As much a figure of fear to the unruly as legend to the innocent, The Shadow is an enforcer of justice and aid to the King. Due to an outrageous export tax set by King Edward, smuggling has tainted the kingdom, so The Shadow is sent to hunt the smugglers down. Contrary to legend, The Shadow is simply a man known as Sir Calan who, although talented and just, struggles to keep his dark thoughts of revenge from becoming ruthless action.
Due to sheer coincidence, The Shadow learns of a deadly plot against Lord Shaufton on a journey to Graywall. Now, he must enter a pseudo courtship with Lord Shaufton’s daughter under his original guise of Sir Calan, all while old emotions are stirred by the lovely Elsbeth, Lord Shaufton’s niece. Elsbeth, it seems, is the only woman who can heal his troubled soul, but she has a story of her own. What transpires is a glorious tale full of deceit, greed, inner struggles, betrayal, and most of all—love.
*May Contain Spoilers*
Smuggling and plans of murder upset the town of Graywall in Elsie Park's Shadows of Valor. The two main characters become privy to a criminal ring and it's up to them to discover who is behind the raids and save the town leader.
Elsbeth and Sir Calan take the leading roles in this novel. Elsbeth is a scarred young woman, having been burned badly in the fire fueled destruction of her family home. She's a religious woman who has used her unfortunate past to motivate her future. She spends her time acting as the town midwife and helping various members of the community, regardless of wealth or station. Readers will love Elsbeth's perspective, her gentle nature, and her selflessness.
Sir Calan has known Elsbeth since they were young, but has been away for ten years becoming The Shadow. As The Shadow, Calan works for the King, catching and arresting criminals across the country. Now he's working in Graywall to help break the smuggling ring and save the Lord from a mortal plot. Calan is distrusting and a bit cynical, yet courageous and brave. The combined efforts of Elsbeth and Calan to save the town will silhouette their abilities, strengthening the connection with readers.
The plot follows Elsbeth and Calan as they attempt to identify the criminals so they can be brought to justice before the Lord, Elsbeth's Uncle, is murdered for his land. Working as The Shadow, Calan keeps his own identity a secret, recruiting Elsbeth to aid him in his investigation. Shadows of Valor is a gem in the genre of historical fiction with a heartwarming and, simultaneously, thrilling story.
Rating: 4.5/5 cups