Shades of War by Sarah-Jane Lehoux'Sometimes the past can't be forgotten. Sometimes the truth refuses to be buried. And sometimes the dead won't stay dead.It began as a simple request: Journey to the Northern Jungles and bring a wayward son back to the safety of his farm and family before the racial tension that is building between humans and dark elves erupts into civil war. But life is never simple for Sevy, and she soon finds herself entangled in a bloody battle of good versus evil, love versus hate.Old friends and enemies reunite, familial bonds are broken, and loyalty is tested. And in the midst of the steamy, sultry jungles, the ghosts of a serial killer's victims come out to play. Sevy, as petulant and irascible ast ever, must overcome her personal demons in order to expose a madman and bring peace back to the kingdom. But just how much of her sanity must she sacrifice to help her friends? And how can she save anyone when she can't even save her own soul?'
You guys all would have read my review of 'Thief', the first book in the Sevy series a while ago (if you haven't click here to read it now!). Well, it received pretty much stellar reviews from me. Shades of War, the second book in this series, has also impressed me, so expect this review to be full of praises!
What I liked was that this book did not act like a single book. It smoothly continued on from the previous book, using it almost as a background. The tension between the dark elves and humans had been growing all the time in Thief, however, in this book, Shades of War, do we really see the climax of these tensions. I loved how Lehoux didn't just place the enmity between dark elves and humans in only Shades of War as an afterthought. Instead, she planned this war between dark elves and humans, rooting their tensions in the first book. In the first book, you could hardly have expected that a war would result from the fights between dark elves and humans.
Trena made a reappearance in this book, after having been left out for most of Thief. I had always wondered what had happened to her in Thief. Shades of War really exposes what Trena's been through all the years that she's been without Sevy. It was really nice to see that Trena had not been forgotten; that she was not one of the characters an author puts into a book, only to completely dismiss them when they become irrelevant.
As always, I like a book with character growth, and this book was chock full of it. There were so many characters who changed, evolved and grew, and some that we just see a different side to. There was Y'voury, who started off disliking humans, believing that they were weaknesses. She eventually changes, seeing the good that resides in them. Same goes with Trena. She starts off, terrified of dark elves, because of the rumors spread around about them. She ends the book on good terms with these dark elves, thanks to a few experiences, not all friendly, with them.
The ending was quite a shocker for me, really. So many things happened! I couldn't believe what I was reading, and had to reread a few bits of the book, shocked that such events were occurring. I couldn't fanthom who the serial killer was, until right at the beginning of the showdown between the killer and Sevy. Yeah, that's right, you read correctly. There's a showdown! The final ending though, was so heartfelt and sweet. There just wasn't any better way to end the book, then how Lehoux did.
'Shades of War' has cemented my affection for the Sevy series. Thief did interest me and draw me in, but really Shades of War, is what made me realize how much meaning this series has. Although it may only be a fantasy book, it does bring to light some significant things in our society, one outstanding one being discrimination.
I have to give 'Shades of War' a 4 stars out of 5. It's only fault; it didn't capture me as 'Thief' did. I still loved it, sure, but I don't know why, 'Thief' was just magical.
The third book in the Sevy series, Masquerade, has come out! February 26th! Go read it! But you'll have to wait so much longer for my review on it on March 6th.... Bet you can't wait!
Keep reading and loving books,