Daughter of Shades, by Sylvia Mercedes

khaleesimod93's review

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adventurous mysterious slow-paced



I will give this author some major props for creativity. This is definitely a unique story. I really like Alyeth. Though she is super strong willed and stubborn. There is so much more to her than meets the eye. I'm super curious to what Hollis is hiding. Obviously Hollis was there in the forest the night the Witch was killed and the baby was hidden. Was Aleyth that baby? So many answers. The story itself isn't as constructed and easy to follow as I would like it to be. It gets super confusing there in the middle. Then it switches gears and goes propelling forward. The transitions were just not there. But overall, I did enjoy the story. And I'm beyond curious to see wtf is going on with Ayleth. And what hollis is so devastated for. I need some answers. The Witchwood is weird as heck. Terryn has some secrets of his own. So many questions. So on to the next book I go. I just hope it's more concise and flows better than this one.

nishagujaran28's review

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adventurous dark mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No


ebgracie77's review

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Solid story with intriguing characters. Kept me hooked but I have so many questions! Interesting world building.

zondo22's review

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Great world building, interesting characters, and plenty of room to develop back stories. I can’t wait for the next instalment.

koops333's review

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I really enjoyed this one!


In this story we have our h, Ayleth, a young shade bound apprentice working for a government entity called the Holy Order. Being shade bound basically means you have a conscious spirit inside of you that can give you strength and power if you learn to harness it, or can complete take over and destroy your body if you let it free. (But it really depends on what kind of shade you get though. Some are content to just experience a life outside of their realm)

The book starts with Ayleth trying to impress upon her mentor that she is ready to take on the responsibility of going on her own hunts, and starting a new chapter in her life. While Ayleth and those in her Order are Shade bound- it is their duty to eliminate other people infested with shades, and return freed Shades back to their realm.

When Ayleth realizes that her mentor might be keeping things from her- as well as holding her back- she strikes out on her own to meet the famed Golden Prince to get her new assignment and start an adventure of her own.

I really liked the characters, world building, and magic systems. Oh, and the banter/competition between Terryn and Ayleth was pretty hilarious.
Spoiler heres hoping for an enemy to lovers arc


rdimeo2021's review

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This books sounds interesting but is definitely written for a young audience. The plot was easy to predict and there was little to no character development.

emiling256's review

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Daughter of Shades by Sylvia Mercedes

I thoroughly enjoyed Daughter just as much as its predecessor Song of Shadows. Ms. Mercedes expands on her amazing magic-building and world-building all while introducing us to great new characters. I love Ayleth, she's fierce and smart but also timid and ignorant all at the same time. She's really brought to life on the pages of this book. I love the complexities of the magic and the ease with which Ms. Mercedes weaves it into the fabric of the world and the story. The author managed to weave suspense, awe, excitement and humor all into one book. Watching Ayleth and Larantha hunt the shade taken was a wild ride and I didn't want to put the book down. I truly love the writing and I can't wait to delve further into Ayleth's past and see where her journey takes her. Ayleth makes the list as a Kick-butt-heroine.

The prequel book was SO good I can't wait for this one!!

mrs_vickers_19's review

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I can only assume I was being a wee bit harsh on my first reading of Daughter of Shades.

This was a good book! A captivating story with interesting characters and a teasing subplot that I hope developed more in the last two books.

Both Ayleth and Terryn where much more enjoyable (and I really enjoyed both to begin with!) the second time around, I just really really loved reading this story again and don’t know why I only gave it 3 stars the first time around!


Yes I’m giving this book 3 stars, but I’m actually really pleased with it.

The beginning was slow and the action didn’t start to pick up until over halfway through, but then it got interesting.

I’m loving the Witchwood, a dark malevolent forest where shades/shade-taken live, along with evil witches who fought in a devastating war against the chosen king. They’re trapped in this forest by the great barrier, which was made and created by the Red Hoods, or the Order of Evandier, guardians of sorts.

Ayleth, our main heroine is a young, untested veneatrix, one of the Order of Evandier. She’s restless, stuck in a backwater station, and wants to break free, to be more! Cut to running away from ‘home’ and into a dangerous new reality we meet Terryn, tall, stoic dude whose been groomed for an all important role in guarding the great barrier. However Ayleth has just stepped right into his path, challenging him for the role he’s been waiting for for whoever knows how long.

From there we venture into the Witchwood and it’s a delightful turn to the story. I really enjoyed this part. I want more!

To sum up, the 400 pages of this book don’t feel that long. I feel as if I’ve just finished the first half of the novel and I’m ready to dive into the rest of the adventure. Push through the first half and you’ll be rewarded with an intriguing adventure that’s spread out before you!

caradniehoff's review

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Overall, I thought this book had a very unique concept that I enjoyed. The beginning was very drawn out I felt and then the last half of the book was constant action without any answers. I think there needed to be a little more explanation of who the main character really is. We got some clues but it seems like the next book will hold all of the answers hopefully.

natater's review

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Hm, this one has me a bit torn. I almost dropped it after chapter 9 because I felt slow. We were 9 chapters in and hadn’t even gotten to anything in the summary of the book on Goodreads. The plot hadn’t started yet. However, the next chapter after that was fast paced and flowed quickly so I ended up finishing the book easily enough.

The characters don’t have strong personalities in this book. I’m inclined to believe that they will perhaps in the next book because this whole book felt a prologue. It answered no questions and basically only introduced characters and the premise. I don’t know what the purpose of this book is and that’s not a good thing.

Also, because I don’t know the personality of MC, I didn’t feel like her reasons for leaving home for this contest were justified. We don’t know how she was raised or what kind of person she is, we can infer that she was raised strictly, but her tendency to go against the rules and do things without permission would go against that notion of strictness. So she’s rebellious? But why? What in her life happened to make her distrust the one who raised her? Yes we readers know Hollis is lying, but MC shouldn’t know since her memory is being tampered with. In her mind, Hollis is the only person who cares about her. It just doesn’t convince me of her motives and I don’t like having to work so hard to justify a character’s actions. That’s the job of the writer IMO.

Idk it wasn’t a strong first book for me. Again, we didn’t answer any questions at all in this book so I am curious. However, there’s 7 books in this series and that is a commitment I’m not sure I can give at this point :/ I might be risking a reading block if I continue