Review of Sword of Shadows by Karin Rita Gastreich (plus a Giveaway!)

Today we’re featuring Sword of Shadows, book two of The Silver Web trilogy by author Karin Rita Gastreich!

Read more about the book and check out my review. And don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!

Sword of Shadows Karin Rita GastreichAbout the book

Sisters in magic, Eolyn and Adiana seek to revive a millennial tradition once forbidden to women. When war strikes, their fledgling community of magas is destroyed; its members killed, captured or scattered.

Determined to defend her people, Eolyn seeks to escape the occupied province and deliver to King Akmael a weapon that might secure their victory. Trapped by the invading army, Adiana is taken prisoner and placed at the mercy of the ruthless Prince Mechnes.

Even as their world is torn asunder, Eolyn and Adiana cling to a common dream. Courage and perseverance guide them toward a future where the Daughters of Aithne will flourish in a world set free from the violence of men.

“War propels the story forward, and the characters are at their best when circumstances are at their worst.” -Publishers Weekly

This is the second book in THE SILVER WEB trilogy. It can be read as a stand-alone novel, or as the sequel to the first book, EOLYN.

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Compelling fantasy with a great story and fascinating, complex characters

When I signed up for this blog tour, I didn’t realize this was the second book in a trilogy. I didn’t have time to read the first book but I’m hoping to get to it soon because I really enjoyed The Sword of Shadows  and it’s clear that The Silver Web trilogy is right up my alley.

The Sword of Shadows is compelling, has a great plot and amazing world building, and really fascinating and complex characters.

The story in the book is developed well. There’s always something interesting going on in each chapter and you can’t help but turn to the next. I haven’t read the first book but it wasn’t too much of a disadvantage because I could glean some of what happened in the first book from the scenes and dialogue. This book is also on the darker side of fantasy and deals with adult themes, violence and death, so it’s definitely not for the kiddies or for those who prefer not to have any of that in their fantasy reads.

I like the characters – they’re interesting and with unique personalities. Most, if not all, the characters have some sort of greatness within them and have their own flaws as well. Even the antagonists are engaging and I can appreciate their motivations and why they do what they do. I especially love that this trilogy has such intriguing women playing significant roles on both sides of the story (by “sides” I mean the “good” and “bad” in the story).

The world building in this trilogy is also pretty cool. Karin Rita Gastreich is an amazing writer and I admire her imagination and her talent for creating a fascinating world with different histories and cultures. I would have loved to know more about the magic system in this world, but that’s just me.

Overall, Sword of Shadows is worth reading. If you’re a fan of dark and epic fantasies, you’ll probably enjoy this book as much as I did.

Note: I received a review copy of this book as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

About the Author

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_SwordOfShadowsKarin Rita Gastreich writes stories of ordinary women and the extraordinary paths they choose. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where she is part of the biology faculty at Avila University. An ecologist by vocation, Karin has wandered forests and wildlands for over twenty years. Her past times include camping, hiking, music, and flamenco dance. In addition to THE SILVER WEB trilogy, Karin has published short stories in World Jumping, Zahir, Adventures for the Average Woman, and 69 Flavors of Paranoia. She is a recipient of the Spring 2011 Andrews Forest Writer’s Residency.

Connect with Karin: WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Buy the books: SWORD OF SHADOWS, Book Two | EOLYN, Book One

Read an Excerpt

A hush of wings on the windowsill interrupted Eolyn’s thoughts. She looked up to see a Great River Owl, its proud silhouette outlined by moonlight.

Eolyn rose to her feet in surprise, keenly aware of its penetrating gaze, though she could not see its round eyes in the dark. A breeze ruffled its feathers. Its aura was impossibly familiar: intense shades of gold, burgundy, and forest green, shot through with streaks of deepest indigo.

She held her breath and let it go in a whisper.


More than a question, it was a hope, a fear, an invocation.

A shimmer passed through the owl, followed by a flash of white light. Suddenly Akmael was with her, the heat of his hand upon her throat, the strength of his fingers intertwining in her hair, the demand of his lips upon hers, warm and full of passion. The magic of the South Woods blew through the window in a humid gust, swirling about them, begging Eolyn to remember who she was and what she once meant to him.

Akmael kissed Eolyn until she had no more breath to give. Then he paused and held her close, their foreheads touching as her fingers traced the familiar prominence of his cheekbone, the line of his jaw, the curve of his full lips.

All she could hear was his desire, carried on the rhythm of his heart. She dared not speak, for if she did, she might stumble upon words of caution or prudence or common sense, and none of that had any place here. Not when he was so near, nearer than he had been in such a painfully long time, closer than he might ever be again.

This is a gift from the Gods, Akmael had once said. To deny it would be an insult to them.

“Eolyn, I—”

She hushed him with a kiss.


Karin will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


For more chances of winning, check out the other tour stops here:

12 thoughts on “Review of Sword of Shadows by Karin Rita Gastreich (plus a Giveaway!)”

  1. Thank you for hosting. I’m so glad you enjoyed the novel, and am honored by the glowing review.

    When you do get a chance to read the first book, I hope your questions about the magic system will be addressed. EOLYN spends much more time developing the backstory on magic, and explaining how Eolyn learned to do what she does.

    Or…feel free to ask me questions any time. Here, on Goodreads, or on my blog. :)


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