This book is very seductive. You realize after you finished it that the story line is not too in depth, but while you are reading it you don't care because it is very well written.
I didn't expect to like this book very much but much to my surprise it was very good. I enjoyed the different worlds and appreciated the glossary in the front. Truthfully I wasn't to crazy about our main character Bettina but all the rest of the cast was quite interesting and I hope to learn more about them in the sequal. I thought our leading male, Trehan, was very well written and really liked his character.
As a Kresley Cole fan, it pains me to say this but Shadow's Claim was kind of boring. The heroine, Bettina, fancies herself in love with a childhood friend for more than half the book. And while the Talisman's Hie in the IAD books was an interesting and fun plot device, the competition for Bettina's hand was dull. Cole didn't make the events drag on too long, but it was difficult to care about anyone. The most interesting thing happening in the start of the book was a werewolf forced to enter the competition. Unfortunately that didn't go anywhere interesting.
Trehan was sexy and typical alpha male stuff. Bettina was a whiny, spineless, 22-year old a teenager. It was difficult to like her character and hard to root for them as a couple.
The second half of the book got much better, Cole picked up the pace and we caught up to the timeline from Lothaire.
For IAD fans, this didn't feel like a distinct departure from the IDA series. The focus will be on the Dacian's but they're not isolated from the rest of the Lore as feared. In fact, very little of the story took place in Dacia.
I presume Cole will want to write a book about Caspion eventually (another rather unlikeable character) but otherwise, this one could be skipped in terms of continuing story.
Did not really expect to enjoy this book. Was given to me. I thought not my style. It was actually very intriguing. Enjoyed it!