Thursday, August 16, 2012

Review: The Shadow Cats by Rae Carson

The Shadow Cats (Fire and Thorns #0.5)
By Rae Carson
Published: July 17, 2012
Publisher: Greenwillow Books (HarperCollins)
eBook, 54 pages

Once a century, a person is chosen for greatness. And it was not Alodia

Alodia is the crown princess of the realm. The sister who knows how to rule, and the one who is constantly reminded that she has not been marked for a grand destiny. But Alodia has plans, and she will be the greatest queen her people have ever known. So she travels--with her hopeless, na├»ve, chosen sister--to a distant part of their land, to begin to secure her supporters. This region needs its princesses, for it is plagued with a curse. The crops don't grow, the spring doesn't arrive, and a fierce jaguar stalks the shadows, leaving only empty homes splashed with blood behind. If Alodia can save them, no one will be able to deny her strength and her sovereignty.

But what she discovers could change the fate of her kingdom, if not her world. And it will most certainly change her opinion of her younger sister.

 
"The Shadow Cats" is a prequel to the riveting Fire and Thorns trilogy: Book One, The Girl of Fire and Thorns; Book Two, The Crown of Embers; and Book Three, The Bitter Kingdom.-- Goodreads

3 Stars

Review
The Girl of Fire and Thorns ended on such an exciting note, so when I heard The Shadow Cats was to be released, I instantly made this a must-read. Rae Carson has done a splendid job of world-building in The Girl of Fire and Thorns, incorporating Spanish and Catholic influences into a fantasy world and she has continued the expansion in the prequel as well.

The Shadow Cats expands on the strained relationship between Elisa and Alodia that is brushed on The Girl of Fire and Thorns. The tension between the two is explained, as well as the surprising amount of emotion that Alodia shows when Elisa leaves their home to another land to be queen in The Girl of Fire and Thorns

The intensity between the girls is one that is thought-provoking. It can be seen that Alodia is the more responsible of the two, and she knows that. Because of this, Alodia resents Elisa for her naive and gluttonous outlook on life. Elisa receives all of the attention because she is the bearer of the godstone, while Alodia has to work for the attention she receives. I enjoyed seeing how each sister foiled each other, which is emphasized throughout The Shadow Cats.

There were parts of the novella that made me feel that the condensed novella was too short. During the action scenes, the descriptions, dialogue, pretty much everything was rushed and finished off quickly. Disappointment is an understatement of my reaction when I reached the final page of The Shadow Cats. Although there are hints of Elisa and Alodia working together in future books, I just felt let down. There should have been more development on how Alodia's opinion of Elisa changed exactly. 

Even though The Shadow Cats was somewhat of a letdown, I really enjoyed diving back into the world of Fire and Thorns. I cannot deny the thrill of re-entering the world of danger and character maturation that occurs in The Shadow Cats. The prospect of seeing Elisa and Alodia together again in The Crown of Embers is definitely one of my many reasons to get my hands on it as soon as possible. The Shadow Cats is a great companion novella to the epic The Girl of Fire and Thorns that I would recommend for all Fire and Thorn lovers.



Purchase this eBook: Amazon (Kindle)/ Barnes&Nobles (Nook)

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