Reviewed by Sarina
TITLE: The Shadow Mark
SERIES: Lords of Davenia #2
AUTHOR: Mason Thomas
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 312 pages
RELEASE DATE: February 13, 2017
Auraq Greystone, once a military officer with a promising future, exists on the fringe of society. Accused of murder, Auraq is on the run from the ax—until two fugitives crash into his solitary life. One is a young man named Kane. The glowing marks on his arm pulse with an otherworldly power, and they have made him the target of a sinister organization called the Order of the Jackal. When the old man protecting Kane dies in an ambush, Auraq swears an oath to take his place.
But the runes are far more significant than they realize. They are a message from the shadow realm, a dark memory of the past—one holding evidence of a bloody massacre and its savage architect; one that will shake the kingdom to its foundation. Risking arrest and execution, Auraq fights to get Kane to the capital city where the cryptic marking can be unlocked. And with assassins close on their trail, Auraq might never get the chance to show Kane what’s in his heart—or the way their journey together has changed him.
The Shadow Mark is an epic tale of magic, murder, conspiracy, betrayal, and—for the two men tasked with unraveling the mystery—love and redemption.
Auraq Greystone is a man on the run: from his past, the military and, most of all, from himself. When a chance encounter with a pair of travelers finds Auraq fighting for his life, and then swearing an oath of protection to Kane, a young man with a mysterious mark, he finds himself embroiled in a dangerous situation he could have in no way predicted or prepared for. With assassins and creatures of myth hot on his trail, it will take all the skill Auraq possesses to keep both himself and Kane safe until the mystery of the marks Kane carries is solved. And with Auraq’s past steadily catching up to him, the assassins may not get the chance to kill him after all…
I was first introduced to this author via his debut novel Lord Mouse and I have to say that I was extremely impressed; the plot was well thought out with engaging characters and a story that I didn’t want to put down. I’m thrilled to say that the sequel, The Shadow Mark, was every bit as good and I found myself impressed all over again. The beginning started off sedately enough before unexpectedly thrusting the characters into the middle of an ambush and while you don’t have a lot of information about Auraq at this point, this scene set the stage for the rest of the story. This book was filled to bursting with action and the same type of wonderfully fleshed out characters I was treated to in the previous novel. What surprised me, however, was just how much my appreciation for the story itself grew as I got further and further into it; I liked it in the beginning but by the end I was in love! And that ending…*sigh*. It was an unexpected little nugget of happiness and getting to see a character I’d come to both admire and adore get everything he deserved but didn’t think he could ever have was just perfect.
Fans of Lord Mouse should absolutely read this second book in the Lords of Davenia series; the story and characters were just as compelling and it was totally worth the wait! If you’re a fan of fantasy or action books, I’d recommend giving this one a look, as well; you don’t have to have read Lord Mouse in order to read The Shadow Mark but I’d still urge you to give it a try because it was an amazing book and with how good the sequel was, I wouldn’t want you to miss it! I can’t wait to see what this author comes up with next.