Title: The Shadow Palace (The Viper and the Urchin #6)
Author: Celine Jeanjean
Intended audience: Upper YA/Adult
Date Read: 28/01/20 – 01/02/20
Please note: this review may contain minor spoilers for the previous books in this series.
It took me a little while to get into this next Viper and the Urchin book, but I think that is because I was feeling a bit reading slumpy. Having said that, I think the story itself did pick up in the second half and that did help me to become more engaged.
This instalment picks up where the previous one left off, with Rory and Rafe trying to snag a meeting with the Minister Voynia in order to aid their mission for the Old Girl back in Damsport.
One thing I really enjoy about this series, especially the books not set in Damsport, is trying to spot the real-life cultures that inspired the ones in the books. I was imagining the Airnian Court much like Versailles – ridiculously wide dresses, wigs, powedered faces, vacuous courtiers… Celine Jeanjean’s descriptions are once again strong and vibrant and I had a really clear picture in my head.
I don’t want to give too much of the plot away, but there was a particular aspect of Longinus’ arc that had me genuinely wondering how he would get himself out of the tight spot he was in. It was very touch and go for a while. He also had some really great character development as a result of what happens to him in Airnia. I love seeing a favourite character evolve.
We also learned a few things about Rafe that we didn’t know before and I think that’s going to play a bigger part in the upcoming books – he’s going to have to learn to be honest with Rory or she’s going to ditch him.
There’s big political stuff going on, too, and now that the team have found some answers in AIrnia, it’s going to be interesting to see how things play out in Damsport.
Even though this book wasn’t my favourite in the series, it was still highly readable and as always, I’ll be eagerly awaiting the follow-up!
(Thank you to Celine Jeanjean for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for a review. This did not affect my opinions in any way)