Monday 15 May 2023

Book Review: Shadows of the Lost by Maxym M. Martineau (MM Fantasy)

Title: Shadows of the Lost (Guild of Night #1)
Author: Maxym M. Martineau
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: 6 June 2023
Pages: 312
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: MM Fantasy
Source: ARC via NetGalley

Once I was a Charmer, and the magical beasts of this world loved me. Now I'm something else. Something darker.

As a member of the Charmers Council, Gaige is able to form lasting bonds with the magical beasts of his world. At least, he used to be a Charmer...until he died and was brought back as one of the immortal assassins of Cruor. Now he's far more dangerous.

...and something beyond the shadows lies in wait, hungry to claim him for its own.

As leader of the assassins, all Kost can do is watch as Gaige struggles with his new life day by day. He wants nothing more than to ease Gaige's suffering--yet how can he when they both know he's the one responsible? There is nothing left but bitter memories and hopeless longing between them. Yet when Gaige is lost to the shadow realm, Kost is the only one with any chance of bringing him back: if they can learn to trust (and perhaps love) each other again.

Shadows of the Lost had a fascinating premise, which is what drew me to the book to begin with. The world of Charmers, beasts and the undead was an interesting one, and something I loved about this book was the end matter, which included a dictionary of the various magical beasts and a charmer colour quiz. Both Kost and Gaige held appeal as characters and as a couple, yet despite all these positives, somehow the book didn't quite come together for me and I was unable to get full invested, my mind constantly wandering as I read. It's hard to pinpoint exactly where the issue was -- maybe in the pacing -- but overall this was, for me at least, a book that had many good points and a lot of potential but didn't quite manage to become a cohesive work. As such, I am giving it three stars.

I received this book as a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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