Title: The Shadow (The Florentine Series #2)
Author: Sylvain Reynard
Rating: 5 out of 5
Release Date: February 2, 2016
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel trilogy comes the hotly anticipated follow-up to The Raven, a sensual novel set in Florence featuring the dangerously intoxicating coupling of Raven and William…
Raven Wood’s vampyre prince has returned, pledging his love and promising justice for every wrong done to her. In the wake of their reunion, Raven is faced with a terrible decision—allow the Prince to wreak vengeance against the demons of her past, or persuade him to stay his hand. But there is far more at stake than Raven’s heart…
A shadow has fallen over the city of Florence. Ispettor Batelli will not rest until he uncovers Raven’s connection to the theft of the priceless art from the Uffizi Gallery. And while the Prince hunts a traitor who sabotages him at every turn, he finds himself the target of the vampyres’ mortal enemy.
As he wages a war on two fronts, he will need to keep his love for Raven secret, or risk exposing his greatest weakness…
***The second installment of The Florentine series, it is imperative you read the first two books (The Prince and The Raven) before delving into The Shadow. ***
I have always imagined SR lives in some far off place in a decidedly dreary stone castle. Narrow winding steps would lead a visitor up to a tower, passing intricate tapestries illustrating Italian nobility saddled on their finest horses. The stairs would lead the visitor to a room with the door ajar. Just the right kind of invitation for the daring and curious mind. Upon opening the door, one would find a cloaked figure sitting at a desk totally entranced in his work. The ever subtle scratching sound of a quill pen inscribing paper with liquid, black enchantments suddenly stops. The visitor has stopped SR from his work. With lightning fast movement, the cloak flutters open like bat wings. SR whirls around like a dervish and suddenly disappears. Only a plume of smoke is left as evidence of his presence. That and an elegant low ball glass with a dram of Scotch. Certainly he must be a wizard or some other supernatural being! No doubt what he was writing has been sealed with some type of spell, waiting for the visitor’s eyes to fall upon it.
The Shadow pretty much cemented my inclination that SR has some sort of magic properties to his work. The story is fantastic. The mix of history with fiction is done in a way that would make any reader excited to see well historical figures mingle with beloved characters.
The story picks up right where it left off at the end of The Raven. It had been a while since I had read that one, but SR does a fine job of putting information within the story to trigger my memory. The story had twists, turns, and of course, a bit of romance.
Raven and William’s character development was the main focus of my enjoyment. Although some mysteries remain (we can’t know EVERYTHING!), gaining more insight into their motivation and how they deal with certain situations had me pausing every once in a while to see if I would have done the same. I love a book that keeps you engaged in the process. No need to just lie down and take it like an uninterested reader, amiright?
I was so engrossed in the book that when I saw I was on the last page of the story, I couldn’t believe it. I went into a small panic and hoped it wasn’t true. Thankfully, y’all, there were outtakes. THANK YOU FOR THE OUTTAKES. They were nice. Verrah, verrah nice *wags eyebrows*.
From cover to cover, The Shadow was a delight. I cannot wait until the next book is released. I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS NEXT! The spell is still working…
About Sylvain Reynard:
I was a Semifinalist for Best Author in the 2011 and 2012 Goodreads Choice Awards. “Gabriel’s Inferno” was a Semifinalist for Best Romance in 2011 and “Gabriel’s Rapture” was a Finalist for Best Romance in 2012, in the Goodreads Choice Awards, as well. The final novel in The Gabriel Series, “Gabriel’s Redemption,” debuted at #6 on the New York Times Bestseller list. It was a Finalist for a 2014 Goodreads Choice Award as Best Romance.
I’m interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition – particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself.
I’m also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, food, drink, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.
I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex’s Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House.