“Chasing Shadows” by Ashley Townsend
5 out of 5 stars.
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!