Summary: Alyssa ana'Raisa is the reluctant princess heir to the Gray Wolf throne of Fells, a queendom embroiled in a seemingly endless war. Hardened by too many losses, Lyss is more comfortable striking with a sword than maneuvering at court. After a brush with death, she goes on the offensive, meaning to end the war that has raged her whole life. If her gamble doesn't pay off, she could lose her queendom before she even ascends to the throne.Publication date: 04/04/17
Across enemy lines in Arden, young rising star Captain Halston Matelon has been fighting for his king since he was a lýtling. Lately, though, he finds himself sent on ever more dangerous assignments. Between the terrifying rumors of witches and wolfish warriors to the north and his cruel king at home, Hal is caught in an impossible game of life and death.
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Shadowcaster's two main characters are Alyssa ana'Raisa (Ash's sister) and Captain Halston Matelon. It takes place parallel to the events of Flamecaster, so it's a 'meanwhile on the war and politics front' type of situation.
Having more of a focus on war and politics makes it different from the previous book. Princess Lyssa aka the Gray Wolf and Hal are on opposites sides of the war, but both are loyal and determined fighters. As their paths cross they learn that they may not be so different after all...
I have to admit that when I first head that the book wouldn't be told from Ash and Jenna's POV I was a little disappointed, because I really came to love them in Flamecaster. However, Lyss and Hal were both excellently developed characters, and Chima once again managed to make me root and care for her leading pair. Lyss was fierce and although she sometimes said things without thinking, I liked her steel determination to end the war. Hal, too, was a character to be reckoned with.
POV change aside, going into the book I was a tad bit confused with all the new terms thrown at me. The previous book, Flamecaster, I finished without having read the Seven Realms series, and that was absolutely fine. However, with this one I felt like I might have benefited from having reading the other series. I was also worried that I wouldn't be able to finish it at first, because of the confusing terms and the change of style from the previous book. Luckily, though, things picked up and my confusion faded away. From then on I was flying through Shadowcaster, wanting to know what would happen next.
Jenna and her dragon also had a few chapter of their own which was exciting. I of course missed Ash, but hopefully Jenna and Ash will be back in the next book full time!