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Historical Fiction Review: Shadows of Valor by Elsie Park

Shadows of Valor by Elsie Park

review request from the author

Synopsis from Goodreads
On the surface, Graywall is content and booming. Lord Shaufton, who presides over the city, is a fine ruler. The poor are well-cared for, the area is popular, and morale is high—but within Graywall’s roots, something dark is stirring. This darkness threatens to overpower the once-peaceful town, until a mysterious figure appears: The Shadow.

As much a figure of fear to the unruly as legend to the innocent, The Shadow is an enforcer of justice and aid to the King. Due to an outrageous export tax set by King Edward, smuggling has tainted the kingdom, so The Shadow is sent to hunt the smugglers down. Contrary to legend, The Shadow is simply a man known as Sir Calan who, although talented and just, struggles to keep his dark thoughts of revenge from becoming ruthless action. 

Due to sheer coincidence, The Shadow learns of a deadly plot against Lord Shaufton on a journey to Graywall. Now, he must enter a pseudo courtship with Lord Shaufton’s daughter under his original guise of Sir Calan, all while old emotions are stirred by the lovely Elsbeth, Lord Shaufton’s niece. Elsbeth, it seems, is the only woman who can heal his troubled soul, but she has a story of her own. What transpires is a glorious tale full of deceit, greed, inner struggles, betrayal, and most of all—love.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK | Fishpond


* * *
Shadows of Valor is an overall enjoyable read. There are nice moments of medieval history, some lovely songs, clothes and a bit of a mystery of Robin Hood variety on the side. My major stumbling block were modern words that should have been edited from the original manuscript but went through the revisions.

I am not an expert on Middle Ages, but words like "wow", "absolutely", "fashion show" and many others looked pretty strange mixed with more traditional jargon of the era.

I understand the necessity to translate the customs and language for the modern reader, but some alterations go a bit too far and disturb reader's immersion into the story. Again, it might have been only me, and someone else wouldn't have payed attention to it, but I just had to lower my rating for aforementioned reason.

All in all, Shadows of Valor is an entertaining, light read which I'd recommend for someone who would like to get into historical fiction without feeling out of their depth because they haven't read anything else on medieval history.

* * *
Вроде бы и нельзя книгу назвать Г на палочке, а очень хочется. И жалко ведь, так как автор, Елзи, написала для меня шикарный авторский пост по поводу различных смертей, часто встречающихся в средневековье.

Книга подойдёт для читателя, который хочет начать читать историческую литературу, но об этом периоде ничего не знает, хотя та же Аманда Квик, по моему, написала несколько книг о том же периоде горазде интереснее, и я уже не говорю о таком прекрасном авторе как Вальтер Скотт!

По сюжету здесь немного Робин Гуда, немного тёмного рыцаря, любовь, уклонение от налогов, какие-то совершенно наивные негодяи и очень простые герои. Убили меня конечно модернизмы, которые я постоянно подчёркивала в тексте. "Wow", "absolutely", "fashion show" - всего лишь некоторые из них. Но мне кажется, такие вещи недопустимы в исторической литературе, особенно если твою работу основательно проверяют редакторы.

В общем, читайте не читайте, а я вас предупредила.


Blodeuedd said...

WHy on earth would a word like fashion show be used?

Unknown said...

Lmao! Fail. Absolute fail. *smh* Doesn't anybody do any research anymore? What ever happens to credibility? Sheesh.

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