Jan 8, 2019

DNF Review--Circle of Shadows by Evelyn Skye

A thrilling new fantasy series full of magic and betrayal—from Evelyn Skye, New York Times bestselling author of the Crown’s Game series.

Sora can move as silently as a ghost and hurl throwing stars with lethal accuracy. Her gemina, Daemon, can win any physical fight blindfolded and with an arm tied around his back. They are apprentice warriors of the Society of Taigas—marked by the gods to be trained in magic and the fighting arts to protect the kingdom of Kichona.

As their graduation approaches, Sora and Daemon look forward to proving themselves worthy of belonging in the elite group—but in a kingdom free of violence since the Blood Rift Rebellion many years ago, it’s been difficult to make their mark.

So when Sora and Daemon encounter a strange camp of mysterious soldiers while on a standard scouting mission, they decide the only thing to do to help their kingdom is to infiltrate the group. Taking this risk will change Sora’s life forever—and lead her on a mission of deception that may fool everyone she’s ever loved.

Love, spies, and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them—and the entire kingdom—apart forever. 

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.
It is with great sadness that I announce my first DNF read of 2019 was Evelyn Skye’s Circle of Shadows. I tried. I tried so hard to continue reading and just being patient with the book, but sadly, I reached the point where I just couldn’t take it anymore. The pacing was just too slow for me and I couldn’t find anything I was really enjoying about it to want to continue.

I enjoyed Evelyn’s first duology that was a fantasy as well. I knew going in that this would be something new and different, but yet, I struggled to find anything that I was actually enjoying about this one. It’s sad. It’s really really sad. I hate DNFing a book. Especially one that I was eagerly anticipating. I got about halfway before I started skimming pages, and then only a little further after that before I just gave up because even with skimming, I noticed things still weren’t moving all too quickly.

The story starts out with an intro to who our two characters are, Daemon and Sora. They are partners and are training to be guards for the empress. They’re teenagers, and while they are not a couple, Daemon does harbor feelings for Sora. Yet he has to really bury them as their connection bond or what have you, allows them to know what the other is feeling, they can communicate psychically with one another, and can sometimes get an idea of where the other is at. Hiding a crush is ten times harder with all that going on.

One day while on a training mission, they uncover a sinister secret. The prince, who was evil as you might guess, who everyone thought was dead, isn’t and is planning to take the throne that he believes belongs to him.

This had all the makings for a great story, yet the pacing about killed me and did me in. It’s an extremely slow book. I was aware of this before starting but thought I’d give it a try, maybe it would have other interesting developments along the way of the slow pacing, but sadly, it didn’t. Not for me at least.

Another thing that bothered me was that I was never really able to get a grasp on how this world works and the magic within it. There was some descriptions and history to this, but not in a way that made sense to me. I felt like magical terms were being used too soon and I had no idea what they were talking about other than knowing it was magic in origin. But there’s some history to this world and characters that I didn’t feel privy to that might have helped with some of the understanding. When things slowly, ever so slowly, do get revealed, it’s not to the point where I felt like I suddenly knew all. It was just a little bit here and there and by the time things are getting thicker in the plot, I was growing bored already because I felt like the excitement should have already been happening.

I was not able to finish this book. It saddens me because I did truly enjoy Evelyn’s first series. That had the right amount of magic, explanation, and pacing. Plus characters I felt like I was able to know better. Here we had about six or seven characters getting third person points of view, but there were no helpful headers on the chapters so it took a bit of refocusing to adjust to the character switch and when it was a character we hadn’t already met through one of the others, it made things even more complicated, I felt like.

Sadly Circle of Shadows just wasn’t what I had hoped for. It had all the makings of a great read, but the execution just wasn’t there for me. Although it was not the read for me, I would still highly recommend you checking it out for yourself if you’re already interested in its story. While it didn’t work for me, I hope it works for many others. Evelyn will still be on my author list to buy books from, I will just have to pass on this particular series.

No rating, as I don’t rate books I DNF

Circle of Shadows releases January 22, 2019



  1. I'd been thinking of adding this book to my TBR, but I was unsure about it... I think that I'll keep it in mind, because now that I know it's a slow book, I can come into it fully aware of that and prepared. Then I'll see if it works for me better than it did for you! I'm lowering my expectations for sure, but like you said, I'll give it a try just in case.

  2. I have high hopes for this book. It saddens me that you didn't enjoy it enough to finish it, but I think maybe I'll give it a try anyway. I do need to have a faster-paced read though, as well as a world that totally immerses me, so it will be interesting to find out if I have the same or different thoughts.


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