Title: The Twice-Scorned Lady of Shadow (The Guild Codex: Unveiled #3)
Author: Annette Marie
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Release Date: May 6th, 2022
Genre: New Adult – Urban Fantasy
My rating in stars:
My rating in words:
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
I’m learning to embrace who and what I am, but there’s one thing I can’t face: the night Zak betrayed me. But even with the mysteries of our shared past hanging between us, I can’t turn Zak away when he asks for my help.
Powerful fae are going missing, and when he tried to investigate, Lallakai vanished too. Now he wants me to venture with him into the territory of the Shadow Court, but its bloodthirsty courtiers don’t welcome meddling druids.
Danger is gathering around us, seen and unseen. As we uncover incomprehensible clues about the missing fae, we realize this nightmare runs deeper than we imagined, and unveiling it means delving into the past—our past.
If I abandon Zak now, he’ll never make it out alive. But if I stay at his side, if I face the truth of that night, it will destroy us both.
The Guild Codex: Unveiled
The One and Only Crystal Druid (#1)
The Long-Forgotten Winter King (#2)
The Twice-Scorned Lady of Shadow (#3)
More series in the Guild Codex world:
The Guild Codex: Spellbound
The Guild Codex: Demonized
The Guild Codex: Warped
MY THOUGHTS (spoiler-free):
Note: I received an Advanced Reading Copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
“But you’re not murdering people these days, right?”
My mind flashed over the past two weeks. “No.”
He squinted at me. “Did you just hesitate?”
“Pretty sure you did.”
I just finished this book and have been seated at my computer for about 30 minutes now, trying to write this review and I’m… shell-shocked? How do I even word? That ending was BRUTAL and SHOCKING while also being foreshadowed so expertly so I should have seen it coming, but that’s the thing: I DIDN’T! I did not see this coming and it has thrown me off and all I can do is sit here, mutter incoherently, swear under my breath, shake my fist and glare at fictional characters and hope September 9th is here quickly. But also, try to put this maelstrom of emotions into a somewhat coherent review? Okay, okay, let’s back it up and give it a try.
For starters, this was EPIC. The best installment in the Unveiled series so far (I think the finale will blow this one out of the water though) and maybe my favorite installment in the entire Guild Codex so far even? I know, I know, those are fighting words, but honestly, this was just SO, SO GOOD ON ALL LEVELS. It brings much-needed answers, it brings the character development and resolutions, it brings the pain and the hope, it brings the heart-pounding suspense, it brings the romantic tension… seriously, when I say this installment made me feel a maelstrom of emotions, I really mean like every single emotion out there. This is what I look for in books and stories. It was so, so good.
From the very first page, it was obvious this was gonna be amazing because we start with a Zak POV flashback. That’s right, our favorite damn druid got the spotlight! And the fun (though pain may be a more accurate description) doesn’t stop there, because throughout the book we get multiple flashbacks from his POV as we slowly learn Zak’s view on the events of 10 years ago, the events that changed two kids’ lives forever. Is it everything we wanted? YES. But it’s still a sucker-punch and like I said, pain is pretty much the best way to describe everything we learn.
But it’s also not all doom and gloom. Saber meets some beloved characters when she enters our beloved Guild and I chuckled so much in those few pages! (The loveable cactus scene… *chef’s kiss*). I hope we’ll get some epic team-ups in the finale because that would be…well… EPIC, but even if we don’t, I’m sure Saber and Ríkr will bring the icy retribution just as well. OMG, I love this duo so much. I can’t believe I didn’t like Saber at first, and it took me a while to appreciate her as a main character, but she definitely holds her own. Her character journey has been slow and painful, but so worth it. And I feel like this installment especially has been crucial to her healing. Also, Ríkr has been in my heart from the very start and I just keep loving him more and more with every book. Should I love a stabby, knife-wielding criminal and a morally gray fae with a knack for deception and manipulation this much? Probably not, but here we are.
As with the other books, this installment is again very action-heavy and we dive pretty much head first into a new adventure as powerful fae have gone missing and Zak and Saber venture into the Shadow Court to find out what’s going on. What they find there is bone-chillingly eerie and tied to their past in brutal ways. Really, the suspense and tension are so high, it’s almost impossible to put this book down. I’d settle down and prepare for a one-sitting read, because you will quickly become unable to stop reading in your quest for answers!
And then there’s the romance – this has been an excruciatingly slow burn (as it should be, given the complex and painful past of the two characters and the journey they both need to take as individuals before they’re ready for anything else) but this installment gave me everything I wanted, while also still leaving so much room for more. Yes, the slow burn has been excruciating, but only in the best ways, and this book DELIVERS. You will not be disappointed.
Overall, I can only repeat myself: this was the most epic installment so far in the Unveiled series. It was a gripping, brutal, hopeful and shocking ride. Get ready for long-awaited truths, shocking revelations, painful discoveries and most of all… the long and excruciating wait until September 9th! 😉
“Morris took the seat beside me.
“Saber is a bit prickly,” he said as though I wasn’t two feet away and listening to every word, “but she’s like a lovable cactus. She’ll only stab you if you try to hug her.”
Darius steepled his fingers together, his wrists resting on his desk. “Prickly is nothing new at this guild. How much do you know about the Crow and Hammer, Miss Orien?”
“The name,” I said baldly. “There’s a pub downstairs. And this is a shit part of town.”
“Loveable cactus ,” Morris stage-whispered to Darius as though trying to convince him.”
“Tugging my hand free , I turned to face him and stepped close— then I wrapped my arms around his waist, rested my cheek on his shoulder, and closed my eyes. He stood rigidly, as though expecting a knife in his back at any moment. “I’m comforting you, asshole,” I muttered. “Should I punch you instead?”
“Ah,” Ríkr crooned. “The sweetly treacherous intrigues of court life. How I’ve missed those long nights of ardent scheming.” Why did he sound completely sincere?
“I don’t hate you, Saber. I just— I just hate everything.”
“Lead the way, Bladesong Druid.”