Rating: 4 stars
After the events of the Lunar Eclipse, Tory and Darcy must learn to deal with the darkness which shadows their lives.
With a secret binding them to Darius and Orion, they must find a way to all work together for the greater good. But some things are easier said than done…
The fourth book in the Zodiac Academy series, Shadow Princess, is the darkest book in the series so far. It’s dark due to Darcy and Tory finding out about the secrets Darius and Orion have been keeping from others but also because of what power they’ve gained after the events of the Lunar Eclipse. All of this overshadows everything in this book because while Darcy and Tory discover their Orders, they also have to keep them secret or else their lives will be in danger. But of course, with the way these books in this series typically go, that’s all easier said than done as they begin to learn about the new power they’ve gained and work together with Darius and Orion to try and find out what’s going on.
There’s a lot with this book in this series that packs a punch in comparison to the ones I’ve read so far. As a reader, it steered me on to wanting to find out what was going to happen next. Especially with trying to keep what they now know a secret from everyone around them while trying to survive everyday life at the academy like nothing else was going on.
I enjoyed reading Shadow Princess because I was interested to see what else would happen with the twins and all of the Heirs. Like the previous two books in this series, we also get multiple points of view in this book, which I continue to appreciate since I feel like I’m really invested now in reading this series and seeing how it all turns out. And I find myself starting to like the Heirs a tiny bit more when I’m able to see parts of this book told from their point of view. I don’t know what it is about them, but they are such interesting characters and I feel like this story wouldn’t be quite as interesting for me to read without them.
I continue to love how magic gets brought into these books and seeing Darcy and Tory continue improving with their abilities. I especially loved one of the new characters who’s introduced to this series and how he helps the twins with being able to wield their Order forms without giving away what they truly are. There’s just something about the magic in this series that really interests me and makes me want to learn more about this world and the inhabitants of it.
What I will say about Shadow Princess though is that there are some things I didn’t particularly care for with it. Not enough for me to drop my rating because I was still engaged with the overall story and wanting to find out what happened. But enough for me to bring it up here at least. One of my criticisms of this book has to do with Tory and her actions throughout. I overall like her character through most of this series because she doesn’t put up with anyone’s crap and is strong despite what she’s gone through. But I felt like in this book, she just kept making one bad decision after another and wasn’t listening when other people (her sister Darcy included) were telling her “Hey, you need to not do this.” The best example that comes to mind for me is her messing around with the shadows when she’s not practicing control over them with Darcy, Orion, and Darius. Messing around with them to the point where she almost gets seriously hurt but then continues messing with them even after that happens. This annoyed me when reading this book because it almost felt like her character development was regressing a little, almost like she was being too headstrong.
Another criticism of this book that I have is the way it ends. The last couple chapters of the book were really sad and difficult to read, and I hated it. As I’ve already started reading the next book in this series Cursed Fates, so I know what happens next, I found these chapters made me feel almost emotional just because of how badly things ended in Shadow Princess in comparison to the other books in the series, which also had some dark endings too. But none of them made me quite as emotional as with this book. While I understood why things happened the way they did and what got us to this point, I didn’t like it because I wasn’t expecting it. I think I’m at a point where I’m hoping that things will turn out okay for everyone despite that I know there are still several books left in this series left to go for me to read. So I know the chances of any of these books having a happy ending is slim to none, I still find myself wishing things would go right for everyone at least once.
But despite Tory’s regressing character development and the way this book ended, Shadow Princess was still an enjoyable read for me and I’m excited to continue reading the rest of the books in this series to see what happens next.