Review: In Shadows We Fall by Devin Madson

Rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis

“You will die. Your children will die. The empire will burn.”

Empress Li is out of favour at court. Foreign-born and past her prime, she is to be set aside. But she won’t go quietly. With nothing left to lose, Li will do anything to stop Emperor Lan signing a secret alliance that could tear the empire apart. Yet when her life is threatened, old mistakes come back to haunt her and only a three-year-old boy can change the course of history.

With everything at stake, could an innocent child be the best assassin?

Review

Thanks to the author for an advanced reading copy of In Shadows We Fall in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this eARC did not influence my thoughts or opinions on the novella.

Devin Madson is an author I found via social media, especially through her time in Mark Lawrence’s SPFBO. We Ride the Storm (and its sequel that has been tabled for the time being due to some big pub news) has been on my radar since its original cover reveal, but with the way times are and with so many books to read, it continues to get pushed down the mountain. Luckily for me, In Shadows We Fall was the ability to see just how good the author’s chops were and to see if I should continue my pursuit.

Based on the cover alone, artwork by John Anthony Di Giovanni and design by Shawn King, this novella begs to be devoured. Good news is: the story inside is just as good, if not better. Madson has won me over as a fan with this beautifully written and completely enamoring introduction to her Vengeance trilogy. A perfect combination of political intrigue, familial love, and murder. What’s not to like?

The author does a phenomenal job of packing A TON into such a short story. At only 108 pages, it is an quick afternoon or pre-bedtime read that leaves you wanting more with a cliffhanger conclusion. Having said that, the time spent becoming fully engrossed in this gorgeous world Madson has built and walking alongside Empress Li in this trying time is well worth the price of admission. It is easy to see why the author has been touched by the major publishing fairy.

If novellas are your thing, don’t hesitate to pick this one up. And if you are looking for an introduction to Madson’s work, look no further. I, for one, cannot wait to read the rest of this series and beyond. I’ve heard nothing but great things.

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