My review cross-posted from Joyfully Reviewed: http://www.joyfullyreviewed.com/new-reviews/lord-of-shadows-by-alix-rickloff
Part Fey, part human, Lady Sabrina Douglas is Other and has never really known what it is to belong. The closest she’s gotten has been in the seven years since her father’s murder that she has spent cloistered among the Sisters of the High Danu. She finds contentment in using her powers to heal, but that calm is shattered when she heals a man who was discovered half-drowned. Daigh MacLir doesn’t know who he is or where he came from, but his body is a veritable map of scars that indicate a life not easily lived. As bits and pieces of his past begin to come back to Daigh, Sabrina finds herself drawn into a dangerous situation that makes her question her judgment in falling for Daigh. Will the truth of Daigh’s past reclaim him with a vengeance that will crush any chance he and Sabrina have of a future?
Murder and magic go hand-in-hand in Lord of Shadows, the second book in Alix Rickloff’s Heirs of Kilronan trilogy. Lord of Shadows picks up where the first book, Earl of Darkness, leaves off, so it’s probably best that the trilogy is read in order. It’s now Sabrina Douglas’s turn to be thrust into the middle of a good-versus-evil battle her brother and an evil Other started. I won’t detail the plot, as the twists and turns of Earl of Darkness and Lord of Shadows are what make the books interesting. Suffice it to say that the paranormal world of nineteenth century Ireland Ms. Rickloff has created is fascinating in its detail.
Daigh is a hero that is sure to capture readers’ interest. The torment he has survived tugged on my heartstrings and the way he strives to become a better man absolutely won me over. Ms. Rickloff created a winner of a hero with Daigh. Where Lord of Shadows primarily fell short was, for me, with its heroine. For the majority of the story, Sabrina seems to simply be along for the ride rather than a useful component to the overarching storyline of the Heirs of Kilronan trilogy. Perhaps Ms. Rickloff spoiled me with Cat, the heroine of Earl of Darkness, but I expected Sabrina to be unique. She isn’t, not particularly, which is a disappointment since many of the characters in the series are. But my biggest issue with Sabrina stemmed from her almost arbitrary worship of one of her brothers, Brendan, which was matched only by her distrust of her eldest brother, Aidan. Being that Ms. Rickloff made me fall in love with Aidan in Earl of Darkness (where he was the hero), Sabrina’s snotty attitude toward him was hard to swallow and only served to highlight her immaturity in other areas.
As I previously mentioned, the Heirs of Kilronan trilogy is best read in order, beginning with Earl of Darkness. Though I did enjoy Lord of Shadows, it does suffer from feeling like a bridge book. All the same, the advancement of the overall plot left me satisfied, Daigh was a wonderful hero, and Ms. Rickloff has me on tenterhooks for the final book, Heir of Danger.