Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Berkley (September 7, 2010)
Book #2 in Veil series
Main Characters: Xan and Syn
Book Origin: Received from author for reviewing purposes
From an author known for her “romantic spine tinglers” comes the thrilling follow-up to Through the Veil, featuring a beautiful captain who’s lost her magic—and the stranger who will either be her great love, or her greatest enemy…
With demons running amok throughout the forests and mountains, a rebel army has been established to win back the land—and a new soldier has appeared out of nowhere to join them.
His name is Xan, and his past is a mystery to everyone, including Laisyn Caar—a beautiful captain in the rebel army—who is shocked by the powerful, all-consuming desire she feels in his presence.
But now isn’t the time for distraction. The future of her land—and of her people—is in her hands. On top of that, she’s been stripped of her magic—and without it she feels like part of her soul has been stolen away.
But when she discovers the dark secrets of Xan’s agenda, it will be up to her to determine whether the man she’s starting to love is a friend of her people—or a dreaded enemy…
My Review: VEIL OF SHADOWS proceeds on the events from book one; Through The Veil and I think as such the reading pleasure will benefit if you could read these books in order. Within the first pages Shiloh Walker drew me back into the military camp where Kalen Brenner is the head honcho. Together with a very few trusted friends he leads the group of soldiers against demons, warlords and other beings that go bump in to the night. Ishtar is still on very shaky grounds and people seek aid and refuge with Kalen Brenner and his camp. Xan is one of those people and with his fighting skills he is summoned to join the training in order to defend the camp. This is where Xan meets Captain Laisyn Caar, otherwise known as Syn.
I must say that Veil Of Shadows differs in action and suspense from its predecessor and focuses on the aftermath of various events. There is more than enough going on to keep my focus on the pages, from a betrayer bent on revenge to enemies hovering nearby and witches in search of new ways to tap in to Earths energy. I sometimes missed the thrill of excitement that comes along with the uncovering of a mystery yet it was replaced by a chase and the constant threats surrounding the camp which never allowed a dull moment in this story.
Because I recently read Through The Veil I remembered many of the recurring characters and loved the fact they were such an intricate part of telling this story. Shiloh Walker wouldn’t be Shiloh Walker though if the main couple didn’t immediately captured my attention. Xan and Syn together were a bump and grind of personalities and the sensual magnetism was palpable with every encounter. It is that passionate and romantic tension that is one of the things Shiloh Walker excels in and I revel in it as a reader. It is not only an attraction, pent up desires or a clash of erotic needs between the couple, it is all framed by every imaginable emotion giving the relationship development a depth that connects me to them. The romance was torturing good in its development and I gobbled up the dialogues that spoke of the fiery temperament present in many characters.
Xan is a sexy-as-hell warrior who is calm, focused but very intense. When I read the cover summary for the very first time I was incredible intrigued in the reasons for Xan being Syn’s greatest love or her greatest enemy. For the better part of the story that mystery was dormant and I wondered when I would get some clues whether there was something else going on then what appeared on the surface. I like being teased throughout the story that not all is what it seems to be and I did not get that this time with Xan’s character development. Of course I got my fill about two thirds in to the story and suddenly dots started to connect not only within VEIL OF SHADOWS but also another point of view to events from Through The Veil was given.
The bull’s eye was hit again with Syn as a leading female warrior. Syn is unafraid to speak her mind and driven in the cause for which she fights without becoming a cold hearted she-warrior. A far cry from it as she also sports a magical Achilles heel that makes her feel at a loss. She has strengths and weaknesses that gave me a heroine I could not only root for but understand so well in her fears and joys. The grim setting doesn’t leave much room for joy still she takes what she can get out of life and is unapologetic for it and all I could think was; Kudos to you Syn!
The step by step build up of the plot mostly revolved around the external threats and survival problems of everyone in the camp. Shiloh walker has a knack to draw you into her world via her vivid writing, it came alive for me in my mind and for a short time I joined the characters in their lives, loves and problems. They gave me a maelstrom of emotions to deal with; from sadness to the sharp-edged fear of danger and from romantic highs to erotic bliss. Xan and Syn may be the main story in their romance but its characters like Kalen and Lee or Morne and Elena who put a face on friendship, who lend a shoulder when you’re down and to share the joys and sorrows with. The conclusion in both plot and romance was ever so good but the question where Ishtar, the camp and its inhabitants are headed, that remains to be seen.
A well paced plot, a colorful cast of characters to care about and a romance to sink your teeth in, Shiloh Walker pens an exciting sequel with VEIL OF SHADOWS!
Quote Xan to Syn:
“So you want to jump me…what exactly does that mean? Have I not been the good little soldier boy for you, Captain?” As he asked, something glittered in his eyes. Something wicked. Something hot. Her heart started to race. “You know, I’ve never once felt the need to strip naked when somebody calls me Captain. Until now.”
“Are you feeling the need to strip naked?”
She bit her lip. Curled her fingers into the thick, durable fabric of her pants, gripping it desperately. “Yes.”