Shadow by Jenny Moss (Published by Scholastic, April 1, 2010)
For as long as she can remember, the orphaned peasant girl called Shadow has spent every moment of her life following around Queen Audrey, the young queen of Deor, their kingdom. She has no memory of her real name or of her life before she became the queen’s “shadow.” The young queen was prophesized to die before her sixteenth birthday, and Shadow’s presence is supposed to somehow protect her, but Shadow doesn’t understand how, and longs to escape the dreary castle and the queen’s cruelty.
Shadow gets her wish in a different way than she had hoped for when tragedy strikes and Shadow is sent away from the castle under the protection of Sir Kenway, a handsome young knight that Shadow believes was in love with Queen Audrey. She doesn’t understand why she is special, why her life was saved, and why she must go on this journey with Sir Kenway. On their quest, they find danger, mystery, romance, long-buried secrets, and a destiny that Shadow never could have imagined.
Shadow, the second book by talented and versatile new young adult writer Jenny Moss, was a delight to read. It is a traditional fantasy set in a medieval world with knights and princesses, castles and evil wizards, and a quest to discover the main character’s destiny and save the kingdom. Most young adult fantasy books these days are urban fantasy, set in our modern world, so it was such a refreshing change to read a book set in a faraway and magical kingdom. I highly recommend this book to readers who are looking to read a story that is different from the typical young adult fantasy or who love fairy tale inspired fantasies such as those by Gail Carson Levine or Shannon Hale.