Book Review: Awakening Shadows

Nerdy Book Box is a book box subscription service that supports Indie authors. In the December box, I received a copy of Awakening Shadows, Book 1 of the Navarre Chronicles by Sydney Hawthorn. Awakening Shadows is a dark(ish) fantasy that captures the reader and makes one forget they are reading entirely. 

The chapters shift between two main storylines: 

  1. Princess Joseline, on her eighteenth birthday, is attacked by followers of Aeron, the demon king. Yet the princess is rescued by members of The Order of Kynire sworn to protect her. Thrust into a world she thought merely childish fairytales, Joseline must learn to fight as well as control the power of the Goddess within her so she might save herself and her people from Aeron and his Shadow Beasts. Will Joseline be able to fulfill the prophecy of the promised princess? 
  2. Evalyn, a fae, has been enslaved mining obsidian for eighteen years. The dreaded pirate lord, Dax, who sealed her fate by bringing her to the island is her enemy – she dreams of revenge. However, Dax tells her he wants to protect her. Will Evalyn be able to withstand Dax’s charm, and does she want to? Will she escape and get her revenge? 

Woven within these storylines are:

  • Strong female characters
  • An enemies to lovers trope
  • Excellent world building 
  • A budding romance
  • Action and combat
  • White Aonani foxes 
  • Secret identities 
  • Magic

The first chapter was a bit slow for me, but after that, I devoured the book and I really am excited for the next book in the series. Hawthorn has created a beautiful fantasy world, and, as a reader, I am so grateful to have discovered it. Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

“I will not let the darkness consume me.”

To get your own copy of Awakening Shadows, click here

To get awesome indie books like Awakening Shadows, be sure to check out – for the time being, you can use my code UNICORN10 to save on your order!

Pictured is Awakening Shadows by Sydney Hawthorn, the NBB December box, and various items from the NBB box. Pastel color roses surround the items on a white background.

*Awakening Shadows does contain some language and suggestive situations. Though it is a YA dark fantasy, it may not be suitable for all young adults.

Published by Kayla E. Green

Kayla E. Green is a school librarian, speculative fiction author, and poet. When she isn’t writing, reading, or going on adventures with her husband, she loves singing loudly and off-key to KLove Radio, snuggling her dogs, and pretending she’s a unicorn. Her award-winning YA fantasy novella, Aivan: The One Truth, and her inspirational poetry collection, Metamorphosis, are now available through book retailers. Kayla also has stories and poems featured in various anthologies. Follow The Unicorn Writer's blog for book reviews, author interviews, writing advice, and more bookish fun!

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