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Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite
Feeling entrapped in an old family estate of Arradan, Janet Skyy was always curious on what lies in the Valley of Shadow and beyond the old village of Dars. She longed for a journey to the outside world, but her father’s years of strong prohibition and his old age were the two things that stopped her from entertaining her wishes. However, her stagnated days seemed to end when she and her father, Leslye Skyy, found a hidden, ancient grave, together with a book with mysterious carvings. The mystery of the find was further intensified when Professor Rion – a trader – brought them something that eerily connected with the book, as if a piece of a puzzle found its way home.
Chapter one started slowly but it was beautifully written. It engaged me deeply with adequate details to introduce me to the setting and the main protagonist, Janet Skyy, as well as the other characters. Occasionally, the same slow pace is found in other parts of the story too but the great storytelling and intriguing plot more than made up for this small shortcoming. Janet is a well-developed protagonist, believable and memorable at the same time. It was easy to connect to her emotionally. Stacy Shofner Williams knew how to weave "Of Shadow and Ash" to the right climax with enticing mystery, clues and even scary elements of ghosts, nightmares as well as frightening creatures. As the story progressed, I became more curious about what conclusion the story would entail, and I wasn't disappointed. This book must not be overlooked by fantasy fans.