Title: Cloaked In Shadow by Ben Alderson
Publisher: OfTomes Publishing
Publication Date: December 5th, 2017
Rating: ★★★★ , 4/5 stars
Noteworthy: Gay MC, M/M romance, magic
Zacriah Trovirn is concerned with two things in life: hunting and dodging Petrer, the boy who broke his heart.
Heartbreak becomes a distant concern when Zacriah is taken to the Elven capital of Thessolina, where he is forced into King Dalior’s new legion of shapeshifters. But Zacriah isn’t a shapeshifter. In truth, he doesn’t know what he is.
Zacriah joins forces with new friends and they soon find themselves embroiled in a clash between the three Elven continents. With war looming on the horizon, Zacriah must learn to use his latent power to fight and protect those he loves before they are destroyed
Let’s start with what interested me from before I clicked “download” on Amazon– gay elves.
Need I say more? I picked this up because I’ve never read a fantasy with an LGBTQ+ romance or characters in it, and I was so excited yet nervous because I had very high expectations. Spoiler alert: It delivered.
The word-building and magic element was very well done. I was immediately pulled in from the first page, and I quickly related to the main character, Zacriah. The story moved at a pretty fast pace, and I was left turning pages in eager anticipation of the rest of the story. Prince Hadrian was a dream like no other, and I swooned so many times while reading. Throughout the book, I was reminded heavily of Throne of Glass. Hadrian was like Dorian, the competition was similar to the plot of the first ToG book, but it was all done in a good way.
However, I couldn’t get past the quickness of it all. The romance was very rushed, and we never got to see a buildup of emotions between the two characters. It was cute and fluffly, but it seemed made up of mostly looks and them being used to one another. I also wished we saw more calm/normal scenes. The book was action-packed and full of plot twists and turns, so it would have been nice to see Zacriah not in situations of high stress all the time.
Overall, it was a good and exciting book that I would highly recommend to fans of fantasy and Throne of Glass. I’m still not sure if I will continue on with the trilogy, as the ending didn’t leave me wanting more. But it was great to see more diversity in the fantasy genre, and I have a craving for more books like it.