Chasing Shadows by Ashley Townsend (Rising Shadows #2)

Chasing Shadows Ashley Townsend

“Chasing Shadows” by Ashley Townsend

5 out of 5 stars.

Goodreads Summary:

Would you choose to entwine your fate with a hero of the past, even if it meant altering the future?
The murder of an ancient king spurs Sarah Matthews to travel back in time, putting her life in jeopardy as she races against the clock to solve a thousand-year-old mystery and pick up the pieces of her star-crossed romance. Her return to Serimone reveals that the kingdom is in upheaval and that the elusive Cadius has sinister plans for the throne. Unable to right the empire alone, Sarah reunites with Will, the love she left behind and the man beneath the Shadow’s hood. As they work together amidst lavish balls and explore the secret depths of the castle, they discover that the conspiracy runs deeper than they ever imagined. And when a counterfeit Shadow claims the life of someone close to her after a personal threat from Cadius himself, Sarah discovers that the price of questioning the new regime is a life.


Guilt-ridden and alone, she discovers comfort in her newfound friendship with Damien, a charming Spaniard who joins Sarah in her personal crusade for justice. But as she draws closer to his dark past and to the faceless killer in their midst, she realizes that the severed threads of time and the mystery surrounding Serimone Castle are unraveling rapidly, weaving new tapestries of devastation.


In this thrilling and deceptive sequel to “Rising Shadows,” Sarah is forced into harm’s way countless times as she races to solve the puzzle before it is too late and Serimone becomes nothing more than a faded memory of the past. . . And before Sarah becomes a permanent fixture in history.

 It has been a while since I’ve gotten to finish a book in a couple of days rather than a month because I tend to procrastinate doing my school work, which then causes me to have even less time to read. Despite my procrastination with school, I made time to read a much anticipated read in my house. “Chasing Shadows” by Ashley Townsend has been long awaited by me because I got to be a beta reader for it last year, and I am so excited that I finally got to see the finished product. And boy, was it delightful!

I had loved “Rising Shadows” by Ashley Townsend when it came out two years ago because it was such a fun story with loveable characters and mystery around every corner. Plus, you can’t really go wrong with the legend of Robin Hood and time-travel. In “Chasing Shadows,” however, as a reader you get to see a grittier side to the world Ashley has created, and it was really good because it showed how she had matured as an author; I still adore “Rising Shadows” because it was the book that got me hooked to this trilogy, but “Chasing Shadows” was the story where the author explored more of the good and bad sides of everyone. I can’t really talk about the plot because it will give too much away, but let’s just say that it was very good and well put together!

I have this terrible habit of loving secondary characters; I do not know what it is, but I tend to gravitate towards the characters who have very little time to shine in book series. In the case of “Chasing Shadows” I felt that Ms. Townsend did a good job of helping the back characters to have a few more scenes, but I wanted more. Karen and Seth were my favorite characters in this trilogy from the start, and I wish that some of the story could have been told from their point of view (it’s third person, past tense and transitions from Sarah’s, Will’s, and the occasionally extra’s, point of views) or at least for them to play a larger role in the story. Karen and Seth were in multiple scenes, but I still wanted more because I just like them as characters! I also liked another back character who was introduced in this book. He was Will’s new assistant at the livery, and I was intrigued by him. I am hoping that he will play a little bit of a larger role in the last book because I want to see where his character goes, and I also want to see a bit more of Seth or Karen.

Another new character added to this trilogy was Damien. He was a really interesting character that added a new dynamic to the world Ashley Townsend created in this book. I can tell that a lot of people would like his character and he is a good balance in this trilogy from Will because he is more cheeky and charming rather than heroic and broody; I would say that Damien is a teensy bit like Hook (from Once Upon A Time) in the sense that they have a broken past and to mask the pain of it, they put on the facade of a charmer. He was a great character and it will be interesting to see where Ashley goes with in the final installment of the “Rising Shadows Trilogy”.

Overall, “Chasing Shadows” by Ashley Townsend was a great book that had tons of twists and turns, and a surprising body count; let’s just say that no one was really safe in this book. And that end! I kinda predicted it, but it was still great and set up the next book to be quite dramatic! This was an impressive second book that did not fall prey to the “Second Book Syndrome” that so many authors experience! Bravo!

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Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne

Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne book

“Midnight Thief” by Livia Blackburne

4 out of 5 stars.

Kyra has always been a scraper. Growing up on the streets of Forge has taught her how to live on very little and to take what she can whenever she has the chance. She lives the life of a thief, but it is better than the life she lived as a child, being hungry, cold, and a target for anyone bigger than her. Kyra eventually figured out how to use her small size to her advantage by climbing high to places no one else in the city can reach. She uses her talent to earn coin for food and shelter, and a very prominent person comes to Kyra, offering her a deal that is impossible for her to refuse.

Life seems to be going all right for Kyra until fierce creatures begin to attack Forge. As chaos erupts in the city and Kyra must align herself with people she would not trust in normal circumstances. With her world crumbling down around her, Kyra must decide who she will trust and which master she will obey. Can she save her family and herself, or is everyone in Forge doomed because of what she has done?

A little bit ago me and my sisters had heard that Barnes and Noble was doing a book panel for authors that we had heard of, but had not had the chance to read yet. We ended up going and we had SO much fun; it was our first time going to a book panel/signing and it was a super fun experience. Livia Blackburne was one of the authors present and I really liked her because she seemed like a very cool but down to earth person. After the whole book discussion was over, people were invited to come and get their books signed by the authors, and my sister went up to a couple of them to chat for a minute. I kinda trailed behind my sister, wondering if I should buy Livia’s book and have it signed. I probably looked like an idiot because I circled the different authors’ table with my sister while contemplating whether I should buy a copy of “Midnight Thief.” I really wanted to, but once we got to Livia’s side of the table, I totally chickened out and walked right past her.

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Apparently I need to work on my people skills when in public! Despite my lacking social skills, though, I eventually got up the courage to go and pick out a book and circle back around to have it signed by Livia. I am very happy that I did because I now have a signed copy of a book that I really like! That day ended up being a super cool experience and I now have a little souvenir to remind me of it. Okay, on to the actual book.

I was surprised by how much I rooted for Kyra. There are not a lot of heroines that I connect with in books and so I do not care that much about what happens in their story, but Kyra was one of the exceptions to the majority; she was one of the girls that I wanted to see succeed by beating her own inner demons. Kyra was a girl with a troubled past and a harsher personality, but I loved her struggle between doing what was right and choosing what was easy. Kyra had to make a bunch of really tough choices and she made a lot of mistakes along the way, but in the end I felt like she was determined to do what was right for everyone around her rather than just for herself. *Claps hands* Livia Blackburne, thank you for creating a heroine with actual character growth! I am definitely looking forward to seeing where Kyra goes and how Livia will resolve all of the issues that were present at the end of the “Midnight Thief.”

 Tristam was one of the main guy characters in “Midnight Thief,” and I was surprised by how much I liked him. Was I in love with the character? No, not yet, but I liked him a lot and  he was a really interesting and solid character. “Midnight Thief” alternated between Tristam’s and Kyra’s perspectives, and it was nice to see the guy’s point of view as well as the girl’s; I wish that there had been a hair more of Tristam’s point of view added into this book so I could get to know him better, but I still ended up liking him. He was a great male character who had a good presence, and I am looking forward to getting to know him more in the next book.

James was a very interesting secondary character who almost seemed like a “main” character because of how involved he was in the plot; he wasn’t always present, but he played an important role in Kyra’s life. From the summary of the book you know he is the leader of the Assassins Guild and that he is a very skilled assassin. I was greatly intrigued by his character and am curious as to where he came from, and who he was before the story of “Midnight Thief” began. There’s a novella about his life before this book called “Poison Study” and I got the kindle version, so eventually I will read it. James was very layered and mysterious and I wanted to pick him apart so I could understand more about him; it will be interesting to see what Livia does to this character in the next book.

I was not expecting to like “Midnight Thief” as much as I did. I knew I would enjoy it, but since I’m not the hugest high fantasy fan, I was going in with few expectations. I was beyond pleasantly surprised, and I am definitely going to finish this series. Livia Blackburne is a great writer and I look forward to seeing works from her in the future. Love it!

New Book Trailer Released!

Ashley Townsend

I’m super excited to announce that not only have I launched an official website for “Chasing Shadows,” which I mentioned in my previous post, but the book trailers for both “Chasing Shadows” and it’s adorable predecessor “Rising Shadows” just came out. *Squeal of delight* I’d love for you to view, like, share, subscribe, or leave a comment to support the series. ^_^

You can find the trailers on YouTube via Double Decker Books, on the official “Chasing Shadows” launch page, and all over Goodreads! As always, don’t forget to add the books on Goodreads and find them on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 

Thanks, all, for your support of this series and my endeavors to reach as many people as possible with characters that I believe God is going to use to encourage and touch the lives of many. These characters have already changed my life! And if you have any stories about…

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