ARCs · Book Reviews

ARC Review: The Shadow Wand by Laurie Forest (Black Witch Chronicles #3)



Elloren Gardner hides the most powerful secret in all Erthia—she is the Black Witch of Prophecy, and destined to triumph…or be used as the ultimate weapon of destruction.

Separated from everyone she loves, isolated and hunted, Elloren must turn to the last person she can trust—her fastmate, Commander Lukas Grey. With the Mage forces of Gardneria poised to conquer all of Erthia, Elloren has no choice but to ally with Lukas and combine their power to keep herself out of the hands of Gardnerian leader Marcus Vogel…the holder of the all-consuming Shadow Wand.

With just weeks to train to become a warrior, and no control over her magic, Elloren finds unexpected allies among those under orders to kill her. It’s time to step up. To fight back. And to forge onward through the most devastating loss yet.

Release Date: June 9th, 2020

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review. Thanks to Inkyard Press for the opportunity!*

*Possible spoilers for The Black Witch and The Iron Flower. Proceed with caution.*

Let me tell you that I screamed when I got an ARC for The Shadow Wand. I have been obsessed with The Black Witch Chronicles since book one, and this book has been HIGHLY anticipated by me since The Iron Flower ended in such a massive cliff hanger. Now, it is going to be hard to discuss all of my true feelings about this book without giving away spoilers, but I will do my best. I immediately dove back into the world and the Gardnerian conflict and I am sad to say that this book underwhelmed me. It starts off differently than the first two books, with about the first 100 pages switching POV’s and introducing us to some new characters. I really liked the new storylines and catching up on some old favorite characters and I thought that this storytelling structure was interesting, but it felt a little disjointed and I would have liked to have more of a solid start. While they were cool and added a level of depth to the world and the conflict, storytelling-wise they felt a little unnecessary and separate. Once we got into the meat of Elloren’s story again, it began to fall into place for me, however; it felt like both nothing and everything happened at the same time. They kept talking about what they were going to do or needed to do, and I just wanted them to do it already. There was a lot of repetition in phrasing and moments that I felt could have been edited out and replaced with action to make it stronger. I’ve always loved and connected to Elloren in the past, but in this book she was so pitiful and never did anything to try to help herself. She had finally started to step into her power and herself in the last book and I felt that we lost that a bit. On a more positive note, I absolutely LOVED her romance and think I have officially switched sides in the love triangle. There was so much heat, as well as an emotional connection, and it felt like they really fit together. The fact that one part of the love triangle was absent for the majority of the book really bothered me though, because it felt forced, weird, and sudden after having it set up so perfectly in both of the previous books. The ending left me in a flurry of mixed emotions and the need to read on. The Shadow Wand definitely felt like a filler book to set up for the epic battle that is coming, and after 640 pages, I can’t help but feel like not enough was accomplished.

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