“Promise of Shadows” (Justina Ireland) | Spoiler-Free Review!


Rating: 3.8 stars

Overall thoughts: Action-packed, original story, but lacks depth to the characters and world.

Hello there blog-readers! Today I’ll be reviewing “Promise of Shadows” by Justina Ireland, which was kindly sent to me by Simon & Schuster AU. This will be a spoiler-free review, so you don’t have to worry about being spoiled! My overall rating for this book was 3.8 stars, which is kind of a low rating for me. While I loved the premise of the story, the plot and the basis of the world and characters, there were certain aspects that simply left me uninterested and irritated. All in all, it was a fairly average book, but with a gripping and promising premise. However, notice that I say “average” instead of “bad”. Average, in my opinion, means that there will be a good portion of people out there who will enjoy it, while there will be others who did not enjoy it so much. Therefore, I still recommend that you pick up a copy of Promise of Shadows, to create your own opinion. As always, I only share my own and I think this story is very versatile.

The story follows an 18 year old “girl” named Zephyr Mourning. You may be wondering why I wrote “girl”. Well, that’s because Zephyr is actually a harpy. If you’re not accustomed with Greek mythology, it means that  she has a woman’s head and body, but with bird’s wings and claws. Zephyr lives in a world in a world centred around Greek mythology, giving off a Percy Jackson and the Olympians feel. Since personally I love Greek mythology, it was an interesting perspective seeing from a harpy’s point of view. In this book, the gods are called Æthereals, and use æther (the power of light) and erebos (the power of darkness) to fuel each of their godly powers, which was a very interesting concept, portraying that the gods needed a source to power their magic. I loved the portrayal of the gods, as while they were loyal to old mythology, the author made a new twist and made them seem more human.

The book begins in Tartarus (who knows, maybe Percabeth was there at the time), which is Hell in the Greek mythology world. Zephyr has been sent to Tartarus as punishment for slaying a god in revenge, as he killed her sister. She is nicknamed “The Godslayer” (I know, awesome right?!) Since it was practically impossible to kill this god, the Æthereals become suspicious of Zephyr, and it quickly becomes apparent that she has a dangerous secret…

So basically, I loved the world and the plot line, however, the characters and romance severely irritated me. This book exemplified a strong case of “InstaLove”, the main protagonist immediately falling in love with the main male. That is something that really put me off this book, despite my love for the plot and setting. I definitely would have brought my rating up to 4 stars had it not been for the romance as well as the lack of description apparent in this entire book.

Overall, my thoughts are that this is a book that you should definitely pick up, because there seems to be very mixed reviews for it, meaning that there’s a chance you may love it. It has an awesome plot and storyline, and the foundation for an awesome book, complete with Greek mythology and badass characters, as well as epic action sequences. The downside is the rest of the story…romance, character depth, etc. Nevertheless, this is an original and promising story, that had it been made into a series, could have been improved to a 5 star rating. Though I probably wouldn’t recommend it, I definitely suggest that Greek mythology/fantasy/assassin lovers check this out 🙂