creature he hates the most, For Cassia to protect the last feather from falling,, For her true love to try and save her.
But is Cassia who everyone thinks she truly is?

 Shameez Patel Papathanasiou will leave you screaming at the end!!!
I literally yelled "AWH, YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!"
Now I have to wait for book 3!


WELL DONE!! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽


Thank you, NetGalley \ Shameez Patel Papathanasiou\Flame Tree Press\ For this OUTSTANDING eARC in advance for my honest review. My opinion is of my own volition.


Was this review helpful?

It's been months since Cassia returned from Selend and Calla is well. She uses her healing magic on Earth and is taken by the King of the Firsts for it is not allowed. Lochlan saves her from the king and then the whole group flees to the Vineas realm where they have allies. But a shadowy being threatens the realm. They must eliminate this new threat for their allies to help them face the king and they're running out of time.

The writing as always is inviting and engaging making you feel like you've never left this world, which has grown bigger in this installment. It is so interesting to see more of the Firsts and their treatment of the Reborns will infuriate you. Also, the new realm is engrossing as is the new threat. The narrative is quite immersive with wording, that in its cleverness, pinpoints the exact emotion or imagery to further the story and embed it into our memorable reading experience.

Cassia is a poster child for kindness, determination and doing what is right. Lucas and his 'merry band" are just as determined. Squad goals in how much they care and watch out for each other. Lochlan remains a smirk-worthy fave, a misunderstood royal bad boy if you will. I am so happy this installment gave us the exquisite gift of a Lochlan POV, yay! It is so fun to see his inner thoughts. And his and Cassia's sizzlefest. Also, the unbelievable situation they are put in where the author's humor shines even more. The author does a remarkable job interchanging between POVs for the continuation of the story, furthering the plot and our love of the characters.

I really like the book's stance on prejudice, duty and honor and it is a beacon of hope in humanity. Heartwrenching, impressive storytelling. I gasped, smiled, clapped, laughed, read faster in anticipation of seeing what would happen next, even teared up. A more than deserving sequel that is surely a prelude to an explosive finale.

Was this review helpful?

This series is my favorite cozy fantasy comfort read. When I sit down with these books and a cup of coffee/tea, I feel at peace. I laugh. I swoon. I go on an adventure in another realm.

I love all the characters. Especially Lochlan (hence, the swoon). I didn't think I could ever come to like Rosheen, but by the end of this book... She's okay, I guess. 😂 I love Lucas and his relationship with Cassia - they are true best friends and it's heartwarming. Calla is also adorable; her relationships with all the above are sweet and endearing.

For me, this series is a 5⭐ read. They are simple, yes... But there is so much beauty in that simplicity. This book, as well as it's predecessor, The Last Feather, feels like being wrapped in a warm blanket next to a cozy fire.

Thank you to NetGalley and Flame Tree Press for the ARC. 💕

Was this review helpful?

Firstly, thank you so so much to Shameez for sending me an eARC of TES. I'm so grateful to have received an early copy.

This book follows on from Cassia, who left the Selene Realm with a cure for her sister, Calla. With her powers growing, she feels even more connected to the realm where her best friend, Lucas, is a part of.
Cassia continues to use her magic, but what she didn't know was that this wasn’t allowed - this soon leads to an abduction by the king.
Lochlan escapes with Cassia, but they need to flee Selene to escape the king and find allies elsewhere.

In another realm... But something dark and terrifying is waiting for them. Waiting for Cassia. A dark, consuming shadow.

This was so brilliant! The characters have matured (in many ways 👀) and the story is so endearing and captivating. Perfect for those that love a little spice and danger in their fantasy world.

Was this review helpful?

After returning to her realm, Cassia continues to use the magic she’d discovered in Selene. Little did she know, that wasn’t allowed and because of it, she’s abducted by the king. Luckily, Prince Lochlan is still living in the castle pretending to be under the king’s command. After Lochlan frees Cassia, they all need to flee Selene to escape the king and find allies elsewhere.

But in this new realm, all the inhabitants are afraid of the dark where a shadow is lurking, feeding upon them.

With nowhere else to go, they have to choose, either they face the king or this eternal shadow.

Taking the phenomenal story world from the first book and expanding it, @shameezwrites manages what very few authors have successfully pulled off. Creating a secondary world equally if not more captivating than the first. This installment is as thrilling and captivating as the first, and I was completely and utterly consumed by it. (My husband was laughing at my constant sighing and wishing book 3 would magically appear on my shelf.) Book 2 also brings us a bit more spice and steam with several blossoming relationships amongst the characters. An addictive grumpy-sunshine trope will have you loving this found family vs blood family dynamic.

This book also deals with a few intense themes like loyalty, trust, loss, grief, abduction, attempted sexual assault - so make sure you check all the trigger warnings.

This author really has such a phenomenal voice and talent and I would love to see her get the hype her books deserve. She is truly a force to be reckoned with.

Was this review helpful?

“I’ll defeat death to be with you. I’ll fight fate. But there is no way you result in my end when you’re the only reason I know what it feels like to be alive.”

After that line, do I even need to say anything else to get you to add The Eternal Shadow to your TBR if it does not already feature? It's book 2 in the Selene Trilogy and I was lucky enough to get an ARC from @netgalley, @flametreepress and @shameezwrites before it releases on 11 April. (I'm convinced this is my birthday present as it's one of my most anticipated reads of the year and releases the day before my birthday so thank you again Shameez)

After returning to her realm, Cassia continues to use the magic she’d discovered in Selene. Little did she know, that wasn’t allowed and because of it, she’s abducted by the king. Luckily, Prince Lochlan is still living in the castle pretending to be under the king’s command. After Lochlan frees Cassia, they all need to flee Selene to escape the king and find allies elsewhere.

But in this new realm, all the inhabitants are afraid of the dark where a shadow is lurking, feeding upon them.

With nowhere else to go, they have to choose, either they face the king or this eternal shadow.

This story features beautiful world building, emotions and imagery, and the pace rapidly builds to a thrilling end that has you desperately craving book 3. You grow to love the group even more as they face new challenges, and Shameez handles these relationships so well that you often have intense reactions to certain scenes (I certainly did) There was such a delicate balance between the need to save Selene and to face the Shadow yet Shameez introduces light moments at just the right time to make you love them all, just that bit more.

I'm partial to sisters in a story and I love how well Cassia and Calla's bond is explored

And of course.. Lochlan. I didn't think that I could love him more than after The Last Feather, but I was wrong. He is (insert chef's kiss here) just perfect.


Was this review helpful?

The sequel to The last feather, eternal shadow had me gripped from the start. It felt almost as if I had fell through a portal and entered Selene. It had the right amount of humor and romance while keeping me at the edge of my seat. A whole different realm came to life as we explored enormous character growth and got to know Calla a lot better. Unpredictable and fast moving rhe eternal shadow does not disappoint .

Was this review helpful?

Five stars! Five stars! Five stars! What a showing from Shameez Patel Papathanasiou. A sequel to The Last Feather, this book dives back into the adventures of Cassia and Luke taking us further along on their journey with nail-biting new obstacles. I could not put this book down! Absolute brilliance from Shameez! Bring on Book 3!

Was this review helpful?

The second book is even better than the first. I can't wait for the conclusion of the trilogy. Shameez is an excellent writer with great characters and immersive world-building.

Was this review helpful?