Shadow's Hand

Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
391 Pages
Reviewed on 05/26/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite

The townspeople of Leiko face another raid after just recovering from one. For Kilo and Shenrae, peace appears quite far-fetched in the ruins in which they find themselves. As a Shadow, Kilo has reasons to believe his superior has defected to people disguising themselves as Shadows. If true, it would be devastating news to other Shadows who love and respect him. Kilo must dig deep to discover his superior's true intention and find a way to restore his people's glory. Shenrae is not yet a Shadow, but she hopes to become one and continue her late parents' legacy. Shadow's Hand by Noelle Nichols, a fantasy inspired by Japan's Edo era and the samurai, follows two protagonists who fight to hold on to the world they know as they embark on a perilous, adventure-packed, and intriguingly nuanced journey.

I enjoyed following the protagonists' journey in this vividly described historical, magical world as the story alternated between the viewpoints of its two protagonists. The theme of conflict is maintained throughout, surfacing in the characters' captivating mental battles and action-packed combat. For example, Kilo, who had sworn never to use the blade again, must confront his decision when he's forced to protect the people counting on him. Apart from conflict and combat, the book's major themes include honor, brotherhood, loss, betrayal, politics, morality, and family. Overall, Shadow's Hand by Noelle Nichols is a fantastic fantasy tale perfect for readers who enjoy culture-rich stories and books that combine combat and magical elements excellently. I did not want it to end. What a thrilling experience!