Book Review of Shadow's Bane (Dorina Basarab, Bk 4)

Shadow's Bane (Dorina Basarab, Bk 4)
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This is the fourth book in the Dorina Basarab series. It's been six years (yes *six* years) since the last book in this series. I love this series so much more than Chance's Cassie Palmer series (which I stopped reading after the third book). I was a bit nervous to pick this book up because of the huge time lag between books, but it used to be one of my favorite UF series so I decided to take a risk. It ended up being good...not great...but good. It was also very, very long and it felt long.

Chance does a pretty good job of re-introducing characters and providing background for those who don't have the time or inclination to re-read the first three books in the series. I was still a bit lost in the politics and I think some nuances of the story were lost on me because I just couldn't remember the full background and all the characters after six years. I mean really, if you are going to take six years to write the next book in a series you would think you could take some time to recap the âstory thus farâ at the beginning of the book or something.

My biggest issue with this book was the number and length of the fight scenes. I know, I know...I love fight scenes in my book and these were decently written ones. They were just soooo long and sooo frequent that they really interrupted the flow of the story. Chance could have gotten the same impact with shorter fight scenes that didn't completely disrupt the story flow. I also got really sick of Dory getting knocked out and waking up somewhere else...that happened probably six or seven times in this book and got really old.

I kept forgetting the main storyline because of the fight scenes. This led to the story having a very disjointed flow. It was almost like the story, fight scenes, and relationship scenes between Dory and Louis-Cesare were separate⦠they really didn't flow well and felt very choppy. Additionally, vast portions of the book follow Mircea and his past. I could have done without these long chapters told from Mircea's POV; they didn't add a ton to the story and the elements they did bring to the story could have been handled in a much more concise way.

Despite all the complaining above I did end up enjoying the book. I love these characters and the intriguing world they live in. I really enjoyed some of the developments in here. I love the scenes between Dory and Louis-Cesare and wish we had gotten more of that to balance all the random fighting. Chance's writing style is easy to read and (for the most part) engaging.

Overall this was a good addition to the Dorina Basarab series. I really enjoyed re-entering this world and some of the developments around the characters here. The book should have been edited better and was kind of a mess. The story didn't flow well and the lengthy/numerous fight scenes kept derailing things completely. The parts of the book from Mircea's POV should have been left out completely; they didn't really add much.

So, should you read this? If you are a huge Basarab fan like I am...yes! there is some really good stuff in here. However, be prepared for a lengthy slog...this book was seriously long and poorly paced.