GAME OF THRONES meets GRACELING in a new young adult fantasy by bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis. Told in alternating male and female perspectives, THE SHADOW SOUL has been hailed as "an amazing start to a new series that is going to have people of all ages wanting so much more." (Happy Tails & Tales Reviews)
When Jinji's home is destroyed, she is left with nowhere to run and no one to run to—until she meets Rhen, a prince chasing rumors that foreign enemies have landed on his shores. Masquerading as a boy, Jinji joins Rhen with vengeance in her heart. But traveling together doesn't mean trusting one another, and both are keeping a deep secret—magic. Jinji can weave the elements to create master illusions and Rhen can pull burning flames into his flesh.
But while they struggle to hide the truth, a shadow lurks in the night. An ancient evil has reawakened, and unbeknownst to them, these two unlikely companions hold the key to its defeat. Because their meeting was not coincidence—it was fate. And their story has played out before, in a long forgotten time, an age of myth that is about to be reborn…
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*
What was supposed to be a happy day, turned out quite differently. By an unknown force Jinji village gets destroyed and she is the only one left standing. An ancient evil has awakened and is on a path of destruction. It seems that Jinji is the only one aware of its existence.
Now she is not quite like everyone else. Jinji can see spirits, not ghost, but energy forms like water, earth, wind, fire and she can also bend them. Not Avatar style, but rather use them to create illusions. Where this power came from she does not know, nor has she ever encountered someone like herself.
When Jinji meets Rhen she has disguised herself to look like her brother using her magic. Rhen is a prince, who has given himself the duty to protect his father's kingdom by becoming a spy. He was actually looking for the enemy, when he stumbled upon Jinji and the destroyed village. Believing they are now after the same people, Rhen takes Jinji along with him.
Jinji not knowing what else to do, her home destroyed, she follows the prince. They are off on an adventure to protecting the kingdom and taking revenge for her village. This journey will take them through the kingdom and over the sea. All very exiting for Jinji.
It is obvious that war might be coming and certainly in the beginning there is this distrust between Rhen and Jinji. Though slowly Rhen opens up and reveals some secrets of his own. He too has some sort of magic. Fire calls to him and he can absorb it, though not wield it. Because of this Jinji knows she was meant to meet Rhen, that he would help her find this ancient evil and help her destroy it. Though Rhen has opened up, he knows Jinji is still keeping secrets from him.
Now the journey is of course filled with danger and it seems it will be up to Rhen and Jinji to save the kingdom and its people.
Rhen seemed like a pretty okay guy. He was always very focused on protecting the kingdom and the people he cares about. Though he was also a bit rash and did not seem to think things through very much, leading them a couple of times in very big trouble.
A couple of times I kept thinking that Rhen was pretty inconsiderate. He was all about protecting Jinji and going after the threat of the kingdom, who he thinks also killed Jinji's tribe. So I get Rhen's reasoning, but he never asked Jinji if this was what she wanted, he just dragged her along. The man was on a mission and could not be swayed from it. Though Jinji never protested, this enemy Rhen was after, was not the one Jin needed to take her revenge on.
So that definitely complicated things a bit and sometimes made me think that the only reason Jinji stayed with Rhen, was because she would not know what to do on her own. Thinking that if she helped him, he would help her.
While Rhen had his earthly focus, Jinji was always thinking more about the bigger ancient evil. Of course she did not want war, but in the long run other things would become more dangerous. It was very interesting to see the contrast between these two characters, one city boy and one native girl. Jinji was lead by the spirits around her and nature, helping her make decisions, guiding her in her fight with evil.
Kaitlyn Davis has written an interesting story about magic, friendship, mystery and betrayal. I still have a lot of questions when it comes to the magic but I think this was done on purpose. The story plot line involving Rhen and the possible war was very predictable, so I started focusing more on the what was going on between him and Jinji.
I will be reading the second book, because I must know what will happen between Jin and Rhen. Not necessarily romantically, but even just to their friendship. It is all left very open ended and I am way too curious to let that go.
She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in Writing Seminars. She's been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to finally share her work with the world. She currently lives in New York City and dreams of having a cockapoo puppy of her own.