Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Book Review: Rising Shadows by Ashley Townsend

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Title: Rising Shadows

Author: Ashley Townsend

Series: Rising Shadows #1

Genre: Time-travel/Fantasy

Audience: Young Adult


Sarah Matthews is nearing the end of another eventless summer in the small town of Bethany, Oklahoma. Disheartened over the reality that yet another unexciting season is coming to an end, she wishes for an unforgettable adventure to break up the monotony of life. But when mysterious circumstances transport Sarah and her sister, Lilly, back in time, she gets more excitement than she bargained for.

The girls find themselves trapped in the twelfth century in a place shrouded with mystery and deception. Assassination plots, kidnappings, and tumultuous adventures force Sarah to rely on the Shadow, a masked hero who comes to her aid numerous times. In order to uncover a conspiracy and save those closest to her, Sarah requests help from the Shadow and also from Will, the handsome and intriguing blacksmith she befriends. Sarah is strangely drawn to the excitement that seems to follow the town hero and begins to look forward to their secret encounters. She also finds herself caught in a romance with Will, despite the fact that their equally fiery personalities have a tendency to clash.

But Will’s past is filled with secrets and pain, and Sarah finds it difficult to break through the walls he has built around him. She knows that in order to make things right with the kingdom - and also with Will - she will need more time in the forgotten land. But when her life is put on the line, Sarah realizes that she will be permanently stranded in the past if she remains for too long, and she vows to find a way back home for her and Lilly ... or die trying.

**4 stars**

I'm pleased to say that I quite enjoyed Rising Shadows by Ashley Townsend! I'd been seeing Ashley's books around, and thought they looked interesting enough to add to my to-read list. Then I won a copy of Chasing Shadows (Book 2) in a giveaway, and found out these are time-travel/fantasy romances; and saw that gorgeous cover, and ... eep! *grins* I was happy to accept when Ashley offered me an e-copy of Book 1 so I could start this series at once!

We meet Sarah Matthews, the average eighteen-year-old, young woman. Just finished up with high school; planning to attend college come fall; living through a boring and uneventful summer, despite differing hopes and dreams.
Then, in a few crazy and unexpected moments, we're transported to Serimone, where Sarah is destined for an adventure she won't soon forget.

Yes. Time-travel is wonderful! ^_^ I'm not really a fan of contemporary; but when we just get a glimpse of the modern-day girl living a boring 21st century life ... and then suddenly she's whisked back into the medieval past, where masked men ride gallantly, evil men plot, and lovely balls are held at the palace ... I'm hooked! *smiles*

First off, Serimone is a great place! I don't want to give away too many spoilers, but as I mentioned above, this series has a fantasy twist. So not only are we time-traveling, but we get a splash of my favorite genre as well! *grins* It has a medieval feel. Robin Hood-like men. Beautiful gowns. Balls. All that sort of fun stuff.

Sarah was a lovely enough character to travel along with. I feel she's relatable to a certain extent; though there were some instances that you just don't understand her. Ha. She can be a little thoughtless or naive at points. But overall, I like her!

Will ... *sigh* Yep, he's one of those heroes that all the girls swoon over. Hehe. Mysterious. Dark past. Protective. Sweet. I have high hopes for him and Sarah!

Seth is the one who completes the familiar love triangle found in YA romances. You all who've read my reviews probably know by now that I am not a fan of love triangles. This one wasn't too bad. But there were some moments that I was quite annoyed with Seth. But he's still a really sweet guy too! *smiles*

Karen is great too! I enjoyed her character. Seth's family is wonderful. We got a little bit of time with Sarah little sister, Lilly, who's a cute girl. ^_^ Ooh, not to mention, the Shadow! He was fun! *grins* Seems he's a bit of a Robin Hood character. Very interested to see where that goes in the next two books. All in all, a very nice cast of characters. I enjoyed meeting them all.

The budding romance was very sweet and clean. Excited to see more on that.

As for violence and gore, there was a little bit of that. Not much. Probably more toward the end of the book, there is a scene or two. Also, there's a red-haired girl accused of being a witch. A sickly king. Suspected to-be-murderer. All that.

Oh, and I was really happy to find a Christian aspect to Rising Shadows! There are themes of trusting God, forgiveness, and redemption. A sweet touch. I hope it grows; and these themes are expounded even more in Chasing Shadows! ^_^

So overall, it was an exciting and romantic adventure! Action. Drama. Budding love. Intrigue. Unrequited romantic interest. Suspense. Lovely read. I'm over halfway done the second book now, and loving being back in Serimone!

I received a copy of Rising Shadows from the author in exchange for my honest review.


  1. Replies
    1. I think you would like it, Alyssa! I quite enjoyed. Very fun! :D And the second book is even better! (Though, in Chasing Shadows, there is two instances of swearing, and also a few times where it seems the characters carelessly use God's name.)

  2. Ahh! All my favourite genres too! Thank you so much for sharing this! Does it come in hardcopy version as well? :D

    1. You're welcome, Sarah! I really am enjoying this series!! I believe Rising Shadows is only available as a kindle, :(

      But you can get the second book, Chasing Shadows as a paperback!