Author: Seressia Glass
Series: Shadowchasers, #1
Release date: January 26th 2010
Publisher: Pocket Books
Paperback, 344 pages
Buy: The Book Depository
I’m not used to my urban fantasies being written in third person. I realize this is an odd thing to start a review with, but it’s the first thing that really stood out for me. Shadow Blade is told in third person from two perspectives: that of Kira and the Nubian warrior Khefar, and the transitions between them aren't neat or clearly marked, but rather random and (occasionally) messy. This is the second time I’ve come across something similar lately and I enjoyed it both times, although I’m not the biggest fan of third person narrative in general.
For the most part, Kira Solomon was an admirable heroine. She was strong, decisive and competent, not very trusting, but with good reason. Psychometry is only one of her gifts, but it’s the one that marked her more than all the others combined; it made her weary of people and their secrets. While I liked her, I can't say I really cared about her as much as I should have, and I needed to think about it for a while before I finally figured out the reason. I think my failure to form a proper connection with Kira was mostly due to her story being told in third person, even though, as I already pointed out, it had its advantages. It changed things for me – while I knew what was going on inside her head, I still wanted to see things through her eyes. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s a difference nevertheless.
As far as worldbuilding goes, Shadow Blade is one of the good ones. Rich and imaginative, if a little rough around the edges, Kira’s world of Shadows, Avatars and Chasers pulled me right in. There were many details I needed to remember if I was to follow the story properly, but the abundance of information I had to absorb never weighed on me. I just figured things out as I went and I liked it that way. The worldbuilding was mostly based on the Egyptian myths, and I really loved how it was done. I know very little about ancient Egyptian deities, but urban fantasy in general has already taught me so much, I’ll undoubtedly catch up soon enough.
Ohh, but the love interest was truly something. A four thousand year old Nubian, ancient warrior, worshiper of Isis and accompanied by a demigod on his road to redemption. He only needed to save two more people to earn his place in the afterlife, and Kira Solomon was one of them. She didn’t make it easy, of course, and things that mattered to both of them at the beginning didn’t matter as much by the end. The only thing I didn’t like was that Khefar happened to be the only one in the world able to touch Kira without consequences. Due to her psychometry, she was never able to touch another human being without hurting them in the process, but somehow, she is able to freely touch the Nubian. To me, this somehow belittled their romance. Would she have liked him so much if she had other options?
She laughed, a true laugh of unadorned delight that shook her entire frame. Khefar wasn’t prepared for it – the laugh, the bright mood, his reaction to it. It made him careless.
This is a series I’ll gladly continue. It’s been a long time since I truly enjoyed urban fantasy and I’m so happy I finally found one worth reading. Although by no means perfect, Shadow Blade is a decent enough read that left me eager to find out more about the world and our two heroes.