Review: ‘Shadow’s Claim’ by Kresley Cole
Shadow's Claimby Kresley Cole
Series: Immortals After Dark #12, The Dacians #1
Published by Pocket Books on November 27, 2012
SubGenres: Paranormal Romance
Format: AudioBook, Paperback
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#1 New York Times bestseller Kresley Cole introduces The Dacians: Realm of Blood and Mist, a new paranormal series following the royal bloodline of Dacia, a vampire kingdom hidden within the Lore of the Immortals After Dark. Shadow’s Claim features Prince Trehan, a ruthless master assassin who will do anything to possess Bettina, his beautiful sorceress mate, even compete for her hand in a blood-sport tournament— to the death.
HE WON'T BE DENIED...
Trehan Daciano, known as the Prince of Shadows, has spent his life serving his people—striking in the night, quietly executing any threat to their realm. The coldly disciplined swordsman has never desired anything for himself -
until he beholds Bettina, the sheltered ward of two of the Lore’s most fearsome villains.
SHE’S BOUND TO ANOTHER...
Desperate to earn her guardians’ approval after a life-shattering mistake, young Bettina has no choice but to marry whichever suitor prevails—even though she’s lost her heart to another.
Yet one lethal competitor, a mysterious cloaked swordsman, invades her dreams, tempting her with forbidden pleasure.
A BATTLE FOR HER BODY AND SOUL
Even if Trehan can survive the punishing contests to claim her as his wife, the true battle for Bettina’s heart is yet to come. And unleashing a millennium’s worth of savage need will either frighten his Bride away -
or stoke Bettina’s own desires to a fever pitch....
Shadow’s Claim is the twelfth book in Kresley Cole’s book. I read Shadow’s Claim for the first time in 2019. I had the book on my TBR shelf since it came out and finally made time to read it. I finished reading it the second time this year, in 2022. I listened to it in audible version and read it too when I could hear it. I was happy to re-read Trehan’s book again, but I still have an issue with Bettina. I think I may not like Sorceress’s much, but I’m trying to like them. It also didn’t help how she treated Trehan.
Storyline/My Thoughts: Shadow’s Claim is also the first book in the spin-off series called ‘The Dacians,’ so I was excited to see where Kresley Cole would take the first book in the spin-off series. If you read Lothaire, then you would’ve been introduced to some of the Dacian characters. The main character in Shadow’s Claim is the Prince of Shadows himself, Trehan Daciano. He ends up meeting his mate unexpectedly when he’s trying to go after a Demon who was not supposed to leave his realm. Trehan is automatically drawn to his mate, even though her feelings for someone else are stronger in this book. Poor Trehan!
Princess Bettina of Abaddon is forced to hold a contest to find a suitor that will prevail at all the tough battles her guardians put them up against, and these are not easy contests. There is a lot of death that happens. Unfortunately, she already wants to be with her friend, but he is not the one for her. She ends up meeting a very handsome stranger in her room one night who she thinks is her friend. Bettina will end up having her feelings go haywire after that one night with the stranger and then seeing him again during the contests. Trehan is determined to prove himself to Bettina, even though she’s in love with someone else.
This book didn’t get that many stars like others in the series. Don’t get me wrong; I thoroughly enjoyed the book. I loved Trehan and getting to know him more. Trehan did have some qualities that came off as stalkerish, but once he found out that Bettina was his mate, it’s kind of hard to shut off those feelings. I liked getting to know his background and how he’s an assassin. This book gave me more details of the Dacians and gave me a different POV of Lothaire and what happened in his book. I love getting different POVs of storylines that I already read.
Here’s the reasoning behind the lesser stars from other books: Bettina’s character. For some reason, I don’t like sorceresses because I was not too fond of Sabine’s style/character either. I think it’s due to the personalities, though. Bettina is naive and childish compared to other heroines. I also listened to these books instead of reading them, and Robert Petkoff had me not liking Bettina. I love Robert telling the story, though, because he brings everything to life. I didn’t connect with Bettina and how she acted in the story. From the beginning, she was so into her friend, Cas, and Cas goes through women like crazy. He knows Bettina is not his mate, but he will help Bettina in the book.
I did enjoy the story and the world-building of the Dacians. I’m looking forward to reading more about them in the next spin-off book. The very ending has Bettina and another sorceress hanging out together, which I’m not going to give any details away about it, but it was eye-opening. I’m onto the next IAD book as I’m typing up this review to re-read it. This series is my favorite to re-read. I don’t care how many times I read it, I always find something new (like Marvel movies), and I always feel like I’m home again with all the characters.
Standalone or Part of Series: It’s part of the Immortals After Dark series, and I would recommend reading in order.
Steaminess: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Trope(s): Fated Mates
Would I recommend this book? Yes. I recommend this book to Paranormal Romance readers. It may have only gotten 3.5 stars from me, but that doesn’t mean other readers won’t enjoy it more.