In Shade and Shadow, by Barb and J.C. Hendee, is the beginning of a spinoff series of the Noble Dead saga.
Following her long journey with Magiere, Leesil, and Chap, Wynn finally returns to her guild. But instead of believing her stories and ancient texts that she has brought back, the guild acts like she is crazy and takes away the texts. When a couple of young sages are killed while carrying one of the folios, Wynn immediately believes it was an attack by a Noble Dead (vampire). But why would a Noble Dead be interested in old writings? What secrets do they hold?
I was glad to hear that the Noble Dead series was continuing in some form, as it was one of my favorites. Because she always seemed so helpless and dependant upon her friends, Wynn certainly wasn’t one of my favorite characters in prior books. But she has changed. And we see her grow up quite a bit in this latest novel, when faced with overbearing guild masters and frustrating circumstances. I’m hoping her character continues to evolve into a strong, independent young woman.
Many new characters are introduced in this story, as the series left most of the familiar behind. The most interesting ones are the most mysterious. And as before in this dark fantasy series, plenty of danger and suspense surround the mysterious as well.
The return of a former love interest, of sorts, to Wynn was the highlight for me. Their conflicting feelings and natures are tragic yet hopeful. And with a fantastic climactic ending, this new spinoff series is off to a great start. I can’t wait to see what else lies in store for Wynn and her companions.