Nine Houses rule the nation, and Melaina stays away from them at all costs. She lives by one hard rule: never mingle with the supernatural.
Driven by fear of discovery, she remains on the fringes of society, occasionally stealing to provide for her aunt and her brother. When the opportunity to work for a corporation not owned by a House falls into her lap, she can’t believe her luck. With a forged non-magical certification in hand, she’s ready to embrace a bright future.
Unfortunately, the future is an ambush by blackmailing thugs, notorious assassins, and an unscrupulous House leader.
Entrenched in House conflict, Melaina’s dream of normalcy has turned into her worst nightmare.
Now, to save her brother and family secrets, she’ll have to partake in one last dangerous heist. Success means exposing her forbidden magic, but failure could cost the lives of everyone she loves
Melaina is a Shadow Walker with inherited ‘despicable’ ‘forbidden sinister magic,’ but her ‘fire was weak and manageable, and it had been easy to hide it from the outside world.’
Melaina is a loveable thief, and was once known as the chameleon, she wants to retire… BUT…!!!
I loved the characterisation in this story, the mention of all sorts of magic abilities, the powerful houses, Melaina’s disguises, her roller skating and physical exertions even with an injured ankle! And her obvious love and devotion to her family, plus the lovely touches of humour and vivid descriptive scenes.
It’s an exciting and intricate tale, which needs a far amount of close reading to understand the finer points of the world building and set up.
Melaina is a fantastic female heroine with guts aplenty!
There is sizzling mention of her attraction to former boyfriend Bradley but in this novel relationships are more focused on family loyalty to her Aunt Camila and brother Aiden than to gushing over romantic love. Though it sits there as a tempting prospect… which I enjoyed!
This is book one. The ending is more heartfelt than explosive and encourages the reader to find out more in book two, Shadow Pawn.
Highly recommended for YA fans of heist, magic, fantasy and shadow characters – a favourite of mine! I am a recent member of Ms. Bazzar’s arc team, many thanks to the author for a copy!