Prince of Shadows by Nancy Gideon
Held hostage until she chooses a mate, Kendra Terriot must play a careful courtship game when choosing among the dangerous Shifter heirs. As a prince in the House of Terriot, Cale knows he can be the leader his clan needs with Kendra at his side, but first he must learn to become the kind of man she desires. In a treacherous race for the crown, where weakness means death, the only way to win her trust could mean surrendering his throne. But the only way to win her heart could mean letting her go…
This book was a tough one. I’ve actually re-written this review four times because I want to be fair.
The first two chapters are choppy and violent. Just a really strong and negative first impression of some sort of MMA fighter’s twisted fantasy. Then you get the rest of the book, which is cohesive, multi-dimensional and most importantly more plot than posture.
The book centers on the Terriot Clan of Nevada. I was able to ascertain that they are wolf shifters but not much more than that. The book never establishes a back story for the shifter powers and abilities.
The Terriots are ruled by a ruthlessly violent patriarch who nurtures dissension among his sons to the point that he has twelve sons by 12 different women. The patriot’s name is Bram which immediately conjures a comparison with Bram, the patriarch of the wolves in The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs. But that is where the similarities end because the styles of these books are as different as oil and water.
Cale and Kendra grew up together in the pack but are tragically split apart by a horrific act of violence perpetrated by Bram and witnessed by both lovers as children. Kendra is smuggled out of the Terriot compound and raised in semi-seclusion for most of her life. Now in her late 20’s Kendra is brought back to the Terriot compound to participate in a competition to choose Bram’s next successor and their mate. The sons are made to compete against one another in a series of battles and events that leave several brothers dead or wounded. Kendra is selected to be the new mate of the competition’s winner.
Before the book is finished the story will touch on rape, incest, child abuse, drug addition, spousal abuse, fratricide, patricide, murder, and clan warfare. You will not learn why it took so long to get Kendra back to the complex. You won’t even begin to understand how she couldn’t have a a clue that Silas was married and a had a child. There are many more questions but they are also spoilers so I don’t want to go into detail.
The writing in this story is weak in several places. The hyphen has been overused to the point of exhaustion, two or more at a time in an attempt to create non-existent words. Why not take the time to think of a better word? And, bless their hearts, the lead characters in this novel just aren’t that smart. Kendra is brave, naive and immature. Cale is malicious, arrogant and emotionally conflicted. In other words, this is very much a soap opera type of drama with MMA fighting, villains galore, huge betrayal and ok sex scenes. At its core, Prince of Shadows is a story about true love and its power to redeem and save those it touches.
This novel hits e-stands on May 27th.