Book Review: Shrouded Sky

      Where mythology, monsters, and elves come to play and I get to dance with the devil in the pale moonlight. Bad references to Batman aside, today we're taking a look at Shrouded Sky Book 1: The Chosen of the Spears by Sanan Kolva. Full disclosure before I dive into my review/look through, my mother knows and works with Kolva and that's how I heard of this book to begin with. Also, I didn't start taking notes until Chapter 5. I truly am a professional.
             In case you're not familiar with the premise:
Monsters stalk the paths and clouds hide the sky every night. Now Lyan, astrologer of Heartshrine Village, must leave his familiar forest and home to seek an ancient, powerful weapon: Equinox, Spear of the Stars.
           In the right hands, Equinox and its brother Solstice are powerful weapons against the forces of the Mad God, Murdo. In the wrong hands, they could free Murdo from centuries of imprisonment and release him upon the world once more.
           Lyan must solve an ancient riddle and find the hidden Shrine of Equinox to protect the Spear from the Mad God with help from the traditional enemies of his people. A cunning monster stalks them, and assassins lurk in shadows. As Murdo’s forces draw close and suspicion festers within their group, Lyan and his companions must forge an uneasy truce and rely on each other.
           And even if they find Equinox, someone must conquer its trials to claim it, or they may never leave.


             I started reading this at a very hectic time during the holidays so it took a moment for me to really get into the story. Like I said above, I even forgot to take notes until Chapter Five! I also haven't read that many stories outside of Lord of the Rings that have elves as main characters so I was really quite interested in the premise of humans and elves being enemies and how they became enemies. I haven't started a fantasy series where I'm going in completely blind since elementary school. So there was a certain excitement that came not knowing anything and learning the rules of this world. 
NOT Elijah Wood
But that would make a great book 
          So we start the story off in Eilidh Wood with Lyan being a curiously little clutz about one of my favorite elements in the entire book: the pooka. They are absolutely fantastic. If you're not familiar with pooka's (I wasn't until I read Shrouded Sky) they're basically nature spirits that can bring good or bad luck. Guess which kind our pooka brings and is the reason I adore him?    
          That's right he's the bad kind! God, why do I always like the creepy, monster characters?  I adore all the monster aspects of this book, including the gods, the shrines, of course, the monsters, and, yes, even the people. Who was on a whole other level of terrifying and depravity, (looking at you Vynzent and your edgy name and horrible, horrible, horrible, horribleness that is your existence).
What a scary boi
           Back to my main fave of the book to show how every time the pooka showed up I wrote in my notes: 'POOKA!' or 'I love the pooka' or something to that extent. I adore the eerie mood that comes with them. It's like lazy fog drifting over a swamp on a moonless night and you're in a boat waiting for the alligators to get you. Because of this spooky atmosphere, I was often wondering if the pooka was, in fact, possessing one of the companions (namely Aikan and Yion who were highly suspect to begin with. As well as Kithr who I even thought was the pooka at one point.). The story further propelled itself when the pooka got a voice and got inside Lyan's head. I loved the overall fantastic creepiness that it brought. OVERALL 10/10 to the pooka, you beautiful, beautiful, Celtic monster.
             Most of the book is spent with Lyan and his human companions that he gets after being a clutz. There was interesting tension running through the book given the hostility for humans and elves that we later get know why and that it goes beyond human and elves. There were many elements like this that really captured my attention and I hope that Kolva expands in future novels such as; the Na'Khahra clan who's celebration's gave me Peter Pan/ Lost Boy vibes which was great. That Shadowstar (Lyan's horse) was also is his guardian and also he got to see his babies again! Very cute side plot.            
            There's an element of the story that Kolva works into the plot really nicely about the language barrier where the elves give Lyan an earring translator. I love this device and was a good and creative way to work out that part of the story without having a designated character translator. This helped with the company's tension and later banter.
This movie was my childhood
             The trials and subsequent mind trip were also a favorite of mine. Especially since we got to see more of our female characters (and the POOKA!). Anything that gives me Lucy in the Sky from The Yellow Submarine animated movie feelings crossed over with Alice in Wonderland is an absolutely A in my book.
             I'm really looking forward to the sequel and more from my beloved pooka. OH! And y'know Lyan and his adventures I suppose. Especially now that he's been chillin' with demi-gods and found out that girls exist. Which I hope we get to see more of Veniycia in 'human' (?) form and get to know more about her along with the rest of the characters.

             If you haven't read Shrouded Sky go on over to Goodreads and find where you can get your copy! Also, go and check out Sanan's website to keep up to date for her next project!            
Favorite Quotes:
             All of them this time were mainly from the poems at the header of each chapter. 

"Whispers in green
The shadows dance 
Whispers for blood
The war, the lance" -pg 14

"On the wings of morning
In the dream of day
Hear a silent warning
See hope fly away" -pg 44

"Turning, turning, turning
Dancing in the mist
Turning, turning, turning
By wind and water kissed" -pg150

"Black and white her hair
Soft and pure, so fair
Standing in silence so deep
Forever secrets to keep" -pg 167

"Fire light, fire bright
burning ever through the night" -pg 210

Shrouded Sky (The Chosen of the Spears Book 1)Shrouded Sky by Sanan Kolva
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me a moment to get into it (and that might be because I started it right around the holiday season and was utterly distracted) but once I did boy OH boy did it captivate me! I love the world that Kolva created and the constant tension between the companions. Love the dynamic between the elves and humans and how we slowly learn about why their at each other's throats (and rightfully so!). However, as much as I liked the main character and his buddies the character that stole the show for me has got to be the pooka. Every time it showed up on page I'd get so excited. I think that's just the monster lover in me but I really got a kick and thrill out of Lyan and the pooka interacting.
I also enjoyed all the gods talk as I love folklore type stories so that was always fun to hear about while our heroes went on their adventure. Overall it was a fun and interesting fantasy with a cool and promising premise that I can't wait to read the rest of in Book 2!

View all my reviews

               Until Next Time,


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