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Literature / Shadow

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''"I was the queen's shadow. I could not remember a day when I wasn't by her side. Three old men in hooded grey capes, which strangled their wrinkled necks and flowed down to the floor, ordered me to stay with her at all times. I knew they hoped a flaming arrow flying her way would pierce and burn me, not her. It was a lonely life, but I accepted it. I might not be a queen or a gentle lady or even a saucy servant girl who had a real cot to sleep on, but I knew what I wanted. I lived for a hope: One day I would leave the queen's dreary castle and venture out into the world. I would escape."

Shadow is a fantasy novel written by Jenny Moss and published in 2010.

Long ago, in the Kingdom of Deor, it was prophesied at her birth that the queen would die before her sixteenth birthday. So Shadow, an orphan girl the same age as the young queen, was given the duty to watch her every move. And as prophesies do tend to come true, the queen is poisoned days before her birthday. When the castle is thrown into chaos, Shadow escapes with a handsome young knight, Sir Kenway, whom she believes was betrothed to the queen.

Unsure of why she is following Sir Kenway, but determined to escape as far as possible from the castle, her long-time prison, Shadow sets off on an adventure with the handsome knight who has been charged with protecting her. As mystery builds, and romantic tension does, too, Shadow begins to wonder what her role in the kingdom truly is. Soon, she learns, it is up to her to save her land.


This novel includes examples of:

  • Almost Kiss: Between Shadow and Sir Kenway at the latter's home, before they are interrupted by Kenway's father.
  • Always Identical Twins: Roe and Rowe. It takes Shadow a minute to understand the differences in their names.
  • Alpha Bitch: Lady Fay, described by Shadow as 'the slyest of the ladies".
  • Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Shadow, who's mentality is understandable since she's been emotionally and physically abused nearly all her life by Queen Audrey and her ladies.
  • Arc Symbol: The blackberries and the medallion.
  • Big Bad: Fyren, who orchestrated the poisoning of Queen Audrey/Devona, and also murdered King Alfrid, Shadow's father.
  • Big Damn Kiss: Shadow and Kenway have two: one on the cliffside at Kendra's house, and another towards the end at the castle, after Shadow has been restored to her rightful place as Queen Audrey of Deor.
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  • Belligerent Sexual Tension. Shadow and Sir Kenway.
  • Bookends: The first chapter of the book begins with Shadow standing at Queen Audrey's window, and the final chapter begins with her standing at the same window, but this time having learned her true place as the true queen of Deor.
  • Condescending Compassion: Sir Kenway is initially very cold and condescending towards Shadow at the beginning of their journey, mostly due to their difference in rank. Things begin to change as the two start to fall in love, and upon discovering Shadow's true identity.
  • Death by Childbirth: How Queen Anne died. In actuality, it was because Erce had lost the desire to be human after her husband's murder, and the woman who's body she had taken to become Queen Anne was too weak to survive Shadow's birth.
  • Disney Death: Eldred is stabbed by one of Fyren's men and seemingly dies. However, he returns later in the story alive, having been nursed back to health by Ingrid and Hilda.
  • Disney Villain Death: Fyren dies from falling off the castle balcony, his body splattered all over the courtyard below. Yikes...
  • Divine Parentage: Queen Anne, Shadow/Audrey's mother, was the physical form of Erce, the goddess of nature, therefore making Shadow part divine. Ingen is also revealed to be a descendant of the sea god.
  • Dumb Blonde: Queen Audrey, who would rather spend her time gossiping with her ladies than learn the intricacies of ruling her kingdom.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Shadow isn't too fond of her birth name Audrey at first, which is understandable, since the name is synonymous with someone who has done nothing but torment Shadow all her life. She later learns to accept it.
  • God in Human Form: Erce took on the mortal form of Queen Anne to be with King Alfrid, Shadow's father.
  • The Good King: King Alfrid was this when he was alive. His wife, Queen Anne, was likewise well-loved.
  • Gossipy Hens: Queen Audrey's ladies Ingrid, Hilda, and Fay. They spend most of their time gossiping about goings on in the castle, and cruelly mocking Shadow.
  • Ironic Echo: "How had I ever thought him kind?", which is first said by Shadow about Kenway when they escape the castle and he continues to criticize and order her around. She later says the same thing about Fyren after his deception is revealed.
  • Ironic Name: The name "Audrey" means "noble strength", which doesn't really fit the selfish, airheaded Queen Audrey. The name is much more applicable to the true Queen Audrey: Shadow.
  • The Kingslayer: Fyren murdered his cousin, King Alfrid, to advance himself further up the line of sucession. He also poisoned Queen Audrey/Devona.
  • Mad Love: Lady Fay is implied to be in love with Fyren.
  • Oh, Crap!: Fay suffers a version of this when she realizes that the girl she and the ladies had been abusing all these years is the true Queen Audrey.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Shadow's true name was forgotten at her birth. She later discovers what her name really is: Audrey.
  • Poison Is Evil: Queen Audrey dies from being poisoned, as the prophecy foretold. However, the prophecy isn't technically fulfilled because Audrey wasn't even the true queen in the first place.
  • Really Royalty Reveal: As it turns out, Shadow is actually the real Queen Audrey, having been switched at birth with Devona, who was raised in her place.
  • Regent for Life: This is Fyren's goal.
  • Shipper on Deck: Kenway's youngest sister flat out asks Shadow if she's going to marry him, and Kenway's father gives a "knowing laugh" when Kenway insists on Shadow being given the room next to his. It's also revealed that Eldred wanted Kenway to marry Shadow all along, but wanted to wait until she discovered her true identity as Queen Audrey.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Shadow is described as heavily resembling her mother Queen Anne/Erce.
  • Switched at Birth: Shadow/Queen Audrey was switched with peasant girl Devona at birth, in an attempt to protect her from death.
  • Unwitting Pawn: Devona had no idea that she was nothing more than a stand-in for the real Queen Audrey: Shadow.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Queen Audrey, who was almost like a sister to Shadow when they were children. But then she locked Shadow in a trunk to punish her for answering her instructor's questions meant for her, and neither girl was the same after that.

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